critical mixed race studies

Critical mixed race studies (CMRS) is transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational in scope. It places the concept of mixed race at the critical center of focus such that multiracial individuals become subjects of historical, social, and cultural processes rather than simply objects of analysis. This involves the study of racial consciousness among racially mixed people, the world in which they live, and the ideological forces that inform their identity and experience. CMRS also stresses the critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political structures based on dominant conceptions of race. In keeping with sociologists Michael Omi’s and Howard Winant’s racial formation theory, CMRS acknowledges that the concept of race invokes biologically-based human characteristics, but the selection of specific human features for the purposes of racial signification is a constantly changing sociohistorical process. Accordingly, CMRS emphasizes the constructed nature of race and the notion that racial categories are unstable and decentered structures of sociocultural meanings that are continuously being created, inhabited, contested, transformed, and destroyed. Finally, CMRS underscores the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique local and global systemic injustices rooted in processes of racialization and social stratification based on race, as well as the interlocking nature of racial phenomena with sex, gender, sexuality, class, and other categories of difference.

—G. Reginald Daniel