DNA tests are all fine and dandy, but they can never tell us who we really are

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Oceania on 2018-04-04 23:11Z by Steven

DNA tests are all fine and dandy, but they can never tell us who we really are

Stuff (The Dominion Post)
Wellington, New Zealand
2018-04-03

Geoff Chambers, Senior Research & Teaching Fellow (Retired)
Victoria Unversity of Wellington, New Zealand

Paul Callister, Retired Economist
Wellington, Victora, New Zealand


‘So just who are we? Ancestry and culture became blended in the concept of ‘ethnicity’ popular from around the 1980s. 123rf.com

OPINION: Who am I and where do I come from? Many New Zealanders ask themselves these important questions. This is the basis of our identity as individuals and as members of groups. The article Seeking the truth in DNA (March 24) tells us just how popular it has become to seek answers through genetic testing companies like Ancestry.com. For a few dollars and a small saliva sample all will be revealed.

But will it? What these tests do show is who our deep-time ancestors were and where they came from. Their results may be surprising to some. It is possible to be born in Dublin to two rock solid Irish parents and yet be told that you are Scandinavian. This dilemma can only be resolved by learning about historical population movements and invasions.

In New Zealand our focus is often on the Māori v European identity. The article above told the story of Oriini​ Kaipara, whose DNA test showed that she was 100 per cent Māori rather than just 80 per cent as she had expected. This sparked a ‘blood quantum‘ debate. This became entwined with a wider discussion led by Simon Bridges about what constitutes our sense of identity. It is time now to unpack the history of these ideas for all round better understanding…

Read the entire article here.

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Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawaii

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-16 02:47Z by Steven

Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawaii

University of Hawai’i Press
March 2018
288 pages
1 b&w illustration
Cloth ISBN: 9780824869885

Edited by:

Camilla Fojas, Associate Professor in the Departments of Media Studies and American Studies
University of Virginia

Rudy P. Guevarra, Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Nitasha Tamar Sharma, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and African American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Written by scholars of various disciplines, the essays in this volume dig beneath the veneer of Hawai‘i’s myth as a melting pot paradise to uncover historical and complicated cross-racial dynamics. Race is not the primary paradigm through which Hawai‘i is understood. Instead, ethnic difference is celebrated as a sign of multicultural globalism that designates Hawai‘i as the crossroads of the Pacific. Racial inequality is disruptive to the tourist image of the islands. It ruptures the image of tolerance, diversity, and happiness upon which tourism, business, and so many other vested transnational interests in the islands are based. The contributors of this interdisciplinary volume reconsider Hawai‘i as a model of ethnic and multiracial harmony through the lens of race in their analysis of historical events, group relations and individual experiences, and humor, for instance. Beyond Ethnicity examines the dynamics between race, ethnicity, and indigeneity to challenge the primacy of ethnicity and cultural practices for examining difference in the islands while recognizing the significant role of settler colonialism in the islands. This original and thought-provoking volume reveals what a racial analysis illuminates about the current political configuration of the islands and in so doing, challenges how we conceptualize race on the continent.

Recognizing the ways that Native Hawaiians or Kānaka Maoli are impacted by shifting, violent, and hierarchical colonial structures that include racial inequalities, the editors and contributors explore questions of personhood and citizenship through language, land, labor, and embodiment. By admitting to these tensions and ambivalences, the editors set the pace and tempo of powerfully argued essays that engage with the various ways that Kānaka Maoli and the influx of differentially racialized settlers continue to shift the social, political, and cultural terrains of the Hawaiian Islands over time.

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Philippines’ generation of sex tourism children

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Oceania, Women on 2018-03-13 17:21Z by Steven

Philippines’ generation of sex tourism children

Al Jazeera
2015-03-12

Dave Tacon


Monday evening at ‘Dolls HouseGo-Go bar, one of the largest establishments on Fields Avenue. The Fields Avenue red light strip originally emerged to service the Clark US Air Force Base, which closed in 1991. Angeles City is now a centre for international sex tourism.

As sex tourists depart Balibago, they leave behind a growing number of children conceived in illicit exchanges.

Angeles City, Philippines – Weekends are busy on Fields Avenue in Balibago. Young women greet meandering men and invite them into the bars that line the street. Known as the “supermarket of sex”, Angeles City’s red light district has fast become a top destination for sex tourism.

Male travellers from Asia, Australia, the US, Europe and the Middle East constitute the bulk of the arrivals at Clark Airport, a former US military airbase. From there, many flock to the bars and clubs of Fields Avenue – and to the impoverished young women who work there.

Acquiring their company for the night is straightforward. For a small fee, the men obtain what is known as an “early work release” that permits them to take the woman of their choice back to their hotel.

It is a trade that thrives in the Philippines, where there are an estimated half-a-million sex workers, almost a fifth of whom are minors. Although illegal in the predominantly Catholic country, an estimated $400m is spent on prostitution there each year.

But when the sex tourists depart, they sometimes leave more behind than they’d arrived with. A large number of children have been conceived in such exchanges and while some foreign nationals provide support for and, in some instances, even marry the mother of their child, many more children never even meet their biological father and are left to live in poverty…

Read the entire article here.

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A Long Way from Home, A novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Oceania, Passing on 2018-03-05 01:46Z by Steven

A Long Way from Home, A novel

Knopf
2018-02-27
336 pages
6-1/4 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525520177
eBook ISBN: 9780525520184

Peter Carey

The two-time Booker Prize-winning author now gives us a wildly exuberant, wily new novel that circumnavigates 1954 Australia, revealing as much about the country/continent as it does about three audacious individuals who take part in the infamous 10,000-mile race, the Redex Trial.

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in southeastern Australia. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive. With them is their lanky, fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher who calls the turns and creeks crossings on a map that will remove them, without warning, from the white Australia they all know so well. This is a thrilling high-speed story that starts in one way, and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.

Set in the 1950s, this is a world every American will recognize: black, white, who we are, how we got here, and what we did to each other along the way.

A Long Way from Home is Peter Carey’s late-style masterpiece.

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A Long Way from Home review – Peter Carey’s best novel in decades

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2018-01-25 04:32Z by Steven

A Long Way from Home review – Peter Carey’s best novel in decades

The Guardian
2018-01-15

Alex Preston

The acclaimed writer’s 14th novel is a nuanced story of racial identity set in postwar Australia

Writers are by nature chameleons, with each new character a new disguise to take on, a fresh skin to inhabit. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that racial passing has such a rich literary history. Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing, is a near-forgotten classic, telling of two mixed-race women, Clare and Irene, who identify as white and black respectively. More recently, we’ve had Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, in which the African American Coleman Silk attempts to pass for a Jewish academic. Then there’s Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill, whose concluding revelation about one of the characters’ racial identities does what all good end-of-book twists ought to, shedding new light on the entire novel.

A Long Way from Home, Peter Carey’s 14th novel, uses the story of a light-skinned Indigenous Australian who has been brought up white to address the country’s brutal history of racism. It seems strange at first that Carey – surely Australia’s greatest living novelist, even if he hasn’t dwelled there for decades – has taken so long to get around to the subject. In a recent interview in the Australian, he said that he’d always felt that it was not the place of a white writer to tell this tale. Then something changed: “You can’t be a white Australian writer and spend your whole life ignoring the greatest, most important aspect of our history, and that is that we – I – have been the beneficiaries of a genocide.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Hawaiian by Birth: Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and U.S. Colonialism in the Pacific

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, Religion, United States on 2017-11-09 03:20Z by Steven

Hawaiian by Birth: Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and U.S. Colonialism in the Pacific

University of Nebraska Press
September 2017
240 pages
21 photographs, 7 illustrations, 1 map, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-8589-7

Joy Schulz, Instructor of History
Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska

Twelve companies of American missionaries were sent to the Hawaiian Islands between 1819 and 1848 with the goal of spreading American Christianity and New England values. By the 1850s American missionary families in the islands had birthed more than 250 white children, considered Hawaiian subjects by the indigenous monarchy and U.S. citizens by missionary parents. In Hawaiian by Birth Joy Schulz explores the tensions among the competing parental, cultural, and educational interests affecting these children and, in turn, the impact the children had on nineteenth-century U.S. foreign policy.

These children of white missionaries would eventually alienate themselves from the Hawaiian monarchy and indigenous population by securing disproportionate economic and political power. Their childhoods—complicated by both Hawaiian and American influences—led to significant political and international ramifications once the children reached adulthood. Almost none chose to follow their parents into the missionary profession, and many rejected the Christian faith. Almost all supported the annexation of Hawai‘i despite their parents’ hope that the islands would remain independent.

Whether the missionary children moved to the U.S. mainland, stayed in the islands, or traveled the world, they took with them a sense of racial privilege and cultural superiority. Schulz adds children’s voices to the historical record with this first comprehensive study of the white children born in the Hawaiian Islands between 1820 and 1850 and their path toward political revolution.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Imperial Children and Empire Formation in the Nineteenth Century
  • 1. Birthing Empire: Economies of Childrearing and the Establishment of American Colonialism in Hawai‘i
  • 2. Playing with Fire: White Childhood and Environmental Legacies in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i
  • 3. Schooling Power: Teaching Anglo–Civic Duty in the Hawaiian Islands, 1841–53
  • 4. Cannibals in America: U.S. Acculturation and the Construction of National Identity in Nineteenth-Century White Immigrants from the Hawaiian Islands
  • 5. Crossing the Pali: White Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and the Racial Divide in Hawai‘i, 1820–98
  • Conclusion: White Hawaiians before the World
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Coming to Terms with Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-11-04 19:58Z by Steven

Coming to Terms with Mixed Race

The Quadrant
July 2017

Robert Murray

One of the difficulties of Stan Grant’s recent book is trying to pin down how pre-TV life differed from that of any working-class boy from the bush who makes it in the big smoke. But then there are quite a few things Grant neglects to explore in his genial but ultimately frustrating personal history

From either a primary school teacher or from my Mum, I heard at an early age that part-European indigenous people—then known inelegantly as “half-castes”—were caught between two worlds, and that could make life difficult for them. Their dilemma has been around for a long time but has never really been part of the public discussion, or even much awareness. “The Aboriginal problem” seems to remain firmly with the remote tribal people, where it has always been.

This is part of the value of Stan Grant’s memoir, reviewed by Jeremy Sammut in the June 2016 edition of Quadrant, his story of being one of the Westernised “light-skinned” part-Europeans who today make up the majority of those who identify as Aborigines. Sammut’s review concentrated on the part of the book dealing with recent indigenous public policy. This piece adds the more personal mixed-race aspect.

“The old definitions of Aboriginality strain to serve the constellation of groups and individuals that lay claim to that identity,” Stan Grant writes. In some ways, it doesn’t seem to have made things all that difficult for Grant, manual worker’s son from the Riverina who became a successful television journalist and is now an indigenous celebrity. But he says it was an extra load to carry, perhaps in small rather than big ways.

His autobiography, Talking to My Country, is important as a brightly written, lucid account of mixed-race life—if we can use that useful but unloved term. As the title suggests, it aspires to be talking to this country about Aboriginality, but is a word-play also on his home country in the Riverina district of New South Wales where his boyhood had little in common with the “full descent” communities of the remote outback that get all the publicity.

“Aboriginal” or “indigenous” still implies to most Australians the Northern Territory, Cape York or the Kimberley, the dark-skinned people only lately and lightly integrated to modern ways and often troubled by them. The figures put it otherwise. Most who identify as Aborigines these days live in the south, much as other Australians do, but their circumstances or predicaments, when there are predicaments, get little media, political, academic and thus public attention. It has ever been thus. Colonial governments believed they had an obligation to shield “full-bloods” from the conspicuously damaging effects of newly established white society, but they expected mixed-race people to just become like everybody else. To a large extent they did, but not without problems, often emotional as much as anything.

The total Australian population now identifying officially as of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent is close to 700,000. About 175,000 live in New South Wales, almost all of them thought to be of mixed descent and more or less Westernised, like the majority nationally. Corroboree-type ceremony in New South Wales is believed to have died out around 1900…

Read the entire article here.

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Racism is real, race is not: a philosopher’s perspective

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Oceania, Philosophy, Social Science on 2017-09-07 02:31Z by Steven

Racism is real, race is not: a philosopher’s perspective

The Conversation
2017-08-31

Adam Hochman, Lecturer in Philosophy
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


from www.shutterstock.com

There are no races – biological or social – only racialised groups.

We live in a richly diverse country, populated by Indigenous Australians, recent immigrants, and descendants of relatively recent immigrants. Some feel threatened by this diversity; some relish it.

Most of us, I think, are unsure quite how to talk about it.

We have many words to describe diversity. We ask people about their ancestry, their ethnicity, and – most awkwardly – their “background”. We seem least comfortable asking people about their “race”, and with good reason.

Racial classification has been used to justify some of the most heinous crimes of modernity, including those committed on our own shores. Asking people about their “race” can make you sound a bit, well, racist…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2017-07-21 18:58Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Routledge
2017-06-15
250 pages
1 B/W Illus.
Hardback ISBN: 9781138282674
eBook ISBN: 9781315270579

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and the Asian Journal of Social Science

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Mixed racial and ethnic identities are topics of increasing interest around the world, yet studies of mixed race in Asia are rare, despite its particular salience for Asian societies.

Mixed Race in Asia seeks to reorient the field to focus on Asia, looking specifically at mixed race in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Through these varied case studies, this collection presents an insightful exploration of race, ethnicity, mixedness and belonging, both in the past and present. The thematic range of the chapters is broad, covering the complexity of lived mixed race experiences, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixedness.

Adding significant richness and depth to existing theoretical frameworks, this enlightening volume develops markedly different understandings of, and recognizes nuances around, what it means to be mixed, practically, theoretically, linguistically and historically. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral and other researchers interested in fields such as Race and Ethnicity, Sociology and Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Mixed Race in Asia / Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fozdar
  • Section One: China and Vietnam
    • Chapter One: “A Class by Themselves”: Battles over Eurasian Schooling in Late-19th-Century Shanghai / Emma J. Teng
    • Chapter Two: Mixing Blood and Race: Representing Hunxue in Contemporary China / Cathryn Clayton
    • Chapter Three: Métis of Vietnam: An Historical Perspective on Mixed-Race Children from the French Colonial Period / Christina Firpo
  • Section Two: South Korea and Japan
    • Chapter Four: Developing bilingualism in a largely monolingual society: Southeast Asian marriage migrants and multicultural families in South Korea / Mi Yung Park
    • Chapter Five: Haafu Identity in Japan: half, mixed or double? / Alexandra Shaitan and Lisa J. McEntee-Atalianis
    • Chapter Six: Claiming Japaneseness: recognition, privilege and status in Japanese-Filipino ‘mixed’ ethnic identity constructions / Fiona-Katharina Seiger
  • Section Three: Malaysia and Singapore
    • Chapter Seven: Being “Mixed” in Malaysia: Perspectives on Ethnic Diversity / Caryn Lim
    • Chapter Eight: Chinese, Indians and the Grey Space in between: Acceptance of Malaysian Chindians in a plural society / Rona Chandran
    • Chapter Nine: ‘Our Chinese’: The Mixedness of Peranakan Chinese Identities in Kelantan, Malaysia / Pue Giok Hun
    • Chapter Ten: Eurasian as Multiracial: mixed race, gendered categories and identity in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha
  • Section Four: India and Indonesia
    • Chapter Eleven: Is the Anglo-Indian ‘Identity Crisis’ a Myth? / Robyn Andrews
    • Chapter Twelve: When Hybridity Encounters Hindu Purity Fetish: Anglo-Indian Lived Experiences in an Indian Railway Town / Anjali Gera Roy
    • Chapter Thirteen: Sometimes white, sometimes Asian: Boundary-making among transnational mixed descent youth at an international school in Indonesia / Danau Tanu
    • Chapter Fourteen: Class, Race and Being Indo (Eurasian) in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia / Ros Hewett
  • Afterword / Paul Spickard
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‘I’m not half of anything’

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-07-05 18:28Z by Steven

‘I’m not half of anything’

It’s Not A Race
Radio National
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
2017-06-29

Beverley Wang, Presenter


So how about this idea that biracial and multiracial children are the key to a post-racial future utopia?

And how does it measure up to the lived experience of biracial Australians?

It’s Not A Race explores what it’s really like to grow up as a biracial Australian with Faustina Agolley, Lucie Cutting, Nkechi Anele, and the Hameed sisters, Leona and Monique.

Listen to the podcast (00:24:57) here.

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