Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-12-04 02:08Z by Steven

Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Bitch Media

Dr. Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Florida State University

Photo credit: Twitter/newsjsBW

This week, the engagement of American actress Meghan Markle to British royal Prince Harry set social media ablaze.

Race is at the center of this internet firestorm: Markle is biracial, with a Black mother and white father. As a Black and white mixed-race woman who studies multiracial identity and interracial relationships, the online debates over Markle and her fianc√© have been both perplexing and unsurprising. Over the last year, Markle‚Äôs racial background has drawn negative press in Britain. Last November, Prince Harry publicly called out the barely veiled racism and sexism in the media coverage of their relationship. Despite this treatment, their engagement is viewed as an opportunity to change what it means to be British and royal, with American fans celebrating a ‚Äúreal Black princess‚ÄĚ who will bring #BlackGirlMagic to the royal family and the seemingly stale royal wedding traditions. Several essays have been written about what Markle‚Äôs presence means for the British monarchy and the broader racial politics of the West…

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Does (mixed-)race matter? The role of race in interracial sex, dating, and marriage

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-11-16 04:11Z by Steven

Does (mixed-)race matter? The role of race in interracial sex, dating, and marriage

Sociology Compass
Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2017)
DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12531

Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Florida State University

Though sociologists have long focused on the role of race as a dynamic in romantic and sexual relationships, there is currently limited research on the experiences of mixed-race people and the ways their racial identities may be influencing how people navigate race and/or ethnicity as part of these intimate relationships. Due to the increase in the number of Americans‚ÄĒin both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships‚ÄĒreporting partners of a different race or ethnic background between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, race, and intimacy remain at the forefront of mainstream social concerns. However, research exploring how multiracial people‚ÄĒa rapidly growing population‚ÄĒfit in these trends is underrepresented. In this review, I discuss the existing research on race, dating, and marriage, particularly the meanings attached to interracial relationships in an online era. I also assess how recent research has begun to discuss the impact of mixed-race identity on intimate relationships both online and offline.

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Dating in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, Texas, United States, Women on 2016-12-19 00:06Z by Steven

Dating in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter

Racism Review: shcolarship and activism toward racial justice

Shantel Buggs, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Sociology
The University of Texas, Austin

When I started my dissertation research a year ago, I had not considered what impact the widespread media coverage of #BlackLivesMatter as a movement and rallying cry might have on my respondents. With my research, I intended to explore the online dating experiences of women who identify as multiracial here in Texas; what I have found has been a complex mobilization of Black Lives Matter as a metric of racial progressiveness. In 2016, it has become clear that the increased media attention being paid to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is shaping a particular orientation toward, and conversation around, race and racism in the United States. As scholar Khury Petersen-Smith notes, the movement has ‚Äúshattered what remained of the notion of a ‚Äėpost-racial‚Äô America.‚ÄĚ More specifically, my work has found that BLM has impacted individual-level relationships, creating a framework within which people are able to evaluate and ‚Äúvet‚ÄĚ their dating partners, especially amidst claims that society is more ‚Äúprogressive‚ÄĚ and that the atrocities we have witnessed are ‚Äúnot about race.‚ÄĚ

As every good social scientist knows, words mean things. The language around, and produced by, movements like BLM ‚Äď particularly in regards to discourses of race, racial inequality, state-sanctioned violence, and racism ‚Äď has influenced the ways in which the multiracial women in my study discuss race, racism, and inequality in the context of their intimate relationships. Several women have described using their own stances on the issues BLM addresses as a means of selecting potential dating partners. This finding suggests that BLM and other widespread social justice movements are having significant impacts on how people are navigating racial politics on an interpersonal level. This is particularly pertinent during a time where U.S. media and popular culture is especially focused on issues of racism and state-sanctioned violence…

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