Generational change and how we conceptualize and measure multiracial people and “mixture”

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2018-11-01 01:59Z by Steven

Generational change and how we conceptualize and measure multiracial people and “mixture”

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 40, 2017 – Issue 13
pages 2333-2339
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1344273

Miri Song, Director of Research
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Until relatively recently, in countries such as the U.S.A. and U.K., individuals could only opt for “single race” categories with which they identified. However, in the 2000 decennial census, respondents in the U.S. were able to choose more than one racial category, while in 2001, a “Mixed” box (with further subcategories) was provided in the England and Wales census for the first time. But the very success of this racial project in these countries has spawned a number of questions for policy-makers and academics who theorize, enumerate and study the experiences of multiracial people. With demographic changes such as generational change, who counts as multiracial or mixed race? This question has yet to receive significant attention. Although mixing is becoming more commonplace, the question of who counts as multiracial is far from straightforward, especially as we look down the generational pipeline.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-11-09 03:18Z by Steven

Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

New York University Press
November 2017
192 pages
2 tables and 1 figure
Cloth ISBN: 9781479840540
Paper ISBN: 9781479825905

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

The views and experiences of multiracial people as parents

The world’s multiracial population is considered to be one of the fastest growing of all ethnic groups. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 20% of the population will be considered “mixed race” by 2050. Public figures—such as former President Barack Obama and Hollywood actress Ruth Negga—further highlight the highly diverse backgrounds of those classified under the umbrella term of “multiracial.”

Multiracial Parents considers how mixed-race parents identify with and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising and socializing their children. Miri Song presents a groundbreaking examination of how the meanings and practices surrounding multiracial identification are passed down through the generations.

A revealing portrait of how multiracial identity is and is not transmitted to children, Multiracial Parents focuses on couples comprised of one White and one non-white minority, who were mostly “first generation mixed,” situating her findings in a trans-Atlantic framework.

By drawing on detailed narratives about the parents’ children and family lives, this book explores what it means to be multiracial, and whether multiracial identity and status will matter for multiracial people’s children. Many couples suggested that their very existence (and their children’s) is a step toward breaking down boundaries about the meaning of race and that the idea of a mixed-race population is increasingly becoming normalized, despite existing concerns about racism and racial bias within and beyond various communities.

A critical perspective on contemporary multiracial families, Multiracial Parents raises fundamental questions about the future significance of racial boundaries and identities.

Table Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Mixed People and ‘Mixing’ in Today’s Britain
  • 1. Multiracial People as Parents
  • 2. How Do Multiracial People Identify Their Children?
  • 3. The Parenting Practices of Multiracial People
  • 4. Multiracial People, Their Children, and Racism
  • 5. The Future: ‘Dilution’ and Social Change?
  • Conclusion: A Generational Tipping Point?
  • Appendix: Participants
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Multiracial People and the Socialization of Their Children in Britain

Posted in Census/Demographics, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2016-07-08 02:27Z by Steven

Multiracial People and the Socialization of Their Children in Britain

The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World
3rd ISA Forum of Sociology
2016-07-10 through 2016-07-14
Vienna, Austria

Tuesday, 2016-07-12, 14:15 CEST (Local Time)
Room: Hörsaal 31

Oral Presentation

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Since ‘Mixed’ was first offered as an option in the ethnicity question in the 2001 England and Wales Census, Britain’s recognition of, and interest in, ‘mixed race’ (or ‘multiracial’) people and families has not abated. Recent studies have focused primarily upon how mixed (young) people identify themselves, or how parents racially identify their multiracial children. But Britain now has a population of multiracial individuals who are themselves parents, about whom we know very little. Despite the growing commonality of mixed people and families, such families can still be subject to forms of racial pathologzation and scrutiny in various settings. Extant studies of multiracial family life (especially in the US) have tended to focus upon interracial couples and their multiracial children, but we now need to look a further generation down – at their grown children. What are the particular concerns which arise for multiracial individuals in Britain who are parents? How do multiracial people who are parents experience and negotiate forms of objectification and/or prejudice from others? Do multiracial people (who are parents) want to steer their children toward a particular kind of socialization, and if so, toward what (and why)? This paper is an in-depth exploration of the ways in which different types of mixed people (South Asian/White, Black/White, East Asian/White) in Britain think about and engage in parenting.

For more information, click here.

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Toward building a conceptual framework on intermarriage

Posted in Articles, Canada, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2016-04-10 02:38Z by Steven

Toward building a conceptual framework on intermarriage

Ethnicities
Volume 16, Number 4, August 2016
pages 497-520
DOI: 10.1177/1468796816638402

Sayaka Osanami Törngren
Malmö University, Sweden; Sophia University, Japan

Nahikari Irastorza, Marie Curie Research Fellow
Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity, and Welfare
Malmö University, Sweden

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Increasing migration worldwide and the cultural diversity generated as a consequence of international migration has facilitated the unions of people from different countries, religions, races, and ethnicities. Such unions are often celebrated as a sign of integration; however, at the same time as they challenge people’s idea of us and them, intermarriages in fact still remain controversial, and even to some extent, taboo in many societies. Research and theorizing on intermarriage is conducted predominantly in the English-speaking North American and British contexts. This special issue includes empirical studies from not only the English-speaking countries such as the U.S., Canada, and the UK, but also from Japan, Sweden, Belgium, France, and Spain and demonstrate the increasingly diverse directions taken in the study of intermarriage in regards to the patterns, experiences, and social implications of intermarriages. Moreover, the articles address the assumed link between intermarriage and “integration.”

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiracial people and their partners in Britain: Extending the link between intermarriage and integration?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2016-03-22 15:06Z by Steven

Multiracial people and their partners in Britain: Extending the link between intermarriage and integration?

Ethnicities
Published online 2016-03-21
DOI: 10.1177/1468796816638399

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

There are now a growing number of studies on intermarriage in Western multi-ethnic societies, especially in countries with post-colonial migrants (and their descendants). Intermarriage is of great interest to analysts because a group’s tendency to partner across ethnic boundaries is a key indicator of the social distance between groups in a multi-ethnic society. However, theorizing on intermarriage is typically premised upon the union (usually) of a White and non-White individual. We know little, therefore, about what happens the next generation down: the unions of multiracial people, who are the children of intermarried couples. With whom do multiracial people partner? Furthermore, are multiracial individuals who are partnered with White people different in their outlooks, identifications, and socialization of their children, from those who have ethnic minority partners? I draw upon some findings from a Leverhulme-funded research project on multiracial people and their experiences as parents in Britain.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Barack Obama, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-12-22 04:19Z by Steven

Theories of Race and Ethnicity: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives

Cambridge University Press
January 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9780521154260

Edited by:

Karim Murji, Senior Lecturer in Sociology
The Open University, United Kingdom

John Solomos, Professor of Sociology
University of Warwick, United Kingdom

How have research agendas on race and ethnic relations changed over the past two decades and what new developments have emerged? Theories of Race and Ethnicity provides a comprehensive and cutting-edge collection of theoretically grounded and empirically informed essays. It covers a range of key issues in race and ethnicity studies, such as genetics and race, post-race debates, racial eliminativism and the legacy of Barack Obama, and mixed race identities. The contributions are by leading writers on a range of perspectives employed in studying ethnicity and race, including critical race feminism, critical rationalism, psychoanalysis, performativity, whiteness studies and sexuality. Written in an authoritative yet accessible style, this volume is suitable for researchers and advanced students, offering scholars a survey of the state of the art in the literature, and students an overview of the field.

  • A unique set of views on race and ethnicity by writers committed to advancing scholarship
  • Covers some of the latest issues and debates in the field, including genetics, post-race eliminativism and mixed race identities from a range of perspectives
  • Opening and closing editorial chapters provide a route map of shifts in the field of race and ethnicity studies, and return to some recurring debates to demonstrate how the field changes and has continuing and persisting questions in theorising race and ethnicity

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: situating the present Karim Murji and John Solomos
  • Part I. Debates: Introduction to Part I
    • 2. Race and the science of difference in the age of genomics Sandra Soo-Jin Lee
    • 3. Colour-blind egalitarianism as the new racial norm Charles A. Gallagher
    • 4. Getting over the Obama hope hangover: the new racism in ‘post-racial’ America Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (with Victor E. Ray)
    • 5. Does a recognition of mixed race move us toward post-race? Miri Song
    • 6. Acting ‘as’ and acting ‘as if’: two approaches to the politics of race and migration Leah Bassel
    • 7. Can race be eradicated? The post-racial problematic Brett St Louis
  • Part II. Perspectives: Introduction to Part II
    • 8. Superseding race in sociology: the perspective of critical rationalism Michael Banton
    • 9. Critical race feminism Adrien K. Wing
    • 10. Performativity and ‘raced’ bodies Shirley Tate
    • 11. Racism: psychoanalytic and psycho-social approaches Simon Clarke
    • 12. The sociology of whiteness: beyond good and evil white people Matthew W. Hughey
    • 13. (Sexual) whiteness and national identity: race, class and sexuality in colour-blind France Éric Fassin
    • 14. Racial comparisons, relational racisms: some thoughts on method David Theo Goldberg
  • 15. Conclusion: back to the future Karim Murji and John Solomos
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What Constitutes Intermarriage for Multiracial People in Britain?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2015-10-15 17:44Z by Steven

What Constitutes Intermarriage for Multiracial People in Britain?

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume 662, Number 1, November 2015
pages 94-111
DOI: 10.1177/0002716215595387

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Intermarriage is of great interest to analysts because a group’s tendency to partner across ethnic boundaries is usually seen as a key indicator of the social distance between groups in a multiethnic society. Theories of intermarriage as a key indicator of integration are, however, typically premised upon the union of white and nonwhite individuals, and we know very little about what happens in the unions of multiracial people, who are the children of intermarried couples. What constitutes intermarriage for multiracial people? Do multiracial individuals think that ethnic or racial ancestries are a defining aspect of their relationships with their partners? In this article, I argue that there are no conventions for how we characterize endogamous or exogamous relationships for multiracial people. I then draw on examples of how multiracial people and their partners in Britain regard their relationships with their partners and the significance of their and their partners’ ethnic and racial backgrounds. I argue that partners’ specific ancestries do not necessarily predict the ways in which multiracial individuals regard their partners’ ethnic and racial backgrounds as constituting difference or commonality within their relationships.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The colour black, Mixed-race people

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2015-07-27 03:15Z by Steven

The colour black, Mixed-race people

Thinking Allowed
BBC Radio 4
2015-07-22

Laurie Taylor, Host

Black: the cultural and historical meaning of the darkest colour. From the ‘little black dress’ which epitomises chic, to its links to death, depression and evil, ‘black’ embodies many contrasting values. White Europeans exploited the negative associations of ‘black’ in enslaving millions of Africans whilst artists & designers have endlessly deployed the colour in their creative work. Laurie Taylor talks to John Harvey, Life Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, about his new book which explores how ‘black’ came to have such ambiguous and varied meanings. They’re joined by Bidisha, the writer and broadcaster.

Also, the last 20 years has seen a major growth in the number of people of mixed racial heritage. Miri Song, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, talks about her research into the ways that multiracial parents with white partners talk to their their children about race and identity.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Listen to the episode (00:27:58) here. Download the episode here.

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Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

Posted in Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-25 02:37Z by Steven

Douglas Todd: Mixed unions applauded by some, but dismissed by others as brownwashing

The Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2015-07-24

Douglass Todd, Vancouver Sun columnist

Ethnically mixed couples — involving whites, blacks, Japanese, Hispanics, Chinese, South Asians or others — were heralded not long ago as the wave of a tolerant, open, non-racist future.

National Geographic and Time magazine ran cover features with photos of mixed-race people, celebrating The New Face of America. The hero in the Warren Beatty movie, Bulworth, trumpeted inter-marriage as the way to end racial discrimination.

Polls consistently reveal many whites, blacks, Asians and others are attracted more to other ethnicities than their own, particularly for dating. British writer Laura Smith, who has a Guyanese mother and Scottish father, says she’s often told her mixed-race children “look cool.”

In the age of multi-ethnic celebrities such as Paula Abdul, Vin Diesel, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry and Mariah Carey, Smith, who frequently writes about mixed unions, says white mothers, in particular, confess to her they yearn for mixed offspring; they want a society that’s less white and more “brown.”

But three cultural trends are shaking up this utopian dream, which places inter-ethnic couples at the vanguard of cultural fusion…

…Scholars SanSan Kwan and Kenneth Spiers, editors of Mixing it Up: Multiracial Subjects, also maintain the melting pot ideal, in which people of different ethnicities inevitably join up to make babies together, is a “problematic” form of “brownwashing.”

“To embrace a ‘brown’ or raceless society and to dispense with concepts of race are to deny the beauty there is in difference,” say Kwan and Spiers.

“Brownwashing hopes to erase the ugly patterns of racism and in one grand gesture homogenize us all.”

Roosevelt University Professor Heather Dalmage’s book also questions the vision of a society replete with mixed marriages. In The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking, contributors criticize white people who seek a “colour-blind” society, claiming they just want to deny the prevalence of racism.

British researcher Miri Song, of Kent University, also suggests a Western inter-marriage involving a white person can lead to questionable “assimilation,” in which the ethnic minority loses their identity to the so-called “dominant culture.”

Instead of being a sign of cultural success, Song writes, mixed marriages could “engender deep ambivalence” for minority members…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race Identities: Written by Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2015-01-24 02:49Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities: Written by Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song

The Kelvingrove Review
Issue 13: Dialogue Across Decades (2014-05-27)
5 pages

Mengxi Pang
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Aspinall, Peter J. and Miri Song, Mixed Race Identities (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 218 pp.

As the fastest growing population in Britain, the mixed race group has received increasing attention from academics in social sciences disciplines. The book Mixed Race Identities is one of the latest sociological contributions to mixed race studies, engaging in the ongoing debate on ‘race’, ethnicity and identities. This book succeeds in bringing attention to the British context of mixed race studies, a field that has been long dominated by research in the US. The two authors, Peter Aspinall and Miri Song, are leading researchers of mixed race studies in the UK, who published extensively on identities and identity politics of mixed race populations. Based on their ESRC-funded project ‘The ethnic options of mixed race people in Britain’, this book presents the analytical results derived from questionnaire surveys and follow-up, in-depth interviews with over three hundred mixed race participants from higher education institutions in England. The results depict the unique identity dilemmas faced by mixed race youths. Findings specifically identify how different types of mixed race people understand and articulate their identifications, and eventually question the salience of ‘race’ in shaping individuals’ lived experiences…

Read the entire review here.

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