U.S. Census Bureau survey section on race from 2010. This was the second time the United States allowed individuals to indicate more than one race on the census.
Multiracialism is a conceptual framework used to theorize and interpret identity formation in global multiracial populations. Multiracialism explores the tendency for multiracial individuals to identify with a third category of 'mixed-ness' as opposed to being a fully accepted member of multiple, or any, racial group(s). As an analytical tool, multiracialism strives to emphasize that societies are increasingly composed of multiracial individuals, warranting a broader recognition of those who do not fit into a society's clear-cut notions of race. Additionally, multiracialism also focuses on what identity formation means in the context of oppressive histories and cultural erasure.
Multiracial identities have manifested themselves in many different ways across cultural identities, historical moments, and social norms. The meaning of what it is to be multiracial changes depending on what society is in question. As a result, multiracialism is often used to critique the continuation of race as a means of social categorization, especially given that race is a social and political construct that has served systems of oppression and systematically overlooked large populations that fall between its limited categorizations.