Mr. Spock, Mixed-Race Pioneer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-02 02:04Z by Steven

Mr. Spock, Mixed-Race Pioneer

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio

Steve Haruch

At a time when the mere sight of Petula Clark touching Harry Belafonte’s arm held the potential to upset delicate sensibilities, the half-human, half-Vulcan character Mr. Spock embodied an identity rarely acknowledged, much less seen, on television: a mixed-race person.

Sure, the mixing of races was allegorical in Spock’s case, as was the brilliantly subversive mode for social commentary on Star Trek. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t resonate.

In 1968 — the year Clark made contact with Belafonte, and the same year the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” caused much consternation for network executives who feared backlash against the interracial kiss between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura — a young girl wrote a letter to Spock, care of FaVE magazine. In the letter, she makes the connection between Spock’s fictional identity and her own very real situation:

“I know that you are half Vulcan and half human and you have suffered because of this. My mother is Negro and my father is white and I am told this makes me a half-breed. In some ways I am persecuted even more than the Negro. The Negroes don’t like me because I don’t look like them. The white kids don’t like me because I don’t exactly look like one of them either.”

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, wrote a long and thoughtful response that reads, in part:

“Spock learned he could save himself from letting prejudice get him down. He could do this by really understanding himself and knowing his own value as a person. He found he was equal to anyone who might try to put him down — equal in his own unique way.

You can do this too, if you realize the difference between popularity and true greatness.”

Spock certainly knew what “true greatness” was all about. You didn’t have to be mixed-race to feel this kind of connection to Spock, though…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Posted in Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-28 02:44Z by Steven


The Society for Personality and Social Psychology
16th Annual Convention
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
Long Beach, California
2015-02-26 through 2015-02-28

Friday, 2015-02-27, 12:30-14:00 PST (Local Time)
Hall B

Yolanda Mitchell
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Roudi N. Roy
California State University, Long Beach

Race can have a direct impact on how mixed-race children are seen by others as well as how they understand and encounter the world around them. Although identity development among biracial children is not a novel area of research the aim of this study was to explore how multiracial children are socialized when they are raised in blended families with monoracial parents. Given the sensitive nature of this topic we applied a qualitative methodology blending both a heuristic perspective and interviews with parents from two separate families. Themes related to racial profiling, parental perception of the mixed race child’s personality, level of respect, and parenting were identified through the five-step analyses process. This study highlights relevant socialization aspects in the lives of mixed-race children. More importantly it identifies ways in which the biological parent perceived their child’s racial identity differently than the stepparent.

For more information, click here and go to page 260.

Tags: , , , ,

Don’t Erase My Race: 4 Affirmations to Remember When Reclaiming Your Multi-Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-27 02:51Z by Steven

Don’t Erase My Race: 4 Affirmations to Remember When Reclaiming Your Multi-Racial Identity

Everyday Feminism

Aliya Khan, Contributing Writer

Source: “Navigating Two Different Cultures: A Pakistani Immigrant Girl’s Struggles,” The Brooklyn Ink, (May 16, 2013).

I was walking across campus, on my way to class, when a white man stopped me and asked, “Are you from Bahrain?”

“I’m sorry?” I asked, confused by his question.

“Bahrain? I have a friend who is studying here from there, and you look so similar to her.”

I have a lot of opinions about when and how it is appropriate to ask someone about their race, mostly formed by my early experiences watching my Pakistani father struggle to respond to questions just like that one. But that’s not what first entered my mind this time.

What first entered my mind was, “Oh, he doesn’t think I’m white.”

If I’m not being read as white, people describe me as “racially ambiguous.” Sometimes, my race is ignored completely. Other times, folks make assumptions about my origins, ranging from every continent of the world.

I never understood how or why people developed such diversely varied opinions about my race. Was it my name that gave it away? my skin tone? Did they mistake my Midwest accent for something more “exotic?”

The invalidation of my racial identity from others was confusing growing up. It was a constant reminder that I just didn’t quite fit in.

My experiences growing up with a Pakistani father did not match those of my White friends, but it was also clear that, as someone who was biracial, I didn’t fit in to any other category…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

Symposium S-H09: Understanding the Dynamics of Beliefs in Genetic and Racial Essences

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-26 20:34Z by Steven

Symposium S-H09: Understanding the Dynamics of Beliefs in Genetic and Racial Essences

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology
16th Annual Convention
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
Long Beach, California
2015-02-26 through 2015-02-28

Saturday, 2015-02-28, 15:30-16:45 PST (Local Time)
Room 202ABC

Franki Kung
University of Waterloo


Melody Chao
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

The symposium presents research that transcends the static, and often negative, conceptualization of essentialism. Four papers present a dynamic view of essentialist beliefs and show that beliefs in genetic or racial essences could lead to both positive and negative social psychological outcomes in interpersonal, intergroup and clinical contexts.

The Implications of Cultural Essentialism on Interpersonal Conflicts in Inter- vs. Intracultural Contexts

Franki Yk Hei Kung
University of Waterloo

Melody M. Chao
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Donna Yao
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Ho-ying Fu
City University of Hong Kong

Although psychological essentialism has been shown to influence a wide range of psychological processes in intergroup contexts, little is known about its impact on managing interpersonal conflicts in intracultural and intercultural settings. The current research aims to address this question. Findings across three studies (N=387) revealed that individuals who endorse essentialist beliefs less were more likely to trust their interaction partner in intercultural than intracultural conflict situations. This increased trusting relationship, in turn, could lead to more integration of ideas and both better individual and joint outcomes in face-to-face dyadic intercultural negotiations. The current study unveils when and how essentialist beliefs influence individuals’ ability to function effectively in intercultural and intercultural contexts. Implications of the findings in advancing our understanding of intercultural competence will be discussed.

To be Essentialist or Not: The Positive and Negative Ramifications of Race Essentialism for Multiracial Individuals

Kristin Pauker
University of Hawaii

Chanel Meyers
University of Hawaii

Jon Freeman
New York University

Research documents the many negative implications of race essentialism for intergroup relations, ranging from increased stereotyping to less motivation to cross racial boundaries. This research has primarily examined such negative implications from the perspective of White perceivers. Two studies (N=138) explored positive and negative ramifications of adopting essentialist beliefs about race for racial minorities, specifically multiracial individuals. We hypothesized that adopting less essentialist beliefs may aid multiracial individuals in flexibly adopting the framework of multiple identities with positive consequences for their face memory, but may result in negative consequences for their racial identity. Results indicated that multiracial individuals with less essentialist views could readily adopt the lens of primed monoracial identities and exhibited preferential memory for identity-prime relevant faces. However, when it came to their own racial identification, more essentialist views appeared to be beneficial—as it was associated with higher identity integration and greater pride in a multiracial identity.

Folk Beliefs about Genetic Variation Predict Avoidance of Biracial Individuals

Jason E. Plaks
University of Toronto

Sonia K. Kang
University of Toronto

Alison L. Chasteen
University of Toronto

Jessica D. Remedios
Tufts University

Laypeople’s estimates of the amount of genetic overlap between vs. within racial groups vary widely. While some believe that different races are genetically similar, others believe that different races share little genetic material. These studies examine how beliefs about genetic overlap affect neural and behavioral reactions to racially-ambiguous and biracial targets. In Study 1, we found that the low overlap perspective predicts a stronger neural avoidance response to biracial compared to Black or White targets. In Study 2, we manipulated genetic overlap beliefs and found that participants in the low overlap condition explicitly rated biracial targets more negatively than Black targets. In Study 3, this difference extended to distancing behavior: Low overlap perceivers sat further away when expecting to meet a biracial person than when expecting to meet a Black person. These data suggest that a priori assumptions about human genetic variation guide perceivers’ reactions to racially-ambiguous individuals.

Genetic Attributions Underlie People’s Attitudes Towards Criminal Responsibility and Eugenics

Steven J. Heine
Department of Psychology
University of British Columbia

Benjamin Y. Cheung
Department of Psychology
University of British Columbia

People are essentialist thinkers – they are attracted to the idea that hidden essences make things as they are. When most people encounter genetic concepts they think of these as essences, and they then think about related phenomena as immutable, determined, homogenous and discrete, and natural. I will discuss experimental research that demonstrates how encounters with information about genetic causes leads people to view two highly politicized topics in quite different terms. Specifically, in contrast to those who were exposed to arguments about experiential causes, people who encountered genetic attributions of violent behavior were more open to defenses appealing to mitigated criminal responsibility, and genetic attributions of intelligence lead people to be more supportive of eugenic policies.

For more information click here and go to page 125.

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

Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling: The Fifth Minority

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-02-24 02:19Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling: The Fifth Minority

224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-13-802191-4
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-13-802193-8

Sandra Winn Tutwiler, Professor of Education
Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

This timely, in-depth examination of the educational experiences and needs of mixed-race children (“the fifth minority”) focuses on the four contexts that primarily influence learning and development: the family, school, community, and society-at-large.

The book provides foundational historical, social, political, and psychological information about mixed-race children and looks closely at their experiences in schools, their identity formation, and how schools can be made more supportive of their development and learning needs. Moving away from an essentialist discussion of mixed-race children, a wide variety of research is included. Life and schooling experiences of mixed-raced individuals are profiled throughout the text. Rather than pigeonholing children into a neat box of descriptions or providing ready made prescriptions for educators, Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling offers information and encourages teachers to critically reflect on how it is relevant to and helpful in their teaching/learning contexts.

Tags: , , ,

Mixed 101: Creating a Space to Explore Mixed Race Identity

Posted in Campus Life, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2015-02-18 02:55Z by Steven

Mixed 101: Creating a Space to Explore Mixed Race Identity

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina 27708
Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS)
Resource Room 0010
Bryan Center – Multicultural Center
Thursdays, 17:00-18:30 EST (Local Time) on February 12, 19, 26, and March 5

Marcella Wagner and Cat Goyeneche

CAPS is offering a weekly group for students who identify as mixed or multiracial to dialogue and explore our experiences of being mixed race.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , ,

Are Mixed Race Asian/Whites, “Basically White”?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-18 02:27Z by Steven

Are Mixed Race Asian/Whites, “Basically White”?

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian

Sharon H. Chang

[She] never told the son who was crippled by polio about her relationship with his father. All she said was that the man was an American, a sergeant in the Army. He was one of the thousands of GIs who left children behind as victims of the conflict that the United States never officially called a war.
— “Life and Times of Le Van Minh” by Irene Virag

I’ve gotten some pretty vitriolic comments these last months regarding my writings on white-mixing not being synonymous with whiteness. A recent response to my piece protesting Asian Fortune’s troubled 2013 “Hapa” article:

“Guys…Sometimes you just need to calm the f down. You need to get out of your heads a little bit and stop over analyzing things. I’m sure all you hapas out there have some understanding of the way hapas are treated in Asia. Talk about superficial stereotypical understandings! Your ultra-liberal, ultra-progressive, straight-out-of-an-undergraduate-African-American-studies-class mumbo jumbo would only ever be considered in White countries. And you know damn well that you benefit from ‘White privilege.’ The reason I put that in quotes is beyond the scope of this comment. Don’t write back with some bullshit about traffic stops – I know the statistics.” (October 26, 2014)

Another recent response, this time to my piece on talking mixed race identity with young children for Hyphen Magazine:

“‘mom am i white?’

the answer is yes, he is. Stop confusing the poor child and STOP telling him he’s of Asian descent when you and the baby daddy are clearly white. He will grow up with an identity problem and will very likely hate you for it. Have some decency as a parent.” (February 10, 2015)…

…There are a lot of problems with the idea that Asian/whites are white: (1) it disallows space for contemporary Asian/whites to discuss the racialized experiences they do have when they are viewed and treated as non-white, (2) it ignores/invalidates/erases these oppressions as stemming from a long history of racism Asian/whites have faced nationally and globally that is an integral part of the larger narrative of race, and (3) it ultimately deflects from the more important point that it is not Asian/whites who created and uphold the racism we struggle to undo today…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Mixed Feelings

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-02-16 20:14Z by Steven

Mixed Feelings

The Center for Asian American Media
45 minutes, VHS

Mikko Jokela, Director/Poducer

Through interviews with five UC Berkeley students and teachers of mixed ethnic heritage, filmmaker Mikko Jokela illuminates the experience of what it is like to grow up part Asian in American society. His peers offer personal anecdotes detailing how their parents met, what it was like growing up, how they initially perceived their own cultural identities and how they see themselves today. Humorous and revelatory, this experimental documentary manages to tackle difficult issues of racial reconciliation while celebrating difference and diversity.

For more information, click here.

Tags: , ,

Growing Up As A Hafu In Japan

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2015-02-16 02:20Z by Steven

Growing Up As A Hafu In Japan


Yumi Nakata

Even though Japan is far more Westernized today than it has ever been, it still remains a very homogeneous country. The government has been trying to promote internationalization and also improve the English curriculum in schools but the process takes times and Japan is not a country that moves quickly.

As more foreigners choose to live in Japan, the number of interracial children has been on the rise. These children who have a non-Japanese parent are called “Hafu”, a twist on the English word half. Some people say these mixed children should be called “double” instead of “half”.

I am actually Hafu myself. My mother is from South East Asia and my father is Japanese. They met while my mother was studying in Japan as an international student. All of us, Hafu who grow up in Japan share the same dilemma. Hafu children are minorities so we struggle to fit into the mainstream Japanese society that constantly teaches us the importance of harmony and unity. At least, I look Japanese and people would never know that I am Hafu unless I tell them but what about the Hafu children who look non-Japanese?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-16 01:42Z by Steven

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age

USC Annenberg Press
113 pages
ISBN: 9781625175564

Edited by:

Ulli K. Ryder
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Rhode Island

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Clinical Assistant Professor
Annenberg School for Communication and Jounalism
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Have you been asked, “what nationality are you” or “what country are you from”?
Have you been puzzled when forms tell you to “select only one ethnicity”?
Have you been disturbed to hear that you’re the “face of a colorblind future”?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this book is for you.

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age is an e-book that contains 17 contributions (many with exclusive photos) from award-winning writers, researchers and artists who embody a “mixed mindset.” Audacious and razor-sharp, Mixed Race 3.0 exposes the many monochromatic portrayals of multiracial people’s richness, variety and struggles in history, politics, mass-media and technology. Fans of Loving Day, Race Remixed, Mixed Chicks Chat, The Mixed Experience Podcast, Mixed Girl Problems and Critical Mixed Race Studies will be captivated, incensed and inspired by the powerful discussions of risks and rewards of being multiracial today.

Beyond memoir or case study, this book offers three versions of what it means to be mixed from a variety of voices. Version 1 is “Mixed Race 1.0: A Monologue.” Or, how did multiracial identities emerge in the U.S. and what challenges did they face? Version 2 is “Mixed Race 2.0: A Dialogue.” Or, what are some core differences between how multiracials think and talk about themselves and how U.S. and global cultures think and talk about them? Version 3 is “Mixed Race 3.0: A Megalogue.” Or, where in the world is this entire thing going as technology plays more of a role?

With honest storytelling and up-to-date critical inquiry, Mixed Race 3.0 plots a path not just to being mixed in the 21st century, but one open to anyone interested in simply “how to be.” The result is a poignant, intelligent, and daring journey that dissects the controversial label—multiracial—and challenges any politician, pundit or provocateur that purports to speak for or about all multiracial people.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    • Herman S. Gray
  • Introduction
  • Section 1 Mixed Race 1.0: A Monologue
    • Gary B. Nash
    • Peggy Pascoe
    • Jordan Clarke
  • Section 2 Mixed Race 2.0: A Dialouge
    • Ken Tanabe
    • Lori L. Tharps
    • Andrew K. Jolivette
    • Ulli K. Ryder
    • Marcia Alesan Dawkins
    • Stephanie Sparling
  • Section 3 Mixed Race 3.0: A Megalogue
    • Rainier Spencer
    • Velina Hasu Houston
    • Lindsay A. Dawkins
    • Amanda Mardon
    • Shoshana Sarah
    • Mary Beltrán
    • Lisa Rueckert
  • The Authors and Artists
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,