Dissertation Defense – Marie Castro Bruner

March 24, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
College of Education, room 650
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

Growing Up On Burritos and Black-eyed Peas: An Autoethnography
by Marie Castro Bruner

The immigration debate is not new to the United States; however, today’s heated discussions include strong anti-Mexican sentiments (Bean & Stone, 2012; Hughey, 2012). As Americans attempt to secure borders in an effort to
insure safety and economic security, current legislation includes elements of racial profiling against Mexicans that could extend to those who possess varying levels of Mexican blood since physical characteristics tend to guide racial labeling (Aoki & Johnson, 2009; Bernal, 2002; Fernandez, 2002; Quinones et al, 2011 ). As an individual of Mexican and White bloodlines, racial categorization has resulted in internal struggles and social dilemmas for me.

The purpose of this dissertation was to gain understanding of my personal multiracial identity development within various social contexts; this study fulfills the requests of theorists seeking to understand multiracial identity development through self-analysis over a lifetime (Binning et al, 2009; Charmaraman & Grossman, 2010; Cheng & Lee, 2009; Miville et al, 2005). This qualitative dissertation used critical autoethnography as its methodology and theories of multiracial identity (Poston, 1990; Root, 1996; Rockquemore, Brunsma, & Delgado, 2009) and LatCrit (Aoki & Johnson, 2008; Solorzano & Delgado Bernal, 2001; Tate, 1997; Valdes, 1997; Villalpando, 2004; Yosso, 2005) while considering the impact of Whiteness Studies (Jay, 2005; Jeffries, 2012; Yeung, Spanierman & Landrum-Brown, 2013), and the cultural process of naming (Boris, 2005). The research questions guiding this dissertation were: How have I internalized and interpreted encounters related to racial identification, and what does being multiracial mean to me?