Raiding The Gene Pool: The Social Construction of Mixed Race

Raiding The Gene Pool: The Social Construction of Mixed Race

Pluto Press an imprint of MacMillan Publishing
February 2002
ISBN: 978-0-7453-1764-9
ISBN10: 0-7453-1764-2
5.5 x 8.25 inches
224 pages

Jill Olumide, Researcher
Swansea University, School of Health Science

High profile ‘mixed race’ stars like Tiger Woods have brought the politics of identity into the mainstream. Jill Olumide argues that we must examine the contradictions inherent in the term “mixed race” in order to reach a fuller understanding of the variety in human experience and identity. Olumide demonstrates that there are distinctive features of mixed race experience that span time and place. By comparing contemporary experiences of mixed race, collected through interviews and workshops, with those of past populations in different parts of the world, she explains how its meaning alters with national boundary, historical context, class, gender and ethnicity. Showing how different communities are linked by social ambiguity, dependency and the denial of social space, she reveals that the underlying ideology is transformed by social, economic and political change. As mixed race groups across the world call for the right of self-definition, this book reveals that it is through understanding the plurality of the category of mixed race that we are best able to transcend the idea of ‘race’ and challenge the racial axes of social division. The book includes an examination of the folklore around racism and anti-racism, and the agencies through which ideologies of race are propagated, including social welfare groups, religious groups, scientific texts, and the family.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. A Spell to Make Them Balance: Introduction
    • Dangerous Knowledge
    • Importance of Studying Mixed Race
    • Divisions
    • The Mixed race Condition
    • Group Identity
    • A Theory of Lived Experience
    • Social Construction: Passing and Being Passed
    • Passing As…
    • Structure of the book
  • 2. The Hall of Mirrors: Structures of Power
    • The Babalawo and the Sociologist
    • Ideology and State
    • Ideology For What?
    • Race and its Provenance
    • Religion and Race
    • Ethnocentricism
    • European Roots of Race Thinking
    • Spain
    • Classification and Race
    • The Ground of Racialisation in the Capitalist Era
    • A Missing Link: Whiteness as a Racial Category
    • Ethnicity
    • Women and the Racial Order
    • Endpiece
  • 3. Parallel Fictions: Writing About Mixed Race
    • ‘Natural’ Science.
    • Politics of Biology
    • Eugenics
    • UNESCO and Race
    • Stonequist and the Psychologising Tendency
    • Marginal Man Goes East
    • Mixed Race and the Question ofIdentity
    • Fostering Mixed Race
    • Proving that Mixed Race Works
    • The Mothers of Mixed Race Children
    • Counting Mixed Race
    • Multiracial People
    • Biographical and Autobiographical Writing
  • 4. Changing Illusions: Some Excerpts From the History of Mixed race
    • Patterns in the Career of mixed Race
    • Heredity
    • Division and Exploitation:Slavocracy Style
    • White Women and Black Women
    • Losing Caste
    • Group Consciousness
    • Metissage
    • Divide and Rule
    • The Mixed Race Condition and Genocide
    • The Purposeful Concept of Mixed Race
  • 5. Behind the Facade: Race Mixing
    • Background to the Research Population
    • Access and Understanding
    • Difference as Liberation
    • Bridging
    • No Positive Images
    • Parents Must Prepare
    • Knowledge is Power
    • The Wrong Parents
    • Set Up to Fail
    • Terminology
    • Not White/Black Enough
    • Siblings and step-Families
    • Conclusion
  • 6. The Balancing Act: Race Separating
    • Sanctions
    • Rejection
    • ‘Looks’
    • Abuse
    • Reputation
    • Pigeonholing
    • Repatriation
    • Suspicion of Unsuitable Combinations
    • Strategies
    • Hold Hands and Stick Together
    • Challenge-Cure Ignorance
    • Hard Work and Rightful Expectations
    • The Goodness of Mixture
    • Pass Amongst
    • Imaginary Homelands
    • Keep Your Distance
    • Humour
  • 7. The Very Foundation of Order: Social Origins of Mixed Race
    • Theorising Mixed race
    • Ethnic Leakage
    • The Slimy Category
    • Mixed race Undermines Black and White
    • Women and the Reproduction of Own-Kind
    • Family
    • Religion
    • Professionals
    • Welfare Professionals in Particular
    • Race Does Not Always Over-Determine Class
    • and Gender
    • The Need to Talk
  • 8. Communities to Conjure With: Concluding Remarks
    • Five Features of Mixed Race Ideology
    • An Ambiguous Social Location
    • A Contested Site
    • A Measure of Induced Dependency is Inolved
    • It is a Conditional State
    • It is a Point of Articulation in the Ordering of Race Gender and Other Divisions
    • Emotional Subjects
    • Giving Voice to Mixed Race
  • Notes
  • Index
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