Multicultural families: Deracializing Transracial Adoption

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2014-02-06 13:19Z by Steven

Multicultural families: Deracializing Transracial Adoption

Critical Social Policy
Volume 34, Number 1 (February 2014)
pages 66-89
DOI: 10.1177/0261018313493160

Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science

In 2010, the Coalition government announced its plans for adoption reform which included ‘removing barriers’ to transracial adoption. The government has blamed social workers’ looking for ‘perfect ethnic matches’ for denying black and minority ethnic children placements with ‘loving and stable families’. The paper draws upon qualitative research with professionals and parents, which shows that the government has failed to take into account the complex ways in which race and ethnicity matter within adoption. Their wish to deracialize transracial adoption fits with wider concerns about race mixing, families and national belonging in multicultural Britain. While they attempt to minimize the importance of race and ethnicity, they continue to place race at the heart of these debates.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixing Matters: Critical Intersectionalities: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Symposium on Critical Mixed Race Studies

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-05-17 00:25Z by Steven

Mixing Matters: Critical Intersectionalities: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Symposium on Critical Mixed Race Studies

Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies (CERS)
University of Leeds
2013-05-18, 08:45-17:15 BST (Local Time)

Key note speakers:

Dr. Suki Ali is a Senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics. Her research interests include feminist cultural studies, theories of identity and embodiment and particularly the interplay between gender, ‘race’ and class. Dr. Ali is the author of several books, articles and chapters including ‘Mixed-Race: Post-Race: Gender, New ethnicities and cultural practices’ and ‘Reading Racialised Bodies: Learning to see Difference’.

Dr. Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain is a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Her research interests are in people of mixed descent; emotions, technology and globalization; race/ethnicity; critical race theory; beauty; and Japanese Americans. She has published in Ethnicities, Sociology Compass, Journal of Asian American Studies, and Amerasia Journal. Her book Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants (University of Minnesota Press) examines the use of blood quantum rules in Japanese American Beauty Pageants. She is currently researching and writing about ‘Global Mixed Race’ and ‘The Globalization of Love’.

Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is a rapidly growing body of scholarship and through the continued challenging of essentialized conceptions of ‘race’ and ethnicity, CMRS becomes an emerging paradigm for examining the politics of ‘race’, racism and representation. CMRS can be defined as “the transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS emphasizes the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. CMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization” (Critical Mixed Race Studies Association). In this transnational, interdisciplinary symposium, we seek to explore these components through the lens of intersectionalities in individual experience, theorising and activism.

For more information, click here. View the program here.

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Mixed heritage voices – Multiple identities, varied experiences, diverse views

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2012-05-18 15:30Z by Steven

Mixed heritage voices – Multiple identities, varied experiences, diverse views

British Association for Adoption & Fostering
Woburn House Conference Centre
20 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HQ
2012-11-29, 10:00-16:00Z

One in ten people in the UK define themselves as mixed heritage, and it seems that young people think it is ‘cool’ to be ‘mixed’. But what meaning do young people and their families give to their mixed heritage identities and how do these identities develop in mixed adoptive and foster care families?

The profiles of children in ‘Be My Parent’ (BAAF’s family finding service) and the Adoption Register demonstrate the multiple and complex ethnicities of children waiting for placements and this brings challenges to practitioners making decisions for mixed heritage children in the public care system. There are also challenges for adoptive parents and foster carers who need to value and promote the child’s heritage and help them achieve a positive identity, alongside an ability to cope with racism to make their way in the world.

This conference will bring together mixed heritage young people, families and researchers to share their experiences and perspectives on identity, and will look at the implications of these issues for practice.


  • to understand the experiences of mixed heritage children, young people and their families
  • to identify how adoptive parents and foster carers might help their mixed heritage child develop their identities
  • to explore how practitioners can make better decisions for mixed heritage children in the public care system

Chair & Speakers

  • Professor Ann Phoenix, Co-Director, Thomas Coram, Research Unit (Invited)
  • Dr. Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Dr. Vicki Harman, Lecturer, Centre for Criminology & Sociology, University of Royal Holloway
  • Dr. Daniel McNeil, Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Dr. Fiona Peters, Consultant Perspectives from Adoptive Parents & Foster Carers, Sheffield City Council

Who should attend

Children’s services social workers and managers, family placement practitioners, independent reviewing officers, decision-makers, panel members, health and education professionals, youth services, CAFCASS children’s guardians, social work students, adopted adults, adoptive parents and foster carers.

For more information, click here.

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International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Canada, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom, United States on 2011-12-15 04:33Z by Steven

International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing

224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-59804-0

Edited by

Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science

Chamion Cabellero, Senior Research Fellow
Social Capital Research Group
London South Bank University

Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology
University of Southampton

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

People from a ‘mixed’ racial and ethnic background, and people partnering and parenting across different racial and ethnic backgrounds, are increasingly visible internationally and often construed in diametrically opposed ways. On the one hand, images of racial and ethnic diversity are posed in opposition to unity and solidarity, creating a crisis of cohesive social trust. On the other hand, there are assertions that the portrayals of segregation and conflict ignore the reality of ongoing interactions between a mix of minority and majority racial, ethnic and religious cultures, where multiculture is an ordinary, unremarkable, feature of everyday social life.

This interdisciplinary volume brings internationally well-respected researchers together to explore the different contexts and concepts underpinning discussions about mixedness and mixing. Moving beyond pathologically focused research about confused identities and a dualistic black-white conception of mixedness, the book includes chapters on:

  • Multiraciality and race classification
  • Mixed race couples
  • Mixedness in everyday life
  • Mixed race politics

International Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Mixedness and Mixing develops theoretical perspectives and presents intellectually shaped empirical evidence that can deal with complexity and normalcy in order to move the debate onto more fruitful grounds. It is an important book for students and scholars of race and ethnicity.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction / Suki Ali, Chamion Caballero, Rosalind Edwards and Miri Song
  2. Multiraciality and census classification in global perspective / Ann Morning
  3. Mixed race across time and place: an international perspective / Ilan Katz
  4. Scaling diversity: mixed-race couples, segregation and urban America / Steven Holloway
  5. The geography of mixedness in England and Wales / Charlie Owen
  6. From ‘Draughtboard Alley’ to ‘Brown Britain’: the ordinariness of mixedness in British life / Chamion Caballero
  7. How mixedness is understood and experienced in everyday life / Peter Aspinall and Miri Song
  8. Finding value on a council estate in Nottingham: voices of white working class women / Lisa McKenzie
  9. How to find mixed people in quantitative datasets / Anne Unterreiner
  10. When ethnicity became an important family issue in Slovenia / Mateja Sedmak
  11. Same difference? Developing a critical methodological stance in critical mixed race studies / Minelle Mahtani
  12. Mixed race politics / Suki Ali
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Mixed-Race, Post-Race: Gender, New Ethnicities and Cultural Practices

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2009-10-28 01:29Z by Steven

Mixed-Race, Post-Race: Gender, New Ethnicities and Cultural Practices

Berg Publisher
November 2003
212pp, 10 bw illus bibliog index
Paperback ISBN: 9781859737705
Hardback ISBN: 9781859737651
Ebook ISBN: 9781845205553

Suki Ali, Lecturer in Sociology
London School of Economics

Social scientists claim that we now live in a post-race society, where race has been replaced by ‘ethnicity’. Yet racism is endemic to British society and people often think in terms of black and white. With a marked rise in the number of children from mixed parentage, there is an urgent need to challenge simplistic understandings of ‘race’, nation and culture, and interrogate what it means to grow up in Britain and claim a ‘mixed’ identity.

Focusing on mixed-race and inter-ethnic families, this book not only explores current understandings of ‘race’, but it shows, using innovative research techniques with children, how we come to read race. What influence do photographs and television have on childrens ideas about ‘race’?  How do children use memories and stories to talk about racial differences within their own families?  How important is the home and domestic culture in achieving a sense of belonging? Ali also considers, through data gathered from teachers and parents, broader issues relating to the effectiveness of anti-racist and multicultural teaching in schools, and parental concerns over the social mobility and social acceptability of their children.

Rigorously researched, this book is the first to combine childrens accounts on ‘race’ and identity with contemporary cultural theory. Using fascinating case studies, it fills a major gap in this area and provides an original approach to writing on race.

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Mixed Heritage – Identity, Policy and Practice

Posted in Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2009-10-16 02:11Z by Steven

Mixed Heritage – Identity, Policy and Practice

Runnymede Trust
ISBN-10: 0-9548389-6-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-9548389-6-6
EAN: 9780954838966
40 pages
September 2007

Edited by Jessica Mai Sims

Although they are often invisible in debates on race and ethnicity, the 2001 census reveals that the ‘Mixed’ population is the third largest ethnic category in the UK, with predictions that it will become the single largest minority group recognised by the Census by the end of 2020.

Over the summer months we have developed our thinking on this area of study through a seminars, roundtables, and conferences by partnering with the CRE, CLG, and London South Bank’s Families and Social Capital Research Group. Through this partnership we have established the following series of activity that forms that basis for future work on mixed heritage, which seeks to challenge the prevalent understandings and assumptions of the people who are thought to comprise of this group.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword – Rob Berkeley
  1. Statistics: The Mixed Category in Census 2001 — Charlie Owen
  2. The Diversity of ‘the’ Mixed Race Population in Britain — Miri Song
  3. Gendering Mixed-Race, Deconstructing Mixedness — Suki Ali
  4. Thai-British Families: Towards a Deeper Understanding of ‘Mixedness’ — Jessica Mai Sims
  5. Meeting the Educational Needs of Mixed Heritage Pupils: Challenges for Policy and Practice — Leon Tikly
  6. Mixed Heritage: Perspectives on Health and Welfare — Mark R. D. Johnson
  7. Adoption and Fostering Issues: ‘Judgement of Solomon’ — Savita de Sousa & John Simmonds
  8. ‘Mixed’ Families: Assumptions and New Approaches — Chamion Caballero
  9. It’s Time for Foundation — Sharron Hall
  10. I loathe the term ‘mixed race’… — Linda Bellos
  11. People in Harmony — Jill Olumide
  • Biographical Information on Contributors
  • Bibliography

Read the entire document here.

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Global Bodies: Narratives of Gendered ‘Mixed-race’

Posted in Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Social Science on 2009-10-01 00:45Z by Steven

Global Bodies: Narratives of Gendered ‘Mixed-race’

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel
San Francisco, CA

Suki Ali, Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths College, University of London

‘Mixed-race’ bodies are a source of endless fascination in the popular imagination.  They may encompass a range of racialised types but are determined by what they are not.  Falling between the feared predatory ‘black’ body and the safe, unsexed ‘white’ body, the ‘exotic’ global body radiates subtle but powerful sexuality, it is the source of desire and unease, something to be admired and owned. How do those who are ‘mixed-race’ manage this discursive space which is constituted as a site of instability and uncertainty? For these people backgrounds it is a site of ambivalence, the source of strength and inauthenticity, a paradox which provides insights into the problematic nature of visible raciality. In this paper I use narrative and memory work to show how the revisioning of embodied experience operates as a form of recuperation of the indeteminability of the ‘mixed-race’ global body.

Read the entire paper here.