Is It Really the Best of Both Worlds? Exploring Notions of Privilege Associated with Multiraciality

  • Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero The Ohio State University
  • Vu T. Tran Michigan State University
Keywords: Multiraciality, Privilege, Identity, College students


This study explores the experiences of privilege among multiracial college students guided by two research questions: (1) How do multiracial students define and identify privilege? And (2) In what ways do multiracial students see experiences of privilege influencing their sense of racial identity? Through interviews with 16 college students at a large, public university in the U.S. Midwest, three themes were found: (a) naming privilege without much ownership or connection to race; (b) identifying and accessing various forms of multiracial privilege; and (c) reflecting on the responsibilities that come with privilege. The findings provide advancements in theory regarding multiracial students’ experiences with privilege toward creating new practices that educate students on the complexities associated with understanding privilege in relation to multiracial identity.

Author Biographies

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, The Ohio State University

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero is an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University and is also affiliated faculty with the Asian American Studies program. He completed a Ph.D. in Education (emphasis in Higher Education and Organizational Change) at University of California, Los Angeles.

Vu T. Tran, Michigan State University

Vu Tran is a scholar-practitioner who has been engaged in numerous social justice education leadership roles including the University of Michigan's Program on Intergroup Relations, the Social Justice Training Institute, and American College Personnel Association's Commission for Social Justice Education. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University's Higher Education and Student Affairs program, where his dissertation examined adultism within various contexts of higher education.

How to Cite
Johnston-Guerrero, M., & Tran, V. (2018). Is It Really the Best of Both Worlds? Exploring Notions of Privilege Associated with Multiraciality. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 8(1), 16 -37. Retrieved from