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.

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Interracial Love Is No Societal Cure-All

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 18:19Z by Steven

Interracial Love Is No Societal Cure-All


Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Visiting Scholar
Brown University

A recently released report by the Pew Center is a belated Valentine’s Day gift to interracial families. The report indicates that intermarriage across racial and ethnic lines continues to be on the rise in the U.S. and the change is a sign that acceptance is growing. Although this is definitely cause for celebration and a reason to continue the fight for marriage equality everywhere, we should remember that a fuller and more accurate historical account of interracial sex and marriage in the U.S. should focus on social and legal constraints along with demographic patterns.

One reason why is the large-scale psychological distress experienced by all racial groups resulting from a social and legal history around interracial sex and marriage that’s been fraught with challenges. Legal history tells us that interracial sexual relations have been a troubled issue since the days of colonialism and enslavement, when many African-American women were forced to give birth to mixed race children to increase the enslaved population. This means that a large number of people who can claim interracial heritage do not because they are what multiracial activist Glenn Robinson calls “mixed by force” rather than “mixed by choice.” We must also consider the many free “mixed by choice” families of various backgrounds whose marriages were not recognized in the census records because miscegenation laws got even stricter after the demise of slavery.

Then, there were female members of interracial marriages, such as New York’s Alice Rhinelander in 1925 or California’s Marie Antoinette Monks in 1939, who were accused of fraud so that their marriages could be annulled and so that they could be disinherited. So, we must remember that before the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia ended bans on interracial marriage in all territories where it was outlawed, interracial coupling was a common practice. That means there may be some validity to the critique that today’s demographic patterns may not represent as much of an increase from historical trends as is being reported. Sadly, this is difficult to prove because there are few historical records to document the trend through its 500-or-more-year history in the U.S…

Read the entire article here.

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The Rise of Intermarriage: Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 13:05Z by Steven

 The Rise of Intermarriage: Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender

Pew Social and Demographic Trends
Pew Research Center
Washington, DC
56 pages

Wendy Wang, Research Associate

Note from Steven F. Riley: The Pew Social and Demographic Trends data is report from 2010-06-04 for the year 2008, titled “Marrying Out: One-in-Seven New U.S. Marriages is Interracial or Interethnic” is here.

Page 10 of the report states,

Backdrop and Recent Changes: The increasing popularity of intermarriage in the U.S. happens at a time when fewer people are getting married and the share of adults currently married has reached a historic low. [See the report “Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married—A Record Low,”]  The number of new marriages in the U.S. has declined from approximately 2.3 million in 2008 to 2.1 million in 2010. Only about half of U.S. adults (51%) are currently married. The share is highest among Asians (61%) and lowest among African Americans (31%), with whites (55%) and Hispanics (48%) in between.

For new marriages in 2008 to 2010 period, black male exogamy increased from 21.7% to 23.6% (from 1 in 5 to 1 in 4) and black female exogamy increased from 8.9% to 9.3% (relatively steady at 1 in 11). Asian male exogamy decreased from 19.5% to 16.6% (from 1 in 5 to 1 in 6) and Asian female exogamy decreased from 39.5% to 36.1% (from 2 in 5 to 2 in 6).

This report contains no data on the “exogamy” of individuals who identify with more than one racial group.

Executive Summary
This report analyzes the demographic and economic characteristics of newlyweds who marry spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and compares the traits of those who “marry out” with those who “marry in.” The newlywed pairs are grouped by the race and ethnicity of the husband and wife, and are compared in terms of earnings, education, age of spouse, region of residence and other characteristics. This report is primarily based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2008-2010 and on findings from three of the Center’s own nationwide telephone surveys that explore public attitudes toward intermarriage. For more information about data sources and methodology, see Appendix 1.

Key findings:

  • The increasing popularity of intermarriage. About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%). Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married out. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%. In 1980, that share was just 3.2%.
  • Gender patterns in intermarriage vary widely. About 24% of all black male newlyweds in 2010 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds. Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the other way. About 36% of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race in 2010, compared with just 17% of Asian male newlyweds. Intermarriage rates among white and Hispanic newlyweds do not vary by gender.
  • At first glance, recent newlyweds who “married out” and those who “married in” have similar characteristics. In 2008-2010, the median combined annual earnings of both groups are similar—$56,711 for newlyweds who married out versus $55,000 for those who married in. In about one-in-five marriages of each group, both the husband and wife are college graduates. Spouses in the two groups also marry at similar ages (with a two- to three-year age gap between husband and wife), and an equal share are marrying for the first time.
  • However, these overall similarities mask sharp differences that emerge when the analysis looks in more detail at pairings by race and ethnicity. Some of these differences appear to reflect the overall characteristics of different groups in society at large, and some may be a result of a selection process. For example, white/Asian newlyweds of 2008 through 2010 have significantly higher median combined annual earnings ($70,952) than do any other pairing, including both white/white ($60,000) and Asian/Asian ($62,000). When it comes to educational characteristics, more than half of white newlyweds who marry Asians have a college degree, compared with roughly a third of white newlyweds who married whites. Among Hispanics and blacks, newlyweds who married whites tend to have higher educational attainment than do those who married within their own racial or ethnic group.
  • Intermarriage and earnings. Couples formed between an Asian husband and a white wife topped the median earning list among all newlyweds in 2008-2010 ($71,800). During this period, white male newlyweds who married Asian, Hispanic or black spouses had higher combined earnings than did white male newlyweds who married a white spouse. As for white female newlyweds, those who married a Hispanic or black husband had somewhat lower combined earnings than those who “married in,” while those who married an Asian husband had significantly higher combined earnings.
  • Regional differences. Intermarriage in the United States tilts West. About one-in-five (22%) of all newlyweds in Western states married someone of a different race or ethnicity between 2008 and 2010, compared with 14% in the South, 13% in the Northeast and 11% in the Midwest. At the state level, more than four-in-ten (42%) newlyweds in Hawaii between 2008 and 2010 were intermarried; the other states with an intermarriage rate of 20% or more are all west of the Mississippi River. (For rates of intermarriage as well as intra-marriage in all 50 states, see Appendix 2.)
  • Is more intermarriage good for society? More than four-in-ten Americans (43%) say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while 11% say it has been a change for the worse and 44% say it has made no difference. Minorities, younger adults, the college-educated, those who describe themselves as liberal and those who live in the Northeast or the West are more disposed than others to see intermarriage in a positive light.
  • Public’s acceptance of intermarriage. More than one-third of Americans (35%) say that a member of their immediate family or a close relative is currently married to someone of a different race. Also, nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say it “would be fine” with them if a member of their own family were to marry someone outside their own racial or ethnic group. In 1986, the public was divided about this. Nearly three-in-ten Americans (28%) said people of different races marrying each other was not acceptable for anyone, and an additional 37% said this may be acceptable for others, but not for themselves. Only one-third of the public (33%) viewed intermarriage as acceptable for everyone.
  • Divorce. Several studies using government data have found that overall divorce rates are higher for couples who married out than for those who married in – but here, too, the patterns vary by the racial and gender characteristics of the couples. These findings are based on scholarly analysis of government data on marriage and divorce collected over the past two decades.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter 1: Overview
  • Chapter 2: Characteristics of Intermarried Newlyweds
  • Chapter 3: Intermarried Couples of Different Cohorts
  • Chapter 4: Public Attitudes on Intermarriage
  • Appendices
    1. Data & Methodology
    2. State and Regional Rates
    3. Detailed tables

Read the entire report here.

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Onerous passions: colonial anti-miscegenation rhetoric and the history of sexuality

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2012-02-17 05:35Z by Steven

Onerous passions: colonial anti-miscegenation rhetoric and the history of sexuality

Patterns of Prejudice
Volume 45, Issue 4, 2011
pages 319-340
DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2011.605843

Nadine Ehlers, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Ehlers’s analysis revisits Foucauldian conceptualizations of the history of sexuality in order to map the inextricability of race, gender and sexuality as they emerged in the context of the early American colonies. The salience of such an analysis lies in its ability to extend the terrain of Foucault’s history, and brings new considerations to bear regarding the specific configurations of race, gender and sexual intersections in North American history. If, as Foucault insists, sexuality is a set of effects produced in bodies, behaviours and social relations, Ehlers reorients these claims to consider how these effects were racialized within the rubric of colonial anti-miscegenation rhetoric. Through such a tracing, it becomes evident that, from the early colonial context, sexuality was deployed to produce ‘ideal’ sexuality as a bastion of whiteness: that is, to configure and maintain ‘ideal’ sexuality as white.

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Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, United States on 2012-02-17 05:23Z by Steven

Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Stanford University Press
320 pages
26 illustrations, 5 maps.
Cloth ISBN: 9780804778145; E-book ISBN: 9780804783712

Grace Peña Delgado, Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Making the Chinese Mexican is the first book to examine the Chinese diaspora in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. It presents a fresh perspective on immigration, nationalism, and racism through the experiences of Chinese migrants in the region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Navigating the interlocking global and local systems of migration that underlay Chinese borderlands communities, the author situates the often-paradoxical existence of these communities within the turbulence of exclusionary nationalisms.

The world of Chinese fronterizos (borderlanders) was shaped by the convergence of trans-Pacific networks and local arrangements: against a backdrop of national unrest in Mexico and in the era of exclusionary immigration policies in the United States, Chinese fronterizos carved out vibrant, enduring communities that provided a buffer against virulent Sinophobia. This book challenges us to reexamine the complexities of nation-making, identity formation, and the meaning of citizenship. It represents an essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

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Passing Fancies: Color, much more than race, dominated the fiction of the Harlem Renaissance

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Passing, United States on 2012-02-17 05:09Z by Steven

Passing Fancies: Color, much more than race, dominated the fiction of the Harlem Renaissance

The Wall Street Journal

James Campbell

Harlem Renaissance Novels, Edited by Rafia Zafar, Library of America, 1,715 pages

Harlem in the autumn of 1924 offered a “foretaste of paradise,” according to the novelist Arna Bontemps. He was recalling the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance and was perhaps a little dazzled in retrospect—Bontemps was writing in 1965—by his memories of “strings of fairy lights” illuminating the uptown “broad avenues” at dusk.

A gloomier perspective is found in the writings of James Baldwin, born in Harlem Hospital in August 1924. His novel “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1953) and his memoir, “The Fire Next Time” (1963), both evoke a Harlem childhood dominated by poverty, fear, brutality, with the dim torch of salvation locked in a storefront church. Baldwin scarcely mentions the renaissance or its principals in all his writings—despite the remarkable coincidence of his having attended schools where two mainstays of any account of the Harlem Renaissance were teachers: the poet Countee Cullen and the novelist Jessie Redmon

…Any rebirth is bound to be bloody, and perhaps the better for it. Grudge, guilt and prejudice notwithstanding, the Harlem Renaissance produced a lot of good writing, some of it worth reading eight decades later. Almost all the novels chosen by Rafia Zafar for the Library of America’s two-volume collection contain scenes of interest, even when the interest is mainly sociological. (The exception is George Schuyler’s 1931 “Black No More,” a far-fetched, burlesque yarn about passing for white that might have been omitted in favor of Van Vechten’s “Nigger Heaven.”) The predominant theme of the majority of novels here—to the point of obsession—is not so much prejudice as plain color. Bigoted white voices are heard, but light-skinned blacks expressing distaste for their darker neighbors speak louder. As the heroine of Nella Larsen’s “Quicksand” (1928) observes: “Negro society . . . was as complicated and as rigid in its ramifications as the highest strata of white society.”

The most arresting tale, in this respect, is “The Blacker the Berry” (1929) by Wallace Thurman, in which poor Emma Lou Morgan, daughter of a “quite fair” mother, realizes that her “luscious black complexion” is despised by those around her, many of whom can pass for white. Emma Lou’s “unwelcome black mask” has been inherited from her “no good” father, who had “never been in evidence.” Ill-treatment from white students and teachers at school is bad enough; but when Emma Lou gets to Harlem, the humiliation turns to cruelty. She tries to rent a room from a West Indian woman. “A little girl had come to the door, and, in answer to a voice in the back asking, ‘Who is it, Cora?’ had replied, ‘monkey chaser wants to see the room you got to rent.’ ” Emma Lou remains, for the time being, homeless. When she shows her admiration “boldly” for an “intelligent-looking, slender, light-brown-skinned” man on Seventh Avenue, he “looked at her, then over her, and passed on.” Far worse are a group of Harlem youths who notice Emma Lou powdering her nose near the same spot…

…It was the same sigh, rather than crude shame, that led Jean Toomer to describe himself on his marriage certificate of 1931 as “white.” His exquisite sequence of prose episodes and poems, “Cane” (1923), is the earliest of the books gathered here. It requires but a sampling of Toomer’s humid Georgia prose to induce in the reader a different quality of intoxication from that brought about by the rough beverages of McKay, Hughes and Schuyler: “Karintha, at twelve, was a wild flash that told the other folks just what it was to live. At sunset, when there was no wind, and the pine-smoke from over by the sawmill hugged the earth, and you couldn’t see more than a few feet in front, her sudden darting past you was a bit of vivid color, like a black bird that flashes in light. With the other children one could hear, some distance off, their feet flopping in the two-inch dust. Karintha’s running was a whir.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 03:30Z by Steven

Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

The Washington Post

Carol Morello

Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of marriages between blacks and whites, a new study by the Pew Research Center shows, barely four decades after state laws criminalizing interracial marriage were struck down by the Supreme Court. And one in five new married couples in the District crossed racial and ethnic lines.

The prevalence of intermarriage in and around the Washington area reflects demographic changes that are pushing interracial marriage rates to an all-time high in the United States while toppling historical taboos among younger people…

Dan Lichter, a Cornell University sociologist who has studied intermarriage, said the trend shows the continuing blurring of racial boundaries.

“Different racial and ethnic minorities are increasingly sharing the same social space, in their neighborhoods, their job settings and schools,” Lichter said. “It’s a reflection of declining inequality on a lot of fronts, including income and education.”

But a postracial society remains a long way off, he added.

“Most of the minorities who outmarry are not marrying other minorities,” Lichter said. “They’re outmarrying to whites. It’s not a melting pot.

Nathan Nash, a black man who is divorced from a Korean American woman he was married to for five years, said that is particularly true for African Americans. A technology consultant who used to live in the District and now lives in Orange County, Calif., Nash said he has Asian friends who would not consider dating blacks…

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Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 02:46Z by Steven

Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12

The Miami Herald

Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Interracial marriages in the U.S. have climbed to 4.8 million—a record 1 in 12—as a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants expands the pool of prospective spouses. Blacks are now substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

A Pew Research Center study, released Thursday, details a diversifying America where interracial unions and the mixed-race children they produce are challenging typical notions of race.

“The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century,” said Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University. “Mixed-race children have blurred America’s color line. They often interact with others on either side of the racial divide and frequently serve as brokers between friends and family members of different racial backgrounds,” he said. “But America still has a long way to go.”

The figures come from previous censuses as well as the 2008-2010 American Community Survey, which surveys 3 million households annually. The figures for “white” refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity. For purposes of defining interracial marriages, Hispanic is counted as a race by many in the demographic field…

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Obama Has Shattered America’s Racial Ceiling

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-02-17 02:00Z by Steven

Obama Has Shattered America’s Racial Ceiling

San Diego Union-Tribune

Constance M. Carroll, Chancellor
San Diego Community College District

If he could visit 21st-century America, Alexis de Tocqueville would be amazed to find Barack Obama, an African-American, as president of the United States. However, he would not be surprised to find that, despite this powerful symbolism of progress, race is still a divisive force in the country.
Following his tour of this young nation in the 19th century, Tocqueville, a French historian and political activist, published “Democracy in America” in 1835. In this book, he described slavery as “the most formidable evil threatening the future of the United States.” Aware of the growing impetus to abolish this practice, Tocqueville noted, “I see that slavery is in retreat, but the prejudice from which it arose is immovable.”
173 years later, Americans elected an African American to hold the highest office in the nation. During election eve on Nov. 4, 2008, many wept, shared their enthusiasm with friends and family across the country, and actually believed that this was it: the end of racial strife in America. Given the nation’s difficult journey from slavery and its abolition, from Jim Crow laws and their dissolution, from segregation and its demise, to the continuing civil rights struggle to eliminate the vestiges of this dark history, Barack Obama’s election was heralded by many as the start of a new era of equality and racial peace…

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