The Sum is Greater Than its Parts: An Autoethnographic Study of Multiracial Men in Higher Education Staff Roles
Date of Paper/Work
Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)
Type of Paper/Work
Jayne K. Sommers, Aura Wharton-Beck, Javier Gutierrez
This qualitative, autoethnographic study sought to understand how multiracial men working in higher education staff roles described their experiences of racial identity. Eight participants, staff members at various higher education institutions across the United States, comprised the study population, including the study author. I conducted semi-structured interviews followed by photo-elicitation interviews with each participant between Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. I analyzed the interview transcripts with an open coding process. I grouped the resulting codes into categories that resulted in the emergence of three major themes that described the way participants experienced their racial identity. The first theme that emerged from the data analysis was the lens of the workplace. The second theme that emerged was the lens of negative experiences. The third and final theme that emerged was the desire for a better future. I utilized Renn’s (2004) Ecological Model and Baxter Magolda’s (2001) Self-Authorship Framework to analyze and interpret the findings. This study provides insights and recommendations around for understanding and supporting the multiracial population for individuals and organizations within the field of higher education.
autoethnography, biracial, higher education, identity development, mixed race, multiracial, professional staff, race, racial identity
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Lemon, David J., "The Sum is Greater Than its Parts: An Autoethnographic Study of Multiracial Men in Higher Education Staff Roles" (2023). Education Doctoral Dissertations in Leadership. 176.