I Call Myself What I like: Mixed Race Identity & Social Media

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Dissertations, Media Archive on 2013-12-01 23:36Z by Steven

I Call Myself What I like: Mixed Race Identity & Social Media

University of Leicester
October 2013
68 pages

Nadia Riepenhausen

Submitted for the degree of MA in Mass Communications, Media & Public Relations

This research study asserts that mixed race people are hyper-visible in terms of their images in media and popular culture, yet still remain largely invisible, due to a lack of recognition and acknowledgment, in mainstream media. As a result of a lack of representation, social media has become an important and significant way for mixed race people to interact, in terms of producing and consuming content. The study uses a qualitative research methodology, in the form of in-depth interviews, as well as incorporating several theories, including a ‘uses and gratifications’ approach. The research also shows that social media allows those who identify as mixed race to navigate multiple identities more freely and express themselves in ways that are not always possible in ‘real life’.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1 Research questions
    • 1.2 Why mixed race?
  • 2. Theoretical Perspective
    • 2.1 Representation theory
    • 2.2 New ethnicities
    • 2.3 Critical theories and mixed race
    • 2.4 Uses and gratifications theory and social media
  • 3. Literature Review
    • 3.1 Mixed race studies
    • 3.2 Race, mixed race and media
    • 3.3 Social media and race
  • 4. Research Methodology
    • 4.1 Objectives of research
    • 4.2 Qualitative Research/In-depth Interviews
    • 4.3 Research sample
    • 4.4 Shared Identities
    • 4.5 Data Collection and analysis
  • 5. Results and Discussion
    • 5.1 Multiple Identities
    • 5.2 Mixed race identity and gender
    • 5.3 Media representations of mixed race
    • 5.4 Navigating mixed race and social media
    • 5.5 Creating new identities.
    • 5.6 ‘Produsage’
    • 5.7 Cheerios Commercial
    • 5.8 The way forward
  • 6. Conclusion
    • 6.1 Limitations
    • 6.2 Future Research
  • 7. Appendices
  • 8. References

Read the entire thesis here.

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Study provides first genetic evidence of long-lived African presence within Britain

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2012-01-24 00:25Z by Steven

Study provides first genetic evidence of long-lived African presence within Britain

University of Leicester
Press Release

Research reveals African origins in the UK and US

New research has identified the first genetic evidence of Africans having lived amongst “indigenous” British people for centuries. Their descendants, living across the UK today, were unaware of their black ancestry.

The University of Leicester study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and published today in the journal European Journal of Human Genetics, found that one third of men with a rare Yorkshire surname carry a rare Y chromosome type previously found only amongst people of West African origin.

The researchers, led by Professor Mark Jobling, of the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester, first spotted the rare Y chromosome type, known as hgA1, in one individual, Mr. X. This happened whilst PhD student Ms. Turi King was sampling a larger group in a study to explore the association between surnames and the Y chromosome, both inherited from father to son. Mr. X, a white Caucasian living in Leicester, was unaware of having any African ancestors.

“As you can imagine, we were pretty amazed to find this result in someone unaware of having any African roots,” explains Professor Jobling, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. “The Y chromosome is passed down from father to son, so this suggested that Mr. X must have had African ancestry somewhere down the line. Our study suggests that this must have happened some time ago.

Although most of Britain’s one million people who define themselves as “Black or Black British” owe their origins to immigration from the Caribbean and Africa from the mid-twentieth century onwards, in reality, there has been a long history of contact with Africa. Africans were first recorded in the north 1800 years ago, as Roman soldiers defending Hadrian’s Wall

…“This study shows that what it means to be British is complicated and always has been,” says Professor Jobling. “Human migration history is clearly very complex, particularly for an island nation such as ours, and this study further debunks the idea that there are simple and distinct populations or ‘races’.”

Read the entire press release here.

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