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.

Tags: , , , , ,

Global Mixed Race

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2014-08-18 02:29Z by Steven

Global Mixed Race

New York University Press
March 2014
357 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780814770733
Paper ISBN: 9780814789155

Edited by:

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Stephen Small, Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

Paul Spickard, Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Black Studies, Asian American Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand.  In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent?  Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences. The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.


  • Global Mixed Race: An Introduction / Stephen Small and Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Part I: Societies with Established Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 1. Multiraciality and Census Classification in Global Perspective / Ann Morning
    • 2. “Rider of Two Horses”: Eurafricans in Zambia / Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton
    • 3. “Split Me in Two”: Gender, Identity, and “Race Mixing” in the Trinidad and Tobago Nation / Rhoda Reddock
    • 4. In the Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship: Mixed People in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present / Saule K. Ualiyeva and Adrienne L. Edgar
    • 5. Competing Narratives: Race and Multiraciality in the Brazilian Racial Order / G. Reginald Daniel and Andrew Michael Lee
    • 6. Antipodean Mixed Race: Australia and New Zealand / Farida Fozdar and Maureen Perkins
    • 7. Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race / Christina A. Sue
  • Part II: Places with Newer Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 8. Multiraciality and Migration: Mixed-Race American Okinawans, 1945–1972 / Lily Anne Yumi Welty
    • 9. The Curious Career of the One-Drop Rule: Multiraciality and Membership in Germany Today / Miriam Nandi and Paul Spickard
    • 10. Capturing “Mixed Race” in the Decennial UK Censuses: Are Current Approaches Sustainable in the Age of Globalization and Superdiversity? / Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song
    • 11. Exporting the Mixed-Race Nation: Mixed-Race Identities in the Canadian Context / Minelle Mahtani, Dani Kwan-Lafond, and Leanne Taylor
  • Global Mixed Race: A Conclusion / Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Bibliography
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Researching ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-04-24 01:33Z by Steven

Researching ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’

Social Science Research: Discussing Methods and Resources
The British Library

This post discusses our latest Myths and Realities event on ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’ and points readers in the direction of some relevant British Library collections.

On the evening of 13 November we hosted our latest Myths and Realities event (in partnership with the Academy of Social Science) on ‘Our ethnicity and identity – what does it all mean?’ Speakers Professor Miri Song and Professor Ann Phoenix spoke about how we think about our ethnic identity, and how the meanings we attach to this identity can change across time, space and social context. The event was chaired by Rania Hafez of Muslim Women in Education.

Ann Phoenix’s talk entitled ‘Why are ‘race’ and ethnicity crucial to identities and social lives, but not central?’ explored how debates about multiculturalism have produced contradictory ways of thinking about ‘race’, ethnicity and identities. Miri Song’s title was ‘Does the growth of ‘mixed race’ people signal the declining significance of ‘race’?’. Here she examined what is signalled by the growth in interracial partnerships and of ‘mixed’ people…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Mixed Race Identities

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-03-26 03:54Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities

Palgrave Macmillan
224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780230275041

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, UK

In recent years, Britain has witnessed a significant growth in the ‘mixed race’ population. However, we still know remarkably little about this diverse population. How do young mixed race people think about and experience their multiracial status? What kinds of ethnic options do mixed race people possess, and how may these options vary across different types of ‘mixes’? How important are their ethnic and racial identities, in relation to other bases of identification and belonging? This book investigates the ethnic and racial options exercised by young mixed race people in higher education in Britain, and it is the first to explore the identifications and experiences of various types of mixed race individuals. It reveals the diverse ways in which these young people identify and experience their mixed status, the complex and contingent nature of such identities, and the rise of other identity strands, such as religion, which are now challenging race and ethnicity as a dominant identity.


  1. Exploring ‘Mixed Race’ in Britain
  2. Racial Identification: Multiplicity and Fluidity
  3. Differential Ethnic Options?
  4. Does Racial Mismatch in Identification Matter?
  5. Are Mixed Race People Racially Disadvantaged?
  6. How Central is ‘Race’ to Mixed Race People?
  7. Rethinking Ethnic and Racial Classifications
  8. Conclusion: What is the Future of ‘Mixed Race’ Britain?
Tags: , , ,

The JCMRS inaugural issue will be released Summer, 2013

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2013-03-18 03:35Z by Steven

The JCMRS inaugural issue will be released on Summer, 2013

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
c/o Department of Sociology
SSMS Room 3005
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California  93106-9430
E-Mail: socjcmrs@soc.ucsb.edu

The Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS) is a peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to developing the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) through rigorous scholarship. Launched in 2011, it is the first academic journal explicitly focused on Critical Mixed Race Studies.

JCMRS is transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational in focus and emphasizes the critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions and constructions of ‘race.’ JCMRS emphasizes the constructed nature and thus mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. JCMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.

Sponsored by University of California, Santa Barbara’s Sociology Department, JCMRS is hosted on the eScholarship Repository, which is part of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library. JCMRS functions as an open-access forum for critical mixed race studies scholars and will be available without cost to anyone with access to the Internet.

Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2013 will include:


  1. “Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States”—Winthrop Jordan edited by Paul Spickard
  2. “Retheorizing the Relationship Between New Mestizaje and New Multiraciality as Mixed Race Identity Models”—Jessie Turner
  3. “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation,” Keynote Address presented at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, November 5, 2010, DePaul UniversityAndrew Jolivétte
  4. “Only the News We Want to Print”—Rainier Spencer
  5. “The Current State of Multiracial Discourse”—Molly McKibbin
  6. “Slimy Subjects and Neoliberal Goods”—Daniel McNeil

Editorial Board

Founding Editors: G. Reginald Daniel, Wei Ming Dariotis, Laura Kina, Maria P. P. Root, and Paul Spickard

Editor-in-Chief: G. Reginald Daniel

Managing Editors: Wei Ming Dariotis and Laura Kina

Editorial Review Board: Stanley R. Bailey, Mary C. Beltrán, David Brunsma, Greg Carter, Kimberly McClain DaCosta, Michele Elam, Camilla Fojas, Peter Fry, Kip Fulbeck, Rudy Guevarra, Velina Hasu Houston, Kevin R. Johnson, Andrew Jolivette, Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Laura A. Lewis, Kristen A. Renn, Maria P. P. Root, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Gary B. Nash, Kent A. Ono, Rita Simon, Miri Song, Rainier Spencer, Michael Thornton, Peter Wade, France Winddance Twine, Teresa Williams-León, and Naomi Zack

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is race a ‘salient…’ or ‘dominant identity’ in the early 21st century: The evidence of UK survey data on respondents’ sense of who they are

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-11-08 22:27Z by Steven

Is race a ‘salient…’ or ‘dominant identity’ in the early 21st century: The evidence of UK survey data on respondents’ sense of who they are

Social Science Research
Available online 2012-11-07
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.10.007

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

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

The term ‘master status’, coined by Everett Hughes in 1945 with special reference to race, was conceptualised as one which, in most social situations, will dominate all others. Since then race and other collective social identities have become key features of people’s lives, shaping their ‘life scripts’. But is race still a ‘master’ or ‘dominant identity’ and, if not, what has replaced it? Analyses of recent social surveys show that race has lost its position to family, religion (in the South Asian and Black groups) and (amongst young mixed race people) also age/life-stage and study/work. However, many of these different identity attributes are consistently selected, suggesting the possibility – confirmed in in-depth interviews – that they may work through each other via intersectionality. In Britain race appears to have been undermined by the rise of ‘Muslim’ identity, the increasing importance of ‘mixed race’, and the fragmentation of identity now increasingly interwoven with other attributes like religion.


  • Race has lost its dominant position to family, religion, age/life-stage & study/work.
  • Many selected identity attributes work through each other via intersectionality.
  • Race has been undermined by religion, mixedness, & fragmentation of identity.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,

The creation and intepretation of ‘mixed’ categories in Britain today

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-07-04 01:53Z by Steven

The creation and intepretation of ‘mixed’ categories in Britain today

darkmatter: in the ruins of imperial culture
ISSN 2041-3254
Post-Racial Imaginaries [9.1] (2012-07-02)

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

The growth and recognition of ‘Mixed’ in Britain

It is difficult to imagine a society (such as Britain) in which ethnic and racial categories, and the powerful imagery and ideologies associated with notions of ethnic and racial difference, do not exist. The population of the UK is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity, race, religion, and national identity. While not new, one major demographic development is the significant growth of ‘mixed race’ people in Britain.

Accompanying the growth in mixed relationships and people is the increased social and media attention they have received in recent years. For instance, mixed celebrities are impossible to avoid in various contemporary British (and other) media.Furthermore, the BBC has just shown a whole series of programs called ‘Mixed Britannia’, in which we learn, among other things, that being mixed was by no means a new phenomenon in the earlier parts of the 20th century, whether in Tiger Bay, or in the docks of Liverpool. Various analysts have argued that, in many parts of contemporary, metropolitan Britain, being mixed, and the everyday interactions between disparate groups, is absolutely ordinary.

This growth of mixed people has engendered the creation and institutionalization of new ethnic and racial categories by official bodies, such as the Office of National Statistics (ONS). For the first time, the growth in mixed people was officially recognized by the inclusion of ‘Mixed’ categories in the 2001 England and Wales census, in which about 677,000 people (or about 1.2% of the population) were identified as mixed…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Making sense of ‘mixture’: states and the classification of ‘mixed’ people

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-03-16 03:26Z by Steven

Making sense of ‘mixture’: states and the classification of ‘mixed’ people

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Avaiable online: 2012-02-01
9 pages
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2012.648650

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

Diversity and the growth of ‘mixed’ people

In many Western multi-ethnic societies, and increasingly in non-Western societies, ‘super-diversity’ has emerged as a major demographic trend in various metropolitan centres (Vertovec 2007). Contemporary Britain is marked by both super-diversity in urban areas and ‘old’ racial and ethnic cleavages which reflect continuing social divides in many parts of the country. As a result, there is considerable flux in the meanings and significance of race and racial difference across a variety of contexts. Such growing diversity is due to continue, based upon continuing flows of migration, increased interracial and interethnic partnering, and the growth of ‘mixed’ individuals. While I focus on the case of Britain, much of this editorial, I would argue, will be of relevance to what many other multi-ethnic societies will encounter in the coming years.

Notably. while only 2 per cent of marriages are ‘inlerethnic’ in Britain (Office for National Statistics 2005), such marriages are expected to grow rapidly. Black-white partnering is the most common in Britain the direct opposite of the US. where black/white partnering is least common. In a recent analysis of the Labour Force Survey, nearly half of black Caribbean men in a partnership were partnered (married or cohabiting) with someone of a different ethnic group (and about one third of black Caribbean women), while 39 per cent of Chinese women in partnerships had a partner from a different ethnic group (Platt 2009). There are now more children in Britain (under age 5) with one black and one white parent than children with two black parents (Owen 2007)…

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: ,

Is racial mismatch a problem for young ‘mixed race’ people in Britain? The findings of qualitative research

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-02-17 20:07Z by Steven

Is racial mismatch a problem for young ‘mixed race’ people in Britain? The findings of qualitative research

Volume 12, Number 6 (December 2012)
pages 730-753
DOI: 10.1177/1468796811434912

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, UK

Peter Aspinall, Reader in Population Health at the Centre for Health Services Studies
University of Kent, UK

Recent evidence concerning the racial identifications of ‘mixed race’ people suggests growing latitude in how they may identify. In this article, we examine whether mixed race young people believe that their chosen identifications are validated by others, and how they respond to others’ racial perceptions of them. While existing studies tend to assume that a disjuncture between self-identification and others’ perceptions of them is problematic, this was not necessarily the case among our respondents. While a racial mismatch between expressed and observed identifications was a common experience for these individuals, they varied considerably in terms of how they responded to such occurrences, so that they could feel: (1) misrecognized (and there were differential bases and experiences of misrecognition); (2) positive about the mismatch; or (3) indifferent to how others racially categorized them in their day-to-day interactions. Some differences in responses to such mismatch emerged among disparate types of mixed people. This study also found that we need to consider national identity, and other forms of belonging, in making sense of the diverse and often multilayered identifications and experiences of mixed race young people in Britain.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,

International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom, United States on 2011-12-15 04:33Z by Steven

International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing

224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-59804-0

Edited by

Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science

Chamion Cabellero, Senior Research Fellow
Social Capital Research Group
London South Bank University

Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology
University of Southampton

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

People from a ‘mixed’ racial and ethnic background, and people partnering and parenting across different racial and ethnic backgrounds, are increasingly visible internationally and often construed in diametrically opposed ways. On the one hand, images of racial and ethnic diversity are posed in opposition to unity and solidarity, creating a crisis of cohesive social trust. On the other hand, there are assertions that the portrayals of segregation and conflict ignore the reality of ongoing interactions between a mix of minority and majority racial, ethnic and religious cultures, where multiculture is an ordinary, unremarkable, feature of everyday social life.

This interdisciplinary volume brings internationally well-respected researchers together to explore the different contexts and concepts underpinning discussions about mixedness and mixing. Moving beyond pathologically focused research about confused identities and a dualistic black-white conception of mixedness, the book includes chapters on:

  • Multiraciality and race classification
  • Mixed race couples
  • Mixedness in everyday life
  • Mixed race politics

International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing develops theoretical perspectives and presents intellectually shaped empirical evidence that can deal with complexity and normalcy in order to move the debate onto more fruitful grounds. It is an important book for students and scholars of race and ethnicity.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction / Suki Ali, Chamion Caballero, Rosalind Edwards and Miri Song
  2. Multiraciality and census classification in global perspective / Ann Morning
  3. Mixed race across time and place: an international perspective / Ilan Katz
  4. Scaling diversity: mixed-race couples, segregation and urban America / Steven Holloway
  5. The geography of mixedness in England and Wales / Charlie Owen
  6. From ‘Draughtboard Alley’ to ‘Brown Britain’: the ordinariness of mixedness in British life / Chamion Caballero
  7. How mixedness is understood and experienced in everyday life / Peter Aspinall and Miri Song
  8. Finding value on a council estate in Nottingham: voices of white working class women / Lisa McKenzie
  9. How to find mixed people in quantitative datasets / Anne Unterreiner
  10. When ethnicity became an important family issue in Slovenia / Mateja Sedmak
  11. Same difference? Developing a critical methodological stance in critical mixed race studies / Minelle Mahtani
  12. Mixed race politics / Suki Ali
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,