Are Mixed Race Couples and Families Still Fighting for Acceptance in Alberta?

Posted in Canada, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, Videos on 2013-06-15 16:21Z by Steven

Are Mixed Race Couples and Families Still Fighting for Acceptance in Alberta?

Alberta Primetime
Edmonton, Alberta

Jennifer Martin, Host

Monica Das, Registered Psychologist

Yvonne Breckenridge
University of Alberta

Alberta Primetime is a daily current affairs show airing weeknights from 7pm MST to 8pm MST. Airing across Alberta on CTV Two Alberta, Alberta Primetime drills through the surface of current issues to explore the ideas and concerns of Alberta’s real energy sector – its people.

The face of Alberta families is changing, but are Albertans still struggling to catch up?

We talk to Monica Das, registered psychologist and Yvonne Breckenridge, from the University of Alberta.

Watch the video here.

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The identity development of mixed race individuals in Canada

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, New Media on 2010-04-15 23:08Z by Steven

The identity development of mixed race individuals in Canada

University of Alberta
Spring 2010
131 pages

Monica Das

A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in Psychological Studies in Education

The purpose of this study was to explore the identity development of mixed race individuals in a Western Canadian context. The case study methodology was used to guide the overall procedure and participant selection. A thematic analysis was used to analyze patterns in the data. Four individuals of mixed race parentage were interviewed and five themes emerged: (a) the influence of family, (b) the influence of childhood experiences, (c) the influence of physical appearance, (d) the influence of racism, and (e) the influence of adult experiences. The detailed explorations of the participants’ experiences add to the Canadian literature on mixed race identity development, which provides several counselling implications and directions for future research.

Table of Contents


Literature Review
A Sociological Analysis of Race
A Historical Overview of Race Mixing
A Review of the Contemporary Mixed Race Experience
Identity Development
Racial Identity Development
Mixed Race Identity Development Model
Key Presenting Issues and Counselling Implications
Summary and Research Question

Research Paradigm
Case Study Approach
Data Analysis
Trustworthiness: An Evaluation of the Study
The Researcher
Ethical Considerations

Findings from the Within-Case Analyses

Findings from the Cross-Case Analysis
The Influence of Family
The Influence of Childhood Experiences
The Influence of Physical Appearances
The Influence of Racism
The Influence of Adult Experiences

Implications for Counselling and Education
Future Research Directions

Appendix A: Recruitment Handout
Appendix B: Information Letter to Participants and Informed Consent Form
Appendix C: Demographics Form
Appendix D: Interview Guide
Appendix E: Pre-Interview Activity Form

…My interest in this research topic stems from my personal experiences as a mixed race individual. My mother is from Czechoslovakia, my father is from India and I was born and raised in Canada. As a child, I was unaware of terms like interracial marriage or mixed race. Once I became aware of my mixed heritage as a young adult, I became curious as to why my racial and cultural identity were so different from either my Bengali or Czech relatives, or from most of the people around me. As I started to ask questions, I found deep commonalities with other mixed race individuals regardless of their particular racial mix. Additionally, I was amazed at the range and depth of opinions I encountered in casual conversations. It seemed that everyone had an opinion about mixed race individuals.

With this diversity in opinions, I was certain that I would find an overwhelming amount of academic data on the mixed race experience. I did find a significant volume of research on American Black-and-White mixed race people and the American history of anti-miscegenation. However, I was surprised at the minute amount of information available on non-Black-and-White mixed race individuals in general and the Canadian perspective in particular. When given the opportunity to conduct my own research as a Master’s student, I decided to explore the topic of non-Black-and-White mixed race individuals in a Canadian context. I hope that this information can be used to increase awareness of the unique issues that mixed race individuals face.

Consequently, the purpose of the present study is to explore the mixed race experience within its complex contemporary framework. The goal is to investigate the factors that influence the development of a mixed race identity. The information gathered from this study will provide a Canadian contribution to theories relating to racial identity development and a post-modern analysis of race as a socially constructed category. Moreover, this study explores the experiences of mixed race individuals that are not of Black and White parentage, which is a topic that is under-represented in the mixed race literature (Mahtani, 2001). A deeper understanding of the factors that influence the mixed race identity will add to the current literature by enhancing our knowledge of the Western Canadian, non-Black-and-White mixed race individual’s lived experience. Additionally, the results of the present study may help counsellors to increase their own awareness of mixed race issues by encouraging them to challenge any qualms they may consciously or unconsciously harbour about mixed race individuals. Considering the increasing mixed race population, it is important that researchers begin to focus on supportive measures to promote healthy mixed race identity development…

Read the entire thesis here.

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