Exploring multiracial/cultural identities through mothers' voices /
Slaney, Catherine, 1951-
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This study explored the experiences of mothers of multiracial/cultural children within the context of family, school, and community. Three categories of mothers of multiracial/cultural children were interviewed privately and then invited to meet as a group to explore some of their reflections and experiences. The categories consisted of 4 mothers with multiracial/cultural children presently attending elementary school, 2 mothers of multiracial/cultural children who are now adults and 3 mothers from my own multiracial/cultural family. The study explored the researcher's personal quest for a multiracial/cultural identity and combined interviews with her daughter, her sister, and her mother to reveal the multiracial/cultural experience from a personal perspective. Content analysis of the narratives revealed that multiracial/cultural children produce their own culture and establish new and personally relevant priorities as they develop their self-identities. Findings further indicated that present-day, mainstream mothers from the dominant majority group of Canadians, tell a different story than similar mothers of previous cohorts, and that although sociopolitical and economic changes have influenced the experiences ofthese women, their stories remain remarkably similar across racial and cultural lines. The findings from this study may promote the development of multicultural programs in Canada as they offer both prospects and challenges to multiracial/cultural children and multicultural educators. It is hoped that this study will provide a better understanding of multiculturalism and encourage educators to heighten their racial and cultural awareness as they strive to critically examine their own cultural stories and realign their praxis within the evolving Canadian mosaic.