Doing hair, doing race: the influence of hairstyle on racial perception across the US

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2019-12-12 16:12Z by Steven

Doing hair, doing race: the influence of hairstyle on racial perception across the US

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2019-12-11
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1700296

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Whitney Laster Pirtle, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Iris Johnson-Arnold, Associate Professor
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Tennessee State University

Publication Cover

Hair is an easily changeable “racial marker” feature. Although growing interdisciplinary research suggests that hairstyle influences how one is racially perceived, extant methodological practices in racial perception research reduce external validity. This study introduces new experimental and analytical procedures to test the effect of hairstyle on racial perception across racial contexts. Over 1,000 participants from primarily white, black and multiracial test sites racially categorized a diverse group of women from matched pairs of pictures in which the women have different hairstyles. Results from multilevel regression show that altering hairstyle significantly alters how participants perceive mixed-race women, Latinas, most black and some white women and that this varies by racial context with perceptions of race being less swayed by hairstyle in the multiracial context. Our research thus demonstrates that doing hair is a context-dependent part of “doing race” that has theoretical, methodological, and legal implications.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-12-02 01:20Z by Steven

Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future

Emerald Publishing Limited
2019-11-23
193 pages
152 x 229mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781787695542
Ebook ISBN: 9781787695559

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Chinelo L. Njaka, Independent Social Researcher
Peckham Rights! United Kingdom

Jacket Image

Contributing to an emerging literature on mixed-race people in the United States and United Kingdom, this book draws on racial formation theory and the performativity (i.e. “doing”) of race to explore the social construction of mixedness on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to macro- and micro-level theoretical frameworks, the authors use comparative and relational analytical approaches to reveal similarities and differences between the two nations, explaining them in terms of both common historical roots as well as ongoing contemporary interrelationships.

Focusing on the census, racial identity, civil society, and everyday experiences at the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality, Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future offers academics and students an intriguing look into how mixed-race is constructed and experienced within these two nations. A final in-depth discussion on the authors’ research methodologies makes the book a useful resource on the processes, challenges, and benefits of conducting qualitative research in two nations.

Contents

  • List of Tables and Figures
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: The Past, Present, and Future of Mixed-Race People in the United States and United Kingdom
  • Chapter 2. Creating Mixed-Race: The Census in the US and the UK
  • Chapter 3. Black, British Asian, Mixed-Race, or Jedi: Mixed-Race Identity in the US and UK
  • Chapter 4. Mixed-Race Civil Society: Racial Paradigms and Mixed-Race (Re)production in the US and UK
  • Chapter 5. “Sometimes it’s the first thing people ask:” Daily Experiences of Mixedness in the US and UK
  • Chapter 6. “Yes, girl, yes. I want to have babies:” Mixed-Race Families Generation after Generation
  • Chapter 7. Queering Critical Mixed Race Studies
  • Chapter 8. Conclusion: Creating and Comparing a Mixed-Race Future
  • Methodological Appendix: Conducting Qualitative Research on Both Sides of the Atlantic
  • References
  • Index
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UAH professor publishes new book on mixed-race at home and abroad

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-11-22 03:24Z by Steven

UAH professor publishes new book on mixed-race at home and abroad

University of Alabama in Huntsville
2019-11-21

jennifer sims
Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently published her second book
Photo Credit Michael Mercier

Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently published her second book, Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future coauthored with UK-based scholar Dr. Chinelo L. Njaka. The book is the second in the Critical Mixed Race Studies book series by Emerald Publishing

Read the entire press release here.

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Examining Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: An African Journey

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-11-19 00:43Z by Steven

Examining Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: An African Journey

Psychology Today
2019-11-18

Sarah Gaither, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Dr. Jennifer Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

ComposedPix_Shutterstock
Source: ComposedPix_Shutterstock

“Mixed” reactions highlight mixed-race issues in the US and the UK.

Even before the full documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey” aired on ABC, social media was abuzz from a teaser clip of Duchess Meghan Markle being interviewed. In the video, an off-screen Tom Bradby is heard asking Markle how she is doing. She thanks him for asking, saying that not many people do, and answers that the media attention has been difficult on top of being a newlywed and a new mom. Here, Meghan noted her struggles not just as a mom, but as a newlywed and a new royal. Her multiple identities—both those that were newly obtained and those she has always had such as being multiracial—were highlighted in this documentary. Thus, this documentary reminded viewers around the world how easy it is to be judged and excluded particularly when you represent multiple groups.

Many were moved by her words. On Twitter, messages of support, crying GIFs, and jokes of being ready to fight for her were tweeted under the hashtag #HarryAndMeghan. Others, however, were less sympathetic. Talk show host Wendy Williams said that “nobody feels sorry for” Markle and that the Duchess “knew exactly” what she was doing marrying into the British royal family. Jane Ridley of the New York Post noted that “Something’s off when you’re bemoaning your lot as a VIP;” and author Dominic Green called it entitlement to say one is “existing, not living” when that existence is “on millions of pounds of taxpayers money.”

From a psychology angle, these “mixed” views of Markle (pun intended) correlate with the confusion and varied reactions that mixed-race individuals often face. Past work highlights the constant identity questioning and denial that mixed-race individuals face since they often don’t fit into either of their racial in-groups. In Markle’s case, she not only is mixed-race but also is now bicultural as she balances both U.S. and UK expectations…

Read the entire article here.

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“It Represents Me:” Tattooing Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Social Science on 2018-10-08 02:56Z by Steven

“It Represents Me:” Tattooing Mixed-Race Identity

Sociological Spectrum
Published online: 2018-10-04
DOI: 10.1080/02732173.2018.1478351

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Research on tattoos reveals that desire for something to “mark their bodies with indelible symbols of what they see themselves to be” has become a main driver behind contemporary tattoo acquisitions (Sanders 1989:61). One identity that researchers have recently begun to investigate with regard to expression via tattoos is race; however, exploration considering those with multiple racial heritages, that is, mixed-race people, is lacking. This article begins to illuminate this lacuna by drawing on in-depth interviews with mixed-race people in the United States and United Kingdom to examine the practice and meaning behind their tattoos. Finding both similarities and differences, both between mixed- and single-heritage individuals and between mixed-race people of different heritages, this study adds to scholarly knowledge of the ways in which various identities are being expressed, or not, via tattooing.

Read or purchase the article here.

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“We Were All Just the Black Kids”: Black Mixed-Race Men and the Importance of Adolescent Peer Groups for Identity Development

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-09-19 15:50Z by Steven

“We Were All Just the Black Kids”: Black Mixed-Race Men and the Importance of Adolescent Peer Groups for Identity Development

Social Currents
First Published online 2018-09-19
DOI: 10.1177/2329496518797840

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies
Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom

While critical Mixed-Race studies (CMRS) has paid attention to the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in sampling and analysis, most studies disproportionately focus on women. This means that generalizability of findings and theories to men should not become axiomatic. Regarding black Mixed-Race people, for example, the theory that rejection from black people is influential for many black Mixed-Race individuals’ identity development is derived from interviews with mainly women. Explicitly noting that these processes are not as applicable for men, yet offering no accompanying theorizing as to the influence of gendered interactions on men’s racial identity development, appears to have become the standard. Therefore, bringing together data from two studies that explored black mixedness in the United States and the United Kingdom, this article joins a nascent literature on the gendered experiences of Mixed-Race men. Our analysis shows that, unlike black Mixed-Race women, black Mixed-Race men’s mixedness is often constructed as compatible with the heteronormative gender identities that are constituted in racialized peer groups. As such, black Mixed-Race men are able to cultivate a sense of strategic sameness with same gender black peers. This and other findings are discussed in light of their implications for CMRS’s intersectional theories of identity development.

Read or purchase the article here.

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America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-10-09 23:58Z by Steven

America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Quartz
2016-10-06

Robert L. Reece, Ph.D. Candidate
Duke University

Last month, rapper Kanye West posted a controversial casting call for his clothing line, Yeezy, mandating “multiracial women only.” Many objected, arguing that West had insulted darker-skinned black women.

But Kanye was only adhering to something fairly common in a society that still operates under a racial hierarchy: the belief that multiracial people are more attractive—what sociologist Jennifer Sims has termed the “biracial beauty stereotype.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Pew: Multiracial Americans Now Make Up 7% Of Population

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-06-12 21:16Z by Steven

Pew: Multiracial Americans Now Make Up 7% Of Population

Wisconsin Public Radio
Thursday, 2015-06-11, 16:35 CDT

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Jennifer Sims, Adjunct Visiting Professor of Sociology
University of Wisconsin, River Falls

According to Census data, only about 2 percent of Americans consider themselves to be multiracial, but a new report out Thursday from Pew suggests that the real number of people with multiracial backgrounds is more than three times that. It also shows that the number of people who identify as…

Listen to the story (00:22:49) here.

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Beautiful stereotypes: the relationship between physical attractiveness and mixed race identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-27 00:18Z by Steven

Beautiful stereotypes: the relationship between physical attractiveness and mixed race identity

Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture
Volume 19, Number 1, 2012-01-01
pages 61-80
DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2012.672838

Jennifer Patrice Sims

The idea that mixed race individuals are physically attractive is a commonly accepted stereotype. Past research in which whites (Australians and British) and Asians (Japanese) were asked to rate the attractiveness of a racially heterogeneous group of faces has shown that mixed race phenotype was judged the most attractive. In this study, I examine whether there is empirical evidence for this Biracial Beauty Stereotype in the United States. Using the data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, I examine self and interview ratings of respondents’ physical attractiveness and, in an extension of the previous literature, conduct multinomial logistic regressions to ascertain whether level of attractiveness is associated with different racial identification choices for mixed race individuals. My results indicate that there is in fact a belief in mixed race individuals’ superior beauty in America; but, with regard to identity, beauty is not associated with identity for all mixed race groups.

Read or purchase the article here.

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“You Think You Cute!” Perceived Attractiveness, Inter-Group Conflict, And Their Effect On Black/White Biracial Identity Choices

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-06-10 05:08Z by Steven

“You Think You Cute!” Perceived Attractiveness, Inter-Group Conflict, And Their Effect On Black/White Biracial Identity Choices

Vanderbilt University
December 2006
31 pages

Jennifer Patrice Sims

Thesis Submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Sociology

The 2000 Census was the first time in United States’ history that citizens could indicate more than one race to describe their racial identity. Who does so is due to a multi-factored, complex process. For Black/White biracial women, research has suggested that appearance plays a role in the development of the woman’s racial identity (Rockquemore, 2002; Root, 1992). Attractive Black/White biracial women supposedly choose non-Black identities due to negative treatment from Black women; the latter of whom are accused of having animosity against biracial women due to their supposed greater appeal to Black men.

My aim in this project was to explore this phenomenon. Using data from the Pubic Use Data Set of the National Survey on Adolescent Health, I examined whether perceived physical attractiveness affected the odds of Black/White biracial individuals choosing a Biracial identity and whether such a process was limited to women only.

Results from multinomial logistic regression suggest that perceived physical attractiveness is not a statistically significant factor in choosing a Biracial identity for women or men. Limitations of this study which may explain why my hypotheses were not supported are discussed in the conclusion along with suggestions for future research on biracial identity.

Table of Contents

  • LIST OF TABLES.
  • LIST OF FIGURES
  • I. INTRODUCTION
  • II. THEORY AND LITERATURE REVIEW
    • Identity
    • Factors in Identity Choice
    • The Role of Appearance
  • III. STATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTION
  • IV. DATA AND METHODS
  • V. RESULTS
  • VI. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  • REFERENCES

List of Tables

  1. Tabulation of Identity Choices
  2. Tabulation of Attractiveness
  3. Tabulation of Skin Color
  4. Factors in Identity Choice

List of Figures

  1. Parental Income Distribution

Read the entire thesis here.

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