When Race Matters: Racially Stigmatized Others and Perceiving Race as a Biological Construction Affect Biracial People’s Daily Well-Being

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2009-07-31 21:51Z by Steven

When Race Matters: Racially Stigmatized Others and Perceiving Race as a Biological Construction Affect Biracial People’s Daily Well-Being

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume 35, Number 9 (September 2009)
pages 1154-1164
DOI: 10.1177/0146167209337628

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Psychology
Rutgers University

Julie A. Garcia, Associate Professor of Psychology
California Polytechnic State University

Stigmatized group members experience greater well-being in the presence of similar others, which may be driven by the perception that similar others value their shared stigmatized identities (i.e., high public regard). Using experience sampling methodology, this hypothesis is tested with biracial people (29 Asian/White, 23 Black/ White, and 26 Latino/White biracial participants). This study proposes that the greater percentage of stigmatized similar others in one’s daily context would predict greater daily well-being for biracial people through higher public regard, but only if biracial people believe that race has biological meaning. These findings add to a growing, but limited, literature on biracial individuals.  These findings are situated within the broader literature on stigma and similar others, as well as new theories regarding the consequences of believing race has biological meaning.

Read or purchae the article here.  Read the pre-published draft here.

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Mixed-Race Looks

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2009-07-31 01:56Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Looks

Contemporary Asthetics
Special Volume 2, 2009

Ronald Sundstrom, Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of San Francisco

The multiracial population is growing larger and so is popular awareness about multiracial or mixed-race identity. Simmering beneath the growing public recognition of multiracial identity are questions about the legitimacy of mixed race, multiracial, or biracial as social categories, and further questions about the ethics and politics of those identities. Behind some of these questions are worries about how multiracial identity interacts with racialized aesthetic standards. This essay addresses these issues by investigating whether those affirmations are racist and betray monoracial groups. This essay concludes that such affirmations are not necessarily racist or traitorous. Instead, they are consistent with modern expressions of individuality, and arise from self-assertions of personal authenticity and autonomy. All the same, these affirmations and assertions do risk participating in, and contributing to, racist aesthetic standards. The arguments presented in this essay are part of a broader project on mixed race and the ethics of identity.

Read the entire article here.

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“Our Duty to Conserve”: W. E. B. Du Bois’s Philosophy of History in Context

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, United States on 2009-07-21 04:03Z by Steven

“Our Duty to Conserve”: W. E. B. Du Bois’s Philosophy of History in Context

South Atlantic Quarterly
Volume 108, Number 3 (2009)
pages 519-540
DOI: 10.1215/00382876-2009-006

Robert Bernasconi, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy
Pennsylvania State University

When restored to its historical context, W. E. B. Du Bois‘s “The Conservation of Races” emerges less as a contribution to the debate about the legitimacy of the concept of race, which is how it tends to be read today, and more as an intervention in the debate about the impact of so-called miscegenation on the African American population. Du Bois’s contribution is situated in relation to the positions held by Frederick Douglass, Edward Blyden, and Alexander Crummell. Particular attention is paid to the way Du Bois and Kelly Miller used the inaugural meeting of the American Negro Academy to respond to Frederick Hoffman’s racist study, Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro, which in the context of social Darwinism had a dramatic impact on how mixed-race people were seen. Du Bois argued that African Americans should not divide on the basis of degrees of racial purity but unite around their common ideals and a hope for the future in the midst of continuing oppression.

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A New Take On A Old Idea: Do We Need Multiracial Studies?

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-07-07 22:08Z by Steven

A New Take On A Old Idea: Do We Need Multiracial Studies?

Du Bois Review: Social Science Review on Race
Volume 3, Issue 2 (September 2006)
pages 437-447
DOI: 10.1017/S1742058X06060280

Victor Thompson, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersery

Publications about multiracial identity and the multiracial population increased significantly prior to the 2000 U.S. Census. Most of these publications emerged after 1997—a significant year in the recent history of studies on the multiracial population, as this was the year the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) established new guidelines for collecting data on race, allowing people to choose more than one race (Office of Management and Budget 1997). It quickly became evident that this change in how the federal government tallies race was a significant event that merited the attention of academics. This surge in research on multiracial identity and the multiracial movement reflected, on the one hand, a push by multiracial advocates for more attention to the complexities of “being multiracial” and, on the other hand, a group of scholars interested in understanding the unfolding of these events…

Mark One or More: Civil Rights in Multiracial America, by Kim Williams (2006), treats issues characteristic of scholars interested in the set of events leading up to and following the adoption of the “mark one or more” (MOOM) option for the 2000 Census.  Challenging Multiracial Identity, by Rainier Spencer (2006), represents a growing interest in critically understanding and evaluating the motivations of “multiracial” politics.  And The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking (2004), edited by Heather Dalmage (2004), is a collection of essays by authors who contribute to what might be seen as the emerging field of multiracial studies.  I shall discuss these authors’ attempts to reflect on, and potentially give birth to, a sub-discipline of multiracial studies, after first offering a synopsis of each work…

Read the entire review of all three books here.

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‘Canadian’ and ‘Being Indian’: Subject Positions and Discourses Used in South Asian-Canadian Women’s Talk about Ethnic Identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Women on 2009-07-06 22:33Z by Steven

‘Canadian’ and ‘Being Indian’: Subject Positions and Discourses Used in South Asian-Canadian Women’s Talk about Ethnic Identity

Culture & Psychology
Volume 15, Number 2 (2009)
pages 255-283
DOI: 10.1177/1354067X09102893

Rebecca L. Malhi
University of Calgary, Canada, rmalhi@ucalgary.ca

Susan D. Boon
University of Calgary, Canada, sdboon@ucalgary.ca

Timothy B. Rogers
University of Calgary, Canada

Ethnic identity descriptions can be viewed as ‘subject positions’ (Davies and HarrĂ©, 1990) that are dynamically adopted and discarded for pragmatic purposes through the medium of socialinteraction.  Inthe present paper, we use positioning theory to explore the multiple ways our participants—South Asian-Canadian women—positioned themselves and others in conversations about their ethnic identity.  A discourse analysis of participants’ talk revealed a tendency to privilege a ‘hybrid’ Canadian/South Asian identity over a unicultural one.  Moreover, in the rare instances when participants positioned themselves with a unicultural identity, subtle social pressure from conversational partners seemed to induce them to reposition themselves (or others) with a hybrid identity. We conclude by giving possible reasons for such a preference and by discussing the ways in which the current study corroborates and expands on the extant literature.

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The Face and the Public: Race, Secrecy, and Digital Art Practice

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-07-06 20:28Z by Steven

The Face and the Public: Race, Secrecy, and Digital Art Practice

Camera Obscura
Volume 24, Number 1, 70 (2009)
pages 37-65
DOI: 10.1215/02705346-2008-014

Jennifer González, Associate Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture Contemporary Art, Race and Representation
Harvard University

Contemporary digital artists have been exploring the function of the face and its relation to public space for several decades. This essay offers a close reading of artworks by Keith Piper, Nancy Burson, Keith Obadike, and the collective Mongrel that address the relation between race discourse and the visual representation (or elision) of the face. As the most reproduced visual sign on the Internet, the face continues to operate as a threshold to public space. Facebook, the largest social networking site with more than 80 million registered members, has uploaded more than 4 billion images in the past four years alone. The writings of media theorist Mark Hansen offer a provocative starting point to explore how a desire for racial neutrality can lead to the unintentional repression of important forms of cultural difference. Two models of ethics, grounded in the writings of Giorgio Agamben and Emannuel LĂ©vinas, respectively, are posed as alternatives in the quest for understanding the importance of “the face.” Finally, the essay asks what role secrecy might play in the production and subversion of the public sphere, as well as in the fantasy constructions of race and racial difference.

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`Caucasian and Thai make a good mix’

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2009-07-06 20:08Z by Steven

`Caucasian and Thai make a good mix’

European Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume 12, Number 1 (February 2009)
pages 59-78
DOI: 10.1177/1367549408098705

Jin Haritaworn, Assistant Professor in Gender, Race and Environment at the Faculty of Environmental Studies
York University, Canada

This article examines the current celebration of Eur/Asianness in the media and popular culture. It traces representations of the `mixed race’ body, from colonial discourses of degeneracy and monstrosity to capitalist discourses of commercialized exoticism and `beauty’.  It then examines how people of Thai and non-Thai parentage interviewed in Britain and Germany in 2001 and 2002 negotiated gendered and racialized readings of their bodies. Narratives of multi-racialized embodiment brim with racism, as the `valuable’ or `pathological’, `good’ or `bad mixes’, of unlike body parts grafted onto each other. This necessitates a critical re-evaluation of `hybridity’ debates, which treat biological racism as a past phenomenon that can be metaphorized for cultural processes of identification.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Black–White Biracial Students in American Schools: A Review of the Literature

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2009-07-06 19:33Z by Steven

Black–White Biracial Students in American Schools: A Review of the Literature

Review of Educational Research
Volume 79, Number 2 (June 2009)
pages 776-804
DOI: 10.3102/0034654309331561

Rhina Fernandes Williams, Assistant Professor of Education
Georgia State University

With increasing numbers of students who identify as Black and White multi-racial and with the persistence of the Black–White test score gap, the necessity for research regarding these students’ educational experiences cannot be understated.  To date, research in this area has been scarce.  The purpose of this review is to synthesize the available literature related to the experiences of multiracial—Black–White biracial in particular—students in American schools and to identify areas in need of further research. This review offers a synthesis of the historical, social, and political context of biracial people, as well as a synthesis of issues relevant to biracial students, namely, psychological adjustment, home and parental influence, and school factors.  Recommendations and implications for further research related to multiracial students and their schooling are offered.

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White but Not Quite: Tones and Overtones of Whiteness in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2009-07-02 21:21Z by Steven

White but Not Quite: Tones and Overtones of Whiteness in Brazil

Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism
Volume 13, Number 2 (July 2009)
pages 39-56
DOI: 10.1215/02705346-2009-005

Patricia de Santana Pinho
State Univiersity of New York, Albany

This article analyzes anecdotes, jokes, standards of beauty, color categories, and media representations of “mixed-race” individuals to assess the junctions and disjunctions of whiteness and blackness in Brazil.  While the multiple and contradictory meanings of “racial” mixture stimulates a preference for whiteness, thus reducing the access to power by those deemed black, it simultaneously fuels a rejection for “pure” forms of whiteness as witnessed in the country’s celebration of morenidade (brownness).  Not all forms of miscegenation are valued in Brazil’s myth of racial democracy, and some “types of mixture” are clearly preferred in detriment of others. I argue that anti-black racism in Brazil is expressed not only against dark-skinned individuals, but it also operates in the devaluing of physical traits “deemed black” even in those who have lighter skin complexion, thus creating “degrees of whiteness.”  One’s “measure of whiteness,” therefore, is not defined only by skin color, but requires a much wider economy of signs where, together with other bodily features, hair texture is almost as important as epidermal tone. In any given context, the definition of whiteness is also, necessarily, shaped by the contours of gender and class affiliation.

Read or purchase the article here.

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