Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-23 00:03Z by Steven

Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland

Rutgers University Press
January 2017
224 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-7637-4
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-7636-7
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-7639-8
ePub ISBN: 978-0-8135-7638-1

Jane H. Yamashiro, Visiting Scholar
Asian American Studies Center
University of California, Los Angeles

There is a rich body of literature on the experience of Japanese immigrants in the United States, and there are also numerous accounts of the cultural dislocation felt by American expats in Japan. But what happens when Japanese Americans, born and raised in the United States, are the ones living abroad in Japan?

Redefining Japaneseness chronicles how Japanese American migrants to Japan navigate and complicate the categories of Japanese and “foreigner.” Drawing from extensive interviews and fieldwork in the Tokyo area, Jane H. Yamashiro tracks the multiple ways these migrants strategically negotiate and interpret their daily interactions. Following a diverse group of subjects—some of only Japanese ancestry and others of mixed heritage, some fluent in Japanese and others struggling with the language, some from Hawaii and others from the US continent—her study reveals wide variations in how Japanese Americans perceive both Japaneseness and Americanness.

Making an important contribution to both Asian American studies and scholarship on transnational migration, Redefining Japaneseness critically interrogates the common assumption that people of Japanese ancestry identify as members of a global diaspora. Furthermore, through its close examination of subjects who migrate from one highly-industrialized nation to another, it dramatically expands our picture of the migrant experience.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Terminology
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Japanese as a Global Ancestral Group: Japaneseness on the US Continent, Hawaii, and Japan
  • 3. Differentiated Japanese American Identities: The Continent Versus Hawaii
  • 4. From Hapa to Hafu: Mixed Japanese American Identities in Japan
  • 5. Language and Names in Shifting Assertions of Japaneseness
  • 6. Back in the United States: Japanese American Interpretations of Their Experiences in Japan
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix A: Methodology: Studying Japanese American Experiences in Tokyo
  • Appendix B: List of Japanese American Interviewees Who Have Lived in Japan
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Tags: , , , , , ,

Skin Color Still Plays Big Role In Ethnically Diverse Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-08-22 21:49Z by Steven

Skin Color Still Plays Big Role In Ethnically Diverse Brazil

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2013-09-19

Audie Cornish, Host

Melissa Block visits a historic section of Rio de Janeiro that pays homage to Afro-Brazilian history and the many slaves that came ashore there. She talks with Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araujo about what it means to be black or mixed race in Brazil, and how skin color still dictates many aspects of life.


Download the story here. Read the transcript here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

“I identify as a black woman”

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science on 2016-08-21 02:19Z by Steven

“I identify as a black woman”

Kings Review
King’s College, Cambridge
2016-08-09

Tanisha Spratt
Department of Sociology
Cambridge University


Rachel Dolezal poses with her interracial family in 2013
Source: Facebook.

In the United States race transcends physicality. A black person can look physically white but identify as black if he or she is supported by the right credentials, and a white person who looks racially “other” can pass as black or white if he or she “acts the part.” Racial passing requires a great deal of work. In order to pass successfully the subject has to not only diligently maintain their physical appearance and actively form relationships with people from outside of their race but also, often, deny their families and other close acquaintances because their presence threatens his or her fabricated racial identity. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries numerous blacks who were light-skinned enough to pass as white did so in order to evade the social and legal barriers that blacks of all shades faced.

One of the primary incentives to pass was the prospect of living a life that was not conditioned by their inferior racial status. By passing they were given greater access to social, educational, and economic opportunities. Conversely, today there are many benefits of passing as black in the United States. A person who does so is given access to affirmative action programs, social networking groups such as Jack and Jill of America, Inc.,[1] and job opportunities that are race specific.[2] In their 2010 study “Passing as Black: Racial Identity Work Among Biracial AmericansNikki Khanna and Cathryn Johnson note that the majority of their biracial respondents “have, at one time or another, passed as black and they do this for several reasons – to fit in with black peers, to avoid a [white] stigmatized identity, and/ or for some perceived advantage or benefit.”[3] Too dark to pass as white in a white setting, respondents often claimed to “pass as black [in order] to find a place with their black peers” and, thus, avoid complete social isolation. Passing has been, and continues to be, orchestrated by many biracial Americans in order to navigate the strict and seemingly impermeable borders governing “blackness” and “whiteness.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

“Yuck, you disgust me!” Affective bias against interracial couples

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-19 12:10Z by Steven

“Yuck, you disgust me!” Affective bias against interracial couples

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume 68, January 2017
pages 68–77
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.05.008

Allison L. Skinner, Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Washington

Caitlin M. Hudac, Senior Post-doctoral Fellow
University of Washington

Highlights

  • Bias against interracial romance is correlated with self-reported feelings of disgust.
  • Interracial couples elicit a neural disgust response among observers – as indicated by increased insula activation.
  • Manipulating state disgust leads to implicit dehumanization of interracial couples.
  • Findings suggest that meaningful social units (e.g., couples) influence person perception.

The current research expands upon the sparse existing literature on the nature of bias against interracial couples. Study 1 demonstrates that bias against interracial romance is correlated with disgust. Study 2 provides evidence that images of interracial couples evoke a neural disgust response among observers – as indicated by increased insula activation relative to images of same-race couples. Consistent with psychological theory indicating that disgust leads to dehumanization, Study 3 demonstrates that manipulating disgust leads to implicit dehumanization of interracial couples. Overall, the current findings provide evidence that interracial couples elicit disgust and are dehumanized relative to same-race couples. These findings are particularly concerning, given evidence of antisocial reactions (e.g., aggression, perpetration of violence) to dehumanized targets. Findings also highlight the role of meaningful social units (e.g., couples) in person perception, an important consideration for psychologists conducting social cognition research.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Race And Radicalism In Puerto Rico: An Interview With Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

Posted in Articles, History, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-19 01:11Z by Steven

Race And Radicalism In Puerto Rico: An Interview With Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
2016-08-02

Devyn Spence Benson, Assistant Professor of History and African and African American Studies
Louisiana State University

This month I interviewed Dr. Carlos Alamo-Pastrana about his new book, Seams of Empire: Race and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States (University Press of Florida, 2016). Tracing cultural and political exchanges between African Americans, U.S. white liberals, and Puerto Ricans, this timely work highlights how activists and politicians in both spaces understood race, empire, and colonialism in the 20th century. Alamo-Pastrana illuminates the potential for fruitful multiracial alliances by uncovering the archive of a sub-group of Puerto Rican independentistas called the Proyecto Piloto. Led by Puerto Rican doctor Ana Livia Cordero, who had been married to Julian Mayfield, this group identified Puerto Rico as a black nation, worked to provide education and social services in poor barrios, and sought links with U.S. black radicals. Seams of Empire is a must read for scholars of transnational and diaspora history as well as anyone trying to build black and brown alliances in today’s antiracist movements.

Dr. Carlos Alamo-Pastrana is currently Associate Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources at Vassar College where he is also Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies. His research and teaching interests focus on comparative racial formations, Latino/a Studies, Afro-Latina/o intellectual history, popular culture, and prison studies.

Seams of Empire follows cultural workers and politicians in Puerto Rico and the United States to tell a story about racism, colonialism, and activism. What led you to focus the book on these exchanges?

Alamo-Pastrana: That is such a great question because it really gets at the heart of the book. As someone who studies race in the Americas, I have always found the conversations about race in Puerto Rico a bit limiting. These are in many instances reduced to the realm of popular culture especially music, film, etc. Even more, they are framed in very insular ways that really limit the scope of how we should think about race in broader contexts to include different national, racial, and political movements and groups. This is significant because it helps to produce and circulate some of the troubling forms of racial exceptionalism that I discuss in the book. Even I fell into this trap in some of my earlier research projects on Afro-Puerto Rican folk music.

But, for this book, I felt that I needed to push the analysis beyond the nation-state framework to see the more dynamic ways that people and ideologies travel across different spaces. The book tries to use cultural production and actors in larger global circuits in order to see how race is being (re)configured and used to explain certain political dilemmas…

…In the Introduction, you make a point of saying that you want Puerto Rican Studies scholars to “banish” la gran familia puertorriqueña as an analytical lens for looking at the island (11). What is the grand Puerto Rican family and what dangers (or challenges) does it present to the type of work you do?

Alamo-Pastrana: La gran familia puertorriqueña is one of the foundational state myths that asserts that Puerto Rico is somehow a racially heterogeneous (mestizo), inclusive, and equal nation. It is this, the argument goes, that makes Puerto Rico so much more different than its racist colonizer to the North. Well, you don’t have to look around much in Puerto Rico to see how untrue this is…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , ,

Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-08-17 14:40Z by Steven

Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Stanford University Press
November 2016
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804799560
Paper ISBN: 9781503600546

Jennifer Goett, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics
James Madison College, Michigan State University

Decades after the first multicultural reforms were introduced in Latin America, Afrodescendant people from the region are still disproportionately impoverished, underserved, policed, and incarcerated. In Nicaragua, Afrodescendants have mobilized to confront this state of siege through the politics of black autonomy. For women and men grappling with postwar violence, black autonomy has its own cultural meanings as a political aspiration and a way of crafting selfhood and solidarity.

Jennifer Goett’s ethnography examines the race and gender politics of activism for autonomous rights in an Afrodescedant Creole community in Nicaragua. Weaving together fifteen years of research, Black Autonomy follows this community-based movement from its inception in the late 1990s to its realization as an autonomous territory in 2009 and beyond. Goett argues that despite significant gains in multicultural recognition, Afro-Nicaraguan Creoles continue to grapple with the day-to-day violence of capitalist intensification, racialized policing, and drug war militarization in their territories. Activists have responded by adopting a politics of autonomy based on race pride, territoriality, self-determination, and self-defense. Black Autonomy shows how this political radicalism is rooted in African diasporic identification and gendered cultural practices that women and men use to assert control over their bodies, labor, and spaces in an atmosphere of violence.

Tags: , , ,

Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-17 14:23Z by Steven

Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Medical Daily
2016-08-15

Dana Dovey, Health and Science Reporter

The number of interracial marriages are at an all-time high, and the biracial demographic continues to grow. However, our admiration for the “exotic” looks of multicultural people may have consequences. According to a recent study, black people who simply say they’re multiracial are considered better-looking by others, regardless of how they actually look.

For the study, 3,200 self-identified black people were interviewed by people of all different races as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The interviewees were asked a series of questions about their racial background. Afterwards, the interviewers then rated the black interviewees on their attractiveness based on a scale of one to five. Results revealed that individuals who said they were multiracial got higher scores of attractiveness, suggesting that just the idea that an African-American person is of mixed-race heritage makes that person more attractive to others…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Japan’s Under-Researched Visible Minorities: Applying Critical Race Theory to Racialization Dynamics in a Non-White Society

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-08-15 23:08Z by Steven

Japan’s Under-Researched Visible Minorities: Applying Critical Race Theory to Racialization Dynamics in a Non-White Society

Washington University Global Studies Law Review
Volume 14, Issue 4: Global Perspectives on Colorism (Symposium Edition) (2015)
pages 695-723

Debito Arudou

Critical Race Theory (CRT), an analytical framework grounded in American legal academia, uncovers power relationships between a racialized enfranchised majority and a disenfranchised minority. Although applied primarily to countries and societies with Caucasian majorities to analyze White Privilege this Article applies CRT to Japan, a non-White majority society. After discussing how scholarship on Japan has hitherto ignored a fundamental factor within racialization studies—the effects of skin color on the concept of “Japaneseness”—this Article examines an example of published research on the Post-WWIIkonketsuji problem.” This research finds blind spots in the analysis, and re-examines it through CRT to uncover more nuanced power dynamics. This exercise attempts to illustrate the universality of nation-state racialization processes, and advocates the expansion of Whiteness Studies beyond Caucasian-majority societies into worldwide Colorism dynamics in general.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Racialized Lives: Ethnic Mixing and Mixed Ethnicity in Britain

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2016-08-15 18:06Z by Steven

Racialized Lives: Ethnic Mixing and Mixed Ethnicity in Britain

New Left Project
2015-03-06

Karis Campion, Doctoral Researcher and Graduate Teaching Assistant
Department of Sociology
University of Manchester

Racialization has had a deeply personal impact on the lives of people in Britain, but history shows us it can be challenged.

In Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider, Satnam Virdee presents an original, alternative history of the English working class, interrogating the dominant scholarly arguments which, he claims, have too often portrayed it as synonymous with the working white male.  Focusing on a period spanning 200 years (1780-1990), Virdee thoroughly explores how the boundaries which have encompassed the working class as a distinct social (white) category have been continuously in flux.

The book details important events and developments over this period when the boundaries of the working class were extended to include what Virdee refers to as ‘racialized outsiders’.  Importantly though, whilst Virdee offers a close analysis of the specific conditions in which the boundaries of the English working class protracted to subsume working class ethnic Others, he does not shy away from dealing with less collective periods for the working class, when boundaries were tightened to exclude those same Others.  It is racialization which, as he often explains in the book, has historically been a key factor in encouraging the working class to retreat from becoming a multi-ethnic collective.

Virdee documents the Chartist movement and the period which followed in the 19th century as one key moment when the boundaries of the working class were tightened in order to exclude.  The Irish presence in the struggle and the potentially multi-ethnic working class solidarity movement which might have followed, unsettled the state.  In response, it utilised various tactics to racialize the movement.  It was constructed as something ‘foreign and alien,’ more aligned to the wishes of the Irish Catholics who led it than ‘an authentic expression of the wishes of the English masses.’[1] Alongside this racist rhetoric, a new version of British nationalism was conjured up.  ‘The nation was re-imagined as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation’[2] by elites, and sections of the English working class were gradually incorporated into this.  Within this image of the nation, there was little space for the Irish Catholic working class, and this racist rhetoric and method of rule would eventually lead to the downfall of Chartism…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Recognizing Race and Ethnicity: Power, Privilege, and Inequality

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-15 17:49Z by Steven

Recognizing Race and Ethnicity: Power, Privilege, and Inequality

Westview Press
2014-03-11
552 pages
Print ISBN: 9780813349305
Ebook ISBN: 9780813349312

Kathleen J. Fitzgerald, Professor of Sociology
University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana

Despite radical changes over the last century, race remains a central organizing principle in U.S. society, a key arena of inequality, and the subject of ongoing conflict and debate. In a refreshing new introduction to the sociology of race, Recognizing Race and Ethnicity encourages students to think differently by challenging the notion that we are, or should even aspire to be, color-blind.

In this text, Kathleen Fitzgerald considers how the continuing significance of race manifests in both significant and obscure ways by looking across all racial/ethnic groups within the socio-historical context of institutions and arenas, rather than discussing each group by group. Incorporating recent research and contemporary theoretical perspectives, she guides students to examine racial ideologies and identities as well as structural racism; at the same time, she covers topics like popular culture, sports, and interracial relationships that will keep students engaged. Recognizing Race and Ethnicity provides unparalleled coverage of white privilege while remaining careful to not treat “white” as the norm against which all other groups are defined.

Recognizing Race and Ethnicity makes it clear that, in a time when race and racism are constantly evolving in response to varied social contexts, societal demands, and political climates, we all must learn to recognize race if we are to get beyond it.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Thinking About Race
    • 1. Taking Account of Race and Privilege
    • 2. White Privilege: The Other Side of Racism
    • 3. Science and the Sociology of Race
  • Part 2: A Sociological History of US Race Relations
    • 4. Emergence of the US Racial Hierarchy
    • 5. Race Relations in the 19th and 20th Centuries
    • 6. Race Relations in Flux: Post-World War II Activism
  • Part 3: Institutional Inequalities
    • 7. Education
    • 8. Economic Inequality and the Role of the State
    • 9. Crime and Criminal Justice
    • 10. Race in the Cultural Imagination
  • Part 4: Contemporary Issues in Race/Ethnicity
    • 11. Arenas of Racial Integration: Interracial Relationships, Multiracial Families, Biracial/Multiracial Identities, Sports, and the Military
    • 12. A Post-Racial Society?
Tags: , ,