Please can we stop talking about ‘mixed-race’ identity (on its own)?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-08-25 01:42Z by Steven

Please can we stop talking about ‘mixed-race’ identity (on its own)?

Discover Society
2019-08-23

Chantelle Lewis, Ph.D. Student
Sociology Department
Goldsmiths, University of London

Please can we stop talking about ‘mixed-race’ identity (on its own)?

In response to recent mainstream media outlets featuring and celebrating ‘mixed-race’ populations as a symptom of progress in our society, my concern is this simplistic analysis conceals the broader structural implications of mixedness.

Given the opportunity, we all like talking about how we feel about our identity. If, like me, you belong to a racialised group, we become particularly animated by these opportunities because whiteness permeates so much of public life. We want to think about our varying family histories and how we embody them (or not) within our appearance and how we live our lives.

More often than not, when there is a public discussion about racialised identities, ‘mixed-race’ people are given too much space to grapple with theirs without critically engaging with their own structural positionalities. My contention is that these discussions will often position identity in abstraction from discussions of place and space, class, gender, and wider structural issues…

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Embodied Resistance: Multiracial Identity, Gender, and the Body

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-08-20 21:53Z by Steven

Embodied Resistance: Multiracial Identity, Gender, and the Body

Social Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2019)
Article 221
16 pages
DOI: 10.3390/socsci8080221

Gabrielle G. Gonzales
Department of Sociology
University of California Santa Barbara

socsci-logo

This article explores the importance of the physical body in the development of gendered racial and ethnic identities through in-depth semi-structured interviews with 11 multiracial/multiethnic women. From a critical mixed race and critical feminist perspective, I argue that the development of an embodied and gendered multiracial and multiethnic identity is a path to questioning and resisting the dominant monoracial order in the United States. Interviews reveal that respondents develop these embodied identities both through understandings of themselves as gendered and raced subjects and through relationships with monoracial individuals. The process by which these women understand their physical bodies as multiracial subjects illustrates a critical embodied component of the social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States.

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Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology on 2019-08-12 01:25Z by Steven

Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity

University of Nebraska Press
January 2020
444 pages
8 photos, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0663-3

Edited by:

Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Curator of History
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters presents a wide-ranging array of essays that examine peoples of mixed racial identity. Moving beyond the static “either/or” categories of racial identification found within typical insular conversations about mixed-race peoples, Shape Shifters explores these mixed-race identities as fluid, ambiguous, contingent, multiple, and malleable. This volume expands our understandings of how individuals and ethnic groups identify themselves within their own sociohistorical contexts.

The essays in Shape Shifters explore different historical eras and reach across of the globe, from the Roman and Chinese borderlands of classical antiquity to Medieval Eurasian shape-shifters, the Native peoples of the missions of Spanish California, and racial shape-shifting among African Americans in the post–civil rights era. At different times in their lives or over generations in their families, racial shape-shifters have moved from one social context to another. And as new social contexts were imposed on them, identities have even changed from one group to another. This is not racial, ethnic, or religious imposture. It is simply the way that people’s lives unfold in fluid sociohistorical circumstances.

With contributions by Ryan Abrecht, George J. Sanchez, Laura Moore, and Margaret Hunter, among others, Shape Shifters explores the forces of migration, borderlands, trade, warfare, occupation, colonial imposition, and the creation and dissolution of states and empires to highlight the historically contingent basis of identification among mixed-race peoples across time and space.

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“You think you’re Black?” Exploring Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2019-08-06 21:54Z by Steven

“You think you’re Black?” Exploring Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2019-08-05
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1642503

Karis Campion, Research Associate
Department of Sociology
University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Utilizing interview data with thirty-seven British people of Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage, this paper draws upon the concept of “horizontal hostility” to describe how Black mixed-race experiences of Black rejection impact on self-perceptions and expressed ethnic identities. In demonstrating the effects of being excluded from a relatable collective Black identity, the paper argues that horizontal hostility is critical in the project of theorizing mixed-race. Experiences of horizontal hostility represent significant turning points in mixed-race lives as they can prompt reconsiderations of mixed-race positionings within the broader Black imagined space. Beyond the benefits that horizontal hostility offers to mixed-race studies, it provides insights into conceptualisations of Blackness – as a collective racial identity, community and politics. The article unpacks how, when and why its boundaries are policed, adding to debates relating to the future formation and maintenance of ethnic group identities and categories more generally.

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Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Teaching Resources on 2019-08-06 21:35Z by Steven

Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World

Penguin Random House Canada
2020-04-07
224 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781623174491
Ebook ISBN: 9781623174507

Farzana Nayani

The essential guide to parenting multiracial and multiethnic children of all ages—and learning to nourish, support, and celebrate their multiracial identity.

While the fastest growing demographic in the US is comprised of people who identify as two or more races, parents of muliethnic kids still lack practical, concrete resources written just for them. In a world where people are more likely to proclaim colorblindness than talk openly about race, how can we truly value, support, and celebrate our kids’ identity? How can we assess our own sense of racial readiness, and develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing multiracial children today?

Raising Multiracial Children gives parents the tools for exploring race with their children, offering practical guidance on how to initiate conversations; consciously foster multicultural identity development; discuss issues like microaggressions, intersectionality, and privilege; and intentionally cultivate a sense of belonging. It provides an overview of key issues and current topics relevant to raising multiracial children and offers strategies that can be implemented in the classroom and at home, with developmentally appropriate milestones from infancy through adulthood. The book ends with resources and references for further learning and exploration.

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The Biracial Identity: Being Grey in a Black & White America

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-07-30 18:56Z by Steven

The Biracial Identity: Being Grey in a Black & White America

Her Campus at UCD
2018-03-05

Adrien York, UCD Contributor
University of California, Davis


Image courtesy of the author

With Black History Month — the shortest month of the year — being over, I find myself reflecting even more than usual on my racial identity. I have a white mom and a black dad; I’m black and white, or white and black, or mixed, or whatever the heck I’m supposed to call it.

I wish I could call it grey and have people know what I mean, because being mixed paradoxically feels like being both and neither at the same time. It always feels like I’m not “black enough” or not “white enough” to be accepted by either. For a long time this was a weight on my existence, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that being black and being white are not mutually exclusive.

And I love living in the middle…

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Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-28 23:14Z by Steven

Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii

The New York Times
2019-06-28

Moises Velasquez-Manoff, Contributing Opinion Writer
Photographs by Damon Winter

We asked people on Oahu to give their ethnicity. Many had long answers.
We asked people on Oahu to give their ethnicity. Many had long answers.
Photographs by Damon Winter/The New York Times; Illustration by Katie Scott

The “aloha spirit” may hold a deep lesson for all of us.

HONOLULUKristin Pauker still remembers her uncle’s warning about Dartmouth. “It’s a white institution,” he said. “You’re going to feel out of place.”

Dr. Pauker, who is now a psychology professor, is of mixed ancestry, her mother of Japanese descent and her father white from an Italian-Irish background. Applying to colleges, she was keen to leave Hawaii for the East Coast, eager to see something new and different. But almost immediately after she arrived on campus in 1998, she understood what her uncle had meant.

She encountered a barrage of questions from fellow students. What was her ethnicity? Where was she from? Was she Native Hawaiian? The questions seemed innocent on the surface, but she sensed that the students were really asking what box to put her in. And that categorization would determine how they treated her. “It opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone sees race the same way,” she told me…

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Biracial Identity Development in Danzy Senna’s Caucasia

Posted in Books, Chapter, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2019-07-25 00:40Z by Steven

Biracial Identity Development in Danzy Senna’s Caucasia

A chapter in Body Horror and Shapeshifting: A Multidisciplinary Exploration
Brill
2014-01-04
pages: 145–152
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84888-306-2
DOI: 10.1163/9781848883062_016

Jin-Yu Lin

Biracial individuals frequently go through a search for identity, a struggle to choose an identity and finally to accept their inherent multiplicity. They identify with more than one racial group, and their sense of self remains constant across racial contexts. In childhood, they often find their appearance different from other children. As they age, biracial individuals grow more aware of their racial heritage, and run the risk of falling into the borderlines of identities. Drawing upon models from Kerwin and Ponterotto and Poston, as well as Root’s theory of the development of identity in biracial individuals, this chapter attempts to demonstrate how the protagonist in Caucasia develops her identity when facing racial differences. This chapter explicates the protagonist’s self-consciousness about her invisibility when experiencing an identity crisis while passing for Jewish. Her search for identity, her realisation, and eventually the embracing of her both- and identity is included. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of how the significance, diversity, and complexity of the experiences of biracial individuals may challenge the social construct of race. Based on a more flexible post-ethnic perspective, race is viewed as being more performative than biological.

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Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-24 22:56Z by Steven

Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-à-vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810747
pages 2072-2086

Keshia L. Harris
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Biracial Americans constitute a larger portion of the U.S. population than is often acknowledged. According to the U.S. Census, 8.4 million people or 2.6% of the population identified with two or more racial origins in 2016. Arguably, these numbers are misleading considering extensive occurrences of interracial pairings between Whites and minority racial groups throughout U.S. history. Many theorists posit that the hypodescent principle of colorism, colloquially known as “the one drop rule,” has influenced American racial socialization in such a way that numerous individuals primarily identify with one racial group despite having parents from two different racial backgrounds. While much of social science literature examines the racial identification processes of biracial Americans who identify with their minority heritage, this article focuses on contextual factors such as family income, neighborhood, religion, and gender that influence the decision for otherwise African/Asian/Latino/Native Americans to identify as White.

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Mixed Doesn’t Always Mean Part White: Uplifting Non-White Mixed Race Identities

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-07-23 00:24Z by Steven

Mixed Doesn’t Always Mean Part White: Uplifting Non-White Mixed Race Identities

The Body Is Not An Apology
2019-07-08

Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda
University of California, Berkeley

Growing up queer, mixed race, and Asian in the American South, my identity often felt like an absence of any identity at all. For a long time I existed in a kind of limbo state, not having a language to describe myself. Until my early twenties, I was unaware the word “mixed race” existed, much less as a term I had the option to identify with.

Because I neither knew nor saw any other mixed race children or people around me, for a long time my sense of self was only defined as a negation: I was certainly not white, and certainly not Japanese (at least by the standards of ethnic purity operative within my Japanese family and community). But as to what I was, actually, no one could really say.

So it was more than a breath of fresh air — more like a sense of psychic and spiritual relief — when I learned that such a thing as a mixed race identity existed, and that it was something I could identify as, with no other qualifications or explanations. When I finally encountered a community of other mixed race people during my twenties, I felt I was able to inhabit my body and experiences more fully and comfortably…

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