Social Representations of Art in Public Places: A Study of Everyday Explanations of the Statue of ‘A Real Birmingham Family’

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Family/Parenting, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2021-06-29 22:20Z by Steven

Social Representations of Art in Public Places: A Study of Everyday Explanations of the Statue of ‘A Real Birmingham Family’

Genealogy
Volume 5, Issue 3
pages 59-74
First Published 2021-06-22
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy5030059

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader
Centre for Health Services Studies
University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom


Figure 1. ‘A Real Birmingham Family’, 2014. Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/
commons/2/27/Real_Birmingham_Family_statue_-_Library_of_Birmingham_(15119604114).jpg, accessed on 1 May 2021.

This article focuses on the social/cultural representations of the statue of A Real Birmingham Family cast in bronze and unveiled in Britain’s second city in October 2014. It reveals a family comprising two local mixed-race sisters, both single mothers, and their sons, unanimously chosen from 372 families. Three of the four families shortlisted for the statue were ‘mixed-race’ families. The artwork came about through a partnership between the sculptress, Gillian Wearing, and the city’s Ikon Gallery. A number of different lay representations of the artwork have been identified, notably, that it is a ‘normal family with no fathers’ and that it is not a ‘typical family’. These are at variance with a representation based on an interpretation of the artwork and materials associated with its creation: that a nuclear family is one reality amongst many and that what constitutes a family should not be fixed. This representation destabilizes our notion of the family and redefines it as empirical, experiential, and first-hand, families being brought into recognition by those in the wider society who choose to nominate themselves as such. The work of Ian Hacking, Richard Jenkins, and others is drawn upon to contest the concept of ‘normality’. Further, statistical data are presented that show that there is now a plurality of family types with no one type dominating or meriting the title of ‘normal’. Finally, Wearing’s statues of families in Trentino and Copenhagen comprise an evolving body of cross-national public art that provides further context and meaning for this representation.

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Special Issue “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism”

Posted in Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Religion, Social Science, Social Work, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2021-04-14 20:27Z by Steven

Special Issue “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism”

Genealogy
2021-04-14
Abstract Deadline: 2021-05-31
Manuscript Submission Deadline: 2021-11-30

Professor Dr. Dan Rodriguez-Garcia, Guest Editor and Serra Húnter Associate Professor
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Dear colleagues,

This Special Issue of Genealogy invites essays on the topic of “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism.”

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

The field of mixed-race studies has experienced an incredible expansion since the pivotal work of Paul Spickard (1989) and Maria Root (1992, 1995). In the last three decades, we have witnessed numerous publications in this area of study, including edited collections and special issues, which have advanced our knowledge of “mixedness,” an encompassing concept that refers to mixed unions, families, and individuals across national, ethnocultural, racial, religious, and class boundaries as well as to the sociocultural processes involved (Rodríguez-García 2015). As the super-diversification of societies continues, the ever-growing research interest in mixedness can be attributed to scholars’ understanding that such an area of study both reveals existing social boundaries and shows how societies are being transformed. Mixedness can be understood to have a transformative potential in the sense that it disturbs, contests, and may reinvent social norms and established identity categories.

While intermarriage is on the rise and multiracial and multiethnic populations continue to grow worldwide, there are still many areas in which our knowledge of mixedness is limited or nascent. This Special Issue aims to expand our understanding of this complex phenomenon by exploring a variety of under-researched issues in the field, by seeking out research on untrodden topics and implications, and by employing innovative analytical approaches.

This Special Issue is intended to be broad in scope and welcomes innovative contributions across disciplines in the social sciences that may be theoretical or empirically based and that address—but are not limited to—one or more of the following topics:

  • New conceptualizations of mixedness, intermarriage, and multiracialism;
  • Mixedness beyond race: ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, micro-locations;
  • Intersectional analyses of mixedness;
  • New methods and mixed methods applied to the study of mixedness;
  • Mixedness and statistics: the challenge of counting and categorizing intermarriage and mixed people;
  • Comparative (inter-local/international/inter-continental) analyses of mixedness, including outside European and English-speaking settings;
  • Decentering and decolonizing mixedness: multiracial and multiethnic identity formations outside of white-centric constructions;
  • Mixedness in super-diverse contexts;
  • New forms of cosmopolitanism and creolization;
  • Mixedness and the reconceptualization of majority/minority meanings (reshaping the mainstream);
  • Mixedness in highly segmented societies;
  • Mixedness and religion: interfaith couples, families, and individuals;
  • Mixedness, racialization, color blindness, and post-racialism;
  • Mixedness and colorism: intraracial discrimination and horizontal hostility;
  • Multiracial identifications for understanding racial formation;
  • Ethnoracialism: multiracialism and multiethnicity as different or complementary processes;
  • Mixedness, discrimination, and resilience/agency;
  • Mixedness and whiteness (white privilege, white identities);
  • Mixed-race privilege;
  • Mixedness and (in)visibility;
  • Contextual, multiform, translocational, malleable and shifting mixed identities: fixities and fluidities;
  • Kinning in mixed families: raising and socializing multiracial and multiethnic children; inter-generational changes and continuities;
  • Multiracial parents of multiracial children;
  • Queer, LGBTQ+, same-sex, and transgender interracial and interethnic unions/families;
  • Mixed-race masculinities;
  • Mixedness and indigenous groups;
  • Mixedness involving national ethnic minorities;
  • Transracial adoption;
  • Mixedness and the impact of COVID-19 (e.g., transnational reconfigurations, discrimination);
  • Mixedness and cyberspace (i.e., online identity narratives, dating preferences, and relationships across race and ethnicity);
  • Bridging the research-policy divide: working on mixedness with policymakers and third-sector practitioners.

This Special Issue is also interested in contributions that use novel analytical perspectives and methodologies, whether quantitative or qualitative or a combination of both.

For more information, click here.

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That was the Worst Day of My Life: Recrafting Family through Memory, Race, and Rejection in Post-WWII Germany

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive, Women on 2019-03-03 03:03Z by Steven

That was the Worst Day of My Life: Recrafting Family through Memory, Race, and Rejection in Post-WWII Germany

Genealogy
Volume 1, Issue 2 (2017)
25 pages
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy1020011

Tracey Owens Patton, Professor
Department of Communication & Journalism
University of Wyoming

Genealogy 01 00011 g001
Figure 1. Ebony October 1948 (on left); “Brown Babies Adopted by African American Families, Jet Magazine, 8 November 1951 (on right) (Jet Magazine 1951).

This research project is a historical and narrative study of cross-racial, international couplings between Black U.S. servicemen and White German women during WWII and the children who resulted from these relationships. Once pejoratively referred to as “Brown Babies,” or worse, often both the U.S. and German governments collaborated in the destruction of families through forbidding interracial coupling and encouraging White German women to either abort mixed raced babies or give up these children for international adoption in an effort to keep Germany White. Using my own family’s history to show that mixed race children are the dross that needed to be removed from Germany, I employed memory and post-memory as my theoretical framing, coupled with authoethnography, family interviews, and narratives as my methodological tools. Of primary concern is what place Black German children and their mothers were allowed to occupy in the German national imagination and to what extent their individual rights and interests were superseded by the assertion of state interest in managing the German citizenry. Ultimately, it is argued that different tactics of constituting Germanness as homogenously White comes at the expense German women’s rights over their bodies and the exclusion of mixed race Black German children.

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How the Use by Eugenicists of Family Trees and Other Genealogical Technologies Informed and Reflected Discourses on Race and Race Crossing during the Era of Moral Condemnation: Mixed-Race in 1920s and 1930s Britain

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2018-07-06 04:00Z by Steven

How the Use by Eugenicists of Family Trees and Other Genealogical Technologies Informed and Reflected Discourses on Race and Race Crossing during the Era of Moral Condemnation: Mixed-Race in 1920s and 1930s Britain

Genealogy
Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2018)
Special Issue “Genealogy and Multiracial Family Histories
2018-07-05
15 pages
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy2030021

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader
Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury

In the 1920s and 30s, significant empirical studies were undertaken on mixed-race (‘hybrid’) populations in Britain’s seaport communities. The physical anthropologists Rachel Fleming and Kenneth Little drew on the methods of anthropometry, while social scientist Muriel Fletcher’s morally condemnatory tract belongs to the genre of racial hygiene. Whether through professional relationships, the conduct of their work, or means of disseminating their findings, they all aligned themselves with the eugenics movement and all made use of pedigree charts or other genealogical tools for tracing ancestry and investigating the inheritance of traits. These variously depicted family members’ races, sometimes fractionated, biological events, and social circumstances which were not part of genealogy’s traditional family tree lexicon. These design features informed and reflected prevailing conceptualisations of race as genetic and biological difference, skin colour as a visible marker, and cultural characteristics as immutable and hereditable. It is clear, however, that Fleming and Little did not subscribe to contemporary views that population mixing produced adverse biological consequences. Indeed, Fleming actively defended such marriages, and both avoided simplistic, ill-informed judgements about human heredity. Following the devastating consequences of Nazi racial doctrines, anthropologists and biologists largely supported the 1951 UNESCO view that there was no evidence of disadvantageous effects produced by ‘race crossing’.

Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Genealogical Technologies
  • Case Studies of the Eugenic Use of Genealogical Technologies in Studies of Mixed-Race
  • Intersections between Eugenicists’ Use of Genealogical Technologies, Discourses on Race, and the Biological Consequences of ‘Race Crossing’
  • Conclusions
  • Funding
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • References

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