This article focuses on multiracial student experiences using co-created ethnographic data with two students’ spoken word poetry. The students considered their own history, their origins and discovered a complexity–and found that their struggle was not exclusively internal. External expectations of singular categorizations and social understanding of behavior played a role in students’ identity construction. The students exhibited an internalization of expectations, as they reflected on their developing identities in their writing. They also indicated that they found ways to resist the expectations and forms of power. The results further discussions related to the modern understanding of identity fluidity and raises the question of why identity, in the modern context, continues to be seen as fixed. The research enabled students to reflect on the complex nature of identity and present a nuanced picture of their unique identity struggles, and their awareness of the social constructs and expectations of others.
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- adolescent identity formation
- multiracial identity
- Social expectations