Exploring Identities and Interactions of African American and Asian American College Students: Interdisciplinary Approach
Veronica Newton, Danielle Nied, Alisha Rorer, Daniel Stillwell, Eva Wang, Hisako Matsuo

Marginalized racial minorities such as Asian American and African American students who attend a majority White university, find it difficult to associate with individuals outside of their race. The college campus environment is the place, in which deep questions of identity may be challenged, strengthened or changed, depending on the social setting or individuals present. This study explored the ethnic identity and social identity of Asian American and African American college students at a predominately White Catholic university in the Midwest analyzing qualitative data collected through fourteen face-to-face interviews. The study explored the externalization and internalization of ethnic identity within the framework of these groups of students’ social identity and group membership. Other themes, such as code switching, liminality and identity performance also emerged from data analyses. Some implications regarding integration of racial minority groups on campus are offered.

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