SOCIALLY EMBEDDED IDENTITIES: Theories, Typologies, and Processes of Racial Identity among Black/White Biracials


David L. Brunsma, Department of Sociology, Morton Hall 344, Universityof Alabama, Huntsville, AL 35899; e-mail:


Current research on racial identity construction among biracial people derives primarily from small convenience samples and assumes that individuals with one black and one white parent have only two options for racial identity: “black” or “biracial.” Rockquemore's (1999) taxonomy of racial identity options is used as a framework to synthesize existing research and to generate hypotheses that are explored using survey data from a sample of 177 biracial respondents. The findings support a multidimensional view of racial identity by illustrating that biracial people make various identity choices, albeit “choices” that are differentially available due to an individual's structural iocation.