Cover image for Multiracial identity : an international perspective
Multiracial identity : an international perspective
Christian, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Macmillan Press ; New York : St. Martin's Press , 2000.
Physical Description:
xxvii, 156 pages ; 23 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
HT1523 .C48 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Provides an accessible account of the social construction of racialized groups. Using both primary (in-depth interviews) and secondary data, four nations are examined: the UK, US, South Africa and Jamaica. Little attention has traditionally been given to theorizing multiracial identity in the context of white supremacist thought and practice.

Author Notes

Mark Christian is an honorary fellow with the Department of Sociology. Social Policy and Social Work, University of Liverpool, a visiting fellow with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, and the coordinator of the Centre for African and African Diaspora Studies, Charles Wootton College.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Christian seeks to explore the ways that mixed-race people both acquire and shape a racial identity as defined by their society's racial parameters. Locating this research project within a social science tradition dating to the Chicago School's preoccupation with the marginal role of the mulatto and extending to the influential works of Paul Spickard, Maria Root, and F. James Davis, the author presents a cross-cultural perspective. The fruits of his efforts are uneven and underdeveloped, the consequence of being too ambitious. The empirical core of the book involves in-depth interviews with 20 mixed-race people in Liverpool. Though insightful, the interviews have a decidedly truncated quality, in part a result of the author's failure to ask the right kinds of follow-up questions. The theoretical discussions fail to do justice to the existing literature. The comparative framework derives from a review of the racial hierarchies of Jamaica and South Africa, without the focus on the way mixed-race actors make sense of their interstitial social locations. Ultimately, the conclusions are as thin as the book itself. General and undergraduate. P. Kivisto; Augustana College (IL)

Table of Contents

Diedre L. Badejo
List of Tablesp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xix
Glossaryp. xxi
1 Theorising Multiracial Identityp. 1
Toward a definition of identityp. 1
Multiracial identity as a term in the 1990sp. 4
Historical theories of 'mixed race' personsp. 6
Contemporary US theories in multiracial identityp. 11
Contemporary UK theories in multiracial identityp. 14
Conclusionp. 18
2 Speaking for Themselves (I): Definitions of the Racial Self and Parental Influencep. 21
Black settlement in the city of Liverpool, UKp. 22
How the Liverpool, UK respondents define themselves in a racial sensep. 23
Parental influence in the construction of a racialised identityp. 41
Conclusionp. 56
3 Speaking for Themselves (II): Inside and Outside of Blackness in Liverpool, UKp. 59
Shades of Blacknessp. 60
Is wanting to change one's physical appearance an issue?p. 79
Conclusionp. 84
4 South Africa and Jamaica: 'Other' Multiracial Case Studiesp. 87
South Africa and the social construction of 'coloureds'p. 88
Jamaica in contextp. 93
The colour-coding hierarchyp. 95
Conclusionp. 98
5 Assessing Multiracial Identityp. 103
White supremacy and multiracial identityp. 104
Social status and multiracial identityp. 107
Nomenclature default and multiracial terminologyp. 111
Conclusionp. 116
6 Conclusionp. 121
Notesp. 125
Bibliographyp. 135
Indexp. 153