Australian Mixed Race

Australian Mixed Race

European Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume 7, Number 2 (May 2004)
pages 177-199
DOI: 10.1177/1367549404042493

Maureen Perkins, Associate Professor of History, Anthropology and Sociology
Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

This article argues against the case for colour-blindness as a fundamental principle of liberal policy and recommends more colour consciousness rather than less. The growth in mixed race studies around the world suggests that the use of terms of colour, black and white, to indicate a simple racial binary is being eroded by more complicated ‘in-between’ positions, which are now demanding recognition. In Australia, where black and white mean Indigenous and non-Indigenous, terms of ‘mixed’ identity carry a residue of colonial racist usage and are unequivocally rejected by Aboriginal communities. In refusing to consider ‘mixedness’, however, Australian culture makes national loyalty and a sense of belonging difficult for those non-white Australians who are not Indigenous. The article compares the Australian census with those in the UK and US to show that there needs to be much more discussion of the terminology used to discuss colour in order to keep up to date with the crumbling of racial boundaries and the increasing numbers of interracial children.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,