Biracial Utahns seeking identity

Biracial Utahns seeking identity

Deseret News
Salt Lake City, Utah

Elaine Jarvik

They’re biracial — equally Polynesian and white. But most prefer to think of themselves as Polynesian, says University of Utah graduate student Kawika Allen, who recently studied 84 Polynesian-Caucasian Utahns.

Allen, who grew up with an Hawaiian mother and a Caucasian father, presented his findings Friday at the ninth annual Pacific Islander Awareness Week at the University of Utah…

…Growing up in Utah, Allen’s Polynesian friends sometimes thought he wasn’t Polynesian enough, and he wasn’t sure if he fit in his father’s white world either. That angst later led to a master’s thesis on biracial identity among Utah’s biracial Polynesians, who now number more than 3,000.

Although previous research of other biracial Americans found that children tend to identify more with the same-sex parent, regardless of ethnicity, Allen found that among Polynesian-Caucasian Utahns, children tended to identify more with the Polynesian parent, regardless of gender.

He also found that biracial Polynesians were more likely to receive negative messages about being biracial if their fathers, rather than mothers, were Polynesian…

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