Global Bodies: Narratives of Gendered ‘Mixed-race’

Global Bodies: Narratives of Gendered ‘Mixed-race’

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel
San Francisco, CA

Suki Ali, Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths College, University of London

‘Mixed-race’ bodies are a source of endless fascination in the popular imagination.  They may encompass a range of racialised types but are determined by what they are not.  Falling between the feared predatory ‘black’ body and the safe, unsexed ‘white’ body, the ‘exotic’ global body radiates subtle but powerful sexuality, it is the source of desire and unease, something to be admired and owned. How do those who are ‘mixed-race’ manage this discursive space which is constituted as a site of instability and uncertainty? For these people backgrounds it is a site of ambivalence, the source of strength and inauthenticity, a paradox which provides insights into the problematic nature of visible raciality. In this paper I use narrative and memory work to show how the revisioning of embodied experience operates as a form of recuperation of the indeteminability of the ‘mixed-race’ global body.

Read the entire paper here.