CNST 419 – The Metis People of Canada

Posted in Canada, Course Offerings, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2014-04-29 23:56Z by Steven

CNST 419 – The Metis People of Canada

University of Calgary
Fall 2013

An interdisciplinary study of the Metis people of Canada, with special emphasis on the social, economic, and political factors influencing their emergence and continued survival as a distinct indigenous group in Canada. (formerly Canadian Studies 401.04)

For more information, click here.


Double Take: The Art of Amalgam and stereo*type*

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-29 23:06Z by Steven

Double Take: The Art of Amalgam and stereo*type*

The Incluseum: Museums and Social Inclusion

Aletheia Wittman, co-founder

In this post The Incluseum highlights the new work of some of Seattle’s industrious artist…

Two recent exhibits have disrupted the reliability of the first impression.  The artwork prompts a second, longer, deeper look.

Right now at Gallery4Culture (until Friday) you can visit Dave Kennedy’s Amalgam and experience a body of work that playfully and concisely draws attention to this process of destabilizing first impressions/assumptions. Large format photographs appear to be still lifes of immediately recognizable food items. With a closer gaze, the precise and deliberate sculpting of different types of edible organic matter to create a cohesive whole comes into focus.

The video work in Amalgam offers Kennedy’s take on the nature of his many layered and multiracial identity. A reminder that people, as well as art, can be stereotyped, labeled and generalized about – acts that are challenged by how Kennedy chooses to represent aspects of himself within his work; how he navigates through space, time and memory…

Read the entire article here.

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Stunning Self-Portraits Make You Think Twice About Interracial Identity In South America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2014-04-29 16:48Z by Steven

Stunning Self-Portraits Make You Think Twice About Interracial Identity In South America

The Huffington Post

Katherine Brooks, Arts & Culture Editor

Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão has been exploring themes of interracial identity through an unlikely medium—self-portraits. To confront and challenge concepts like colonialism and miscegenation in her home country, she turns her own visage into a canvas and translates the many skin colors that populate Brazil into a palette of paint. The result, “Polvo,” presents racial diversity through the face of one woman, daring the viewer to lose themselves in her nebulous color wheels.

Varejão sought inspiration from the 17th and 18th century practice of Spanish casta paintings, portraits that aimed to document the variety of skin colors in Latin America and reframe them in ways that sliced and diced mixed-race ethnicities into far more than black and white. “Mixing was the norm,” The Economist asserted in 2012, referencing the interracial mixing that occurred even during Brazil’s days of slavery. “The result is a spectrum of skin colour rather than a dichotomy.”

Defining the spectrum was a Euro-centric obsession, one that resulted in an elaborate system of castes—white Spanish at one end and those of African or indigenous descent at the other—that had social, cultural and economic implications. The lighter skinned individuals existed at the top of the socio-economic pyramid, with better jobs and higher standards of living, while their darker skinned counterparts sank to the bottom.

The legacy of this classification persists in Brazil, a country seen less as a “racial democracy” and more as a purveyor of segregation. And interracial identity remains a potent issue, particularly since black and mixed-race people officially outnumber white citizens, according to a 2010 census. “Brazil is a country where non-whites now make up a majority of the population,” NPR’s Melissa Block reiterated in a 2013 story. “It’s one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world; home to 97 million African descendants—the largest number of blacks outside Africa…

Read the entire article here.

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Communication Accommodation Strategies in Malaysian Multiracial Family Interactions

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-04-29 02:31Z by Steven

Communication Accommodation Strategies in Malaysian Multiracial Family Interactions

Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 118 (2014-03-19)
pages 259–264
DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.02.035

International Conference on Knowledge-Innovation-Excellence: Synergy in Language Research and Practice (2013)
Organized by School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia)

Mahanita Mahadhir
School of Language Studies & Linguistics Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Nor Fariza Mohd Nor
School of Language Studies & Linguistics Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Hazita Azman
School of Language Studies & Linguistics Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

In multiracial families, intergroup salience is an important parameter influencing their daily interpersonal communication dynamics; this is due to the relevance of issues related to heritage loyalty and sense of belonging. As such, there is an obvious need for multiracials to appropriately strategise and manage their communication with both paternal and maternal family members. Using the Communication Accommodation Theory, this preliminary study investigates the range of accommodation strategies employed by a multiracial individual interacting with her monoracial mother. Qualitative in nature, data was obtained from spontaneous interactions that were audio-taped over a period of eight weeks in the home setting. Out of the 12 total hours of transcribed interactions, seven episodes were deemed to contain features of intergroup context. Despite the limited number of interaction samples, findings revealed that the multiracial daughter managed her family relations by employing approximation, interpretability, discourse management and interpersonal control strategies.

Read the entire article here.

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What Does the Education Dept. Know About Race?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-29 00:29Z by Steven

What Does the Education Dept. Know About Race?

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Johnah Newman, Database Reporter

Our post last week on minority enrollment and diversity at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor sparked a lively debate in the comments section about demographic data and diversity.

“I must admit that I am scratching my head,” one reader, Candis Best, wrote in response to the post. “Minority enrollment is down, but the school isn’t less diverse?,” she asked. “Diversity isn’t about statistics. It is about relationships.”

Ms. Best is, of course, correct that diversity is more than percentages and bar charts. “Diversity” includes identities that cross genders, cultures, and other ways people define themselves. A diverse campus involves interactions among students and faculty and staff members, all trading and sharing points of view and gaining understanding as they learn from others’ backgrounds.

Nevertheless, data and statistics are able to provide some insights into the makeup of a population and the degree to which that population consists of people associated with various groups.

Before we explore some different ways of measuring diversity through data and statistics, it’s worthwhile to look first to the demographic data themselves. What do the data show? What can’t they measure? And what are some of the complications and pitfalls of using such data to measure racial and ethnic diversity?

Categorizing Race and Ethnicity

The first factor that complicates any discussion of race and ethnicity is how to categorize a person’s race in the first place. Before the 2000 Census, people were asked to check a box indicating their race. The selections were mutually exclusive. You were either white or black. Hispanic or Asian. By 2000, though, a cultural shift had caused people to think about racial categories not as distinct groups but as elements that can combine to form a person’s identity. People could now check multiple boxes…

…So a drop in the number of black students reported at a university from 2009 to 2010, as we noted at the University of Michigan, doesn’t necessarily mean that there were actually fewer black students. It could also mean that some of the students who would have been counted in the black category before 2010 were instead counted in the two-or-more-races category under the new reporting methods…

Read the entire article here.

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For dark-skinned Mexicans, taint of discrimination lingers

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2014-04-28 05:53Z by Steven

For dark-skinned Mexicans, taint of discrimination lingers

McClatchy DC: Watching Washington and the World

Tim Johnson, McClatchy Foreign Staff

MEXICO CITY — Flip through the print publications exalting the activities of Mexico’s high society and there’s one thing you rarely find: dark-skinned people.

No matter that nearly two-thirds of Mexicans consider themselves moreno, the Spanish word for dark.

Mexico has strong laws barring discrimination based on skin color or ethnicity, but the practices of public relations firms and news media lag behind, promoting the perception that light skin is desirable and dark skin unappealing.

The issue came to the fore this month when a casting call for a television spot for Mexico’s largest airline stated flatly that it wanted “no one dark,” sparking outrage on social media and, ultimately, embarrassed apologies.

“I’d never seen anything that aggressive and that clear, all in capital letters: ‘NO ONE DARK,’” said Tamara de Anda, a magazine editor. “I decided to go with it.”…

…But the distance between legalities and practice is substantial, said Mario Arriagada Cuadriello, a doctoral candidate in comparative politics at the London School of Economics. He is an editor at Nexos, a leading cultural and political magazine.

When Arriagada published an article in this month’s issue about widespread discrimination in Mexico, he received a flurry of responses.

“People wrote to say that if you are light-skinned, you get better treatment in restaurants,” he said. One person told him that in an exclusive area of the capital, residents ask that their dark-skinned domestic servants not walk in the common gardens “because it is anti-aesthetic and makes the areas ugly.”

One of Mexico’s most prominent intellectuals from the early 20th century, Jose Vasconcelos, held up the mestizo, or person of mixed Indian and European blood, as part of a superior “cosmic race” with greater spiritual values…

Read the entire article here.

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Is Race/Ethnicity Related to Presence or Severity of Pain in Colorectal and Lung Cancer?

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, United States on 2014-04-25 07:46Z by Steven

Is Race/Ethnicity Related to Presence or Severity of Pain in Colorectal and Lung Cancer?

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Published online: 2014-04-18
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.02.005

Kathryn A. Martinez, PhD, MPH, Postdoctoral Fellow
CanSORT (Cancer Surveillance & Outcomes Research Team)
Ann Arbor VA Health Services Research & Development Center,
University of Michgan, Ann Arbor

Claire F. Snyder, PhD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins Univesity Shchool of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryand

Jennifer L. Malin, MD, PhD
Wellpoint, Thousand Oaks, Calfornia; Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

Sydney M. Dy, MD, MSc, Physician Leader, Duffey Pain and Palliative Care Program, Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center; Associate Professor
Deparmemt of Health Management and Policy
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Developing interventions to address racial/ethnic cancer pain disparities requires exploration of the role of socioeconomic status, health status, and pain severity from the time of diagnosis.


To examine patterns of disparities in cancer pain by evaluating differences by race/ethnicity in the odds of reporting pain and in pain severity, controlling for key patient-level covariates.


This study used data from a nationally representative cohort of colorectal and lung cancer patients. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to examine the relationship between race/ethnicity and reporting pain. Multivariable linear regression was then conducted, among those who reported pain, to determine differences in pain severity by race/ethnicity.


The cohort included 5,761 individuals (14% black, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 3% multiracial) among whom 48% reported pain. The adjusted odds of reporting differed only for multiracial patients, who were more likely to report pain than whites (OR:1.54; p=0.036). However, among those with pain, severity was higher for black patients (β=6.6; p≤0.001) and multiracial patients (β=4.5; p=0.036) relative to white patients. Lower educational attainment, depressed affect, and lower levels of wealth were also associated with higher pain severity.


While the odds of experiencing pain differed only for multiracial patients, among those reporting pain, both blacks and multiracial individuals reported higher pain severity than whites. Sociodemographic status, health status, and depression were associated with severity but did not explain the disparity. Interventions to address these disparities will need to address reported severity as well as patient-level factors.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Opinion: Supreme Court ruling upholds America’s mixed view

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-25 07:16Z by Steven

Opinion: Supreme Court ruling upholds America’s mixed view

Cable News Network (CNN)

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

(CNN) — I didn’t expect to find the specter of the mixed-race person making an appearance in Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.

But there it was.

In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the plurality, cast doubt upon the court’s capacity to deliberate over race cases — and mixed-raced people were said to be the culprits.

Kennedy wrote that “not all individuals of the same race think alike.” Fair enough. But then he went on to suggest that mixed-race people confound the court’s capacity to “define individuals according to race.”

He continued (PDF), “In a society in which those lines are becoming more blurred, the attempt to define race-based categories also raises serious questions of its own.”

When we blur the lines, as mixed-race people like me are said to do, are we really undermining the court’s capacity to determine questions about the equal protection of the laws?

Kennedy’s view feels familiar: There is nothing new about regarding mixed-race people as a problem in the United States.

We can trace this idea to the earliest lawmaking in British colonial America. The first laws to regulate race were those that prohibited sex and marriage across the color line…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

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General Mills CEO: Doubling down on mixed-race commercial was ‘right thing’ to do

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-24 20:24Z by Steven

General Mills CEO: Doubling down on mixed-race commercial was ‘right thing’ to do

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Nick Halter, Staff Reporter

General Mills Inc. CEO Ken Powell told a crowd of minority business owners Tuesday that his company didn’t give into racist hate mail when it doubled down on a Cheerios commercial that featured a mixed-race family.

“Doing the right thing ended up being the right thing for the brand,” Powell said, noting that 90 percent of the response to the commercial was supportive.

Powell was speaking about the 2013 Cheerios commercial featuring Gracie, the daughter of a black man and white woman. After nasty online comments and emails, General Mills made a second commercial for this year’s Superbowl that got rave reviews…

Read the entire article here.

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In effect, the Brazilian elite argued that Brazil, unlike the U.S. to which they frequently (and unfavorably) compared it, had no racial problem…

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Excerpts/Quotes on 2014-04-24 17:07Z by Steven

This assimilationist ideology, commonly called “whitening” by the elite after 1890 (Skidmore 1974), had taken hold by the early twentieth century, and continues to be Brazil’s predominant racial ideology today. In effect, the Brazilian elite argued that Brazil, unlike the U.S. to which they frequently (and unfavorably) compared it, had no racial problem: no U.S. phenomena of race hatred (the logical product of the white supremacy doctrine), racial segregation and, most important, racial discrimination. In a word, Brazil had escaped racism. It was on the path to producing a single race through the benign process of miscegenation. The unrestrained libido of the Portuguese, along with his cultural “plasticity,” had produced a fortuitous racial harmony. Brazil, thanks to historical forces of which it had not even been conscious, had been saved from the ugly stain of racism (DaMatta 1987).

Thomas Skidmore, “Fact and Myth: Discovering a Racial Problem in Brazil,” Kellogg Institute (Working Paper #173, April 1992): 6.

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