Multiracial People and the Socialization of Their Children in Britain

Multiracial People and the Socialization of Their Children in Britain

The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World
3rd ISA Forum of Sociology
2016-07-10 through 2016-07-14
Vienna, Austria

Tuesday, 2016-07-12, 14:15 CEST (Local Time)
Room: Hörsaal 31

Oral Presentation

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Since ‘Mixed’ was first offered as an option in the ethnicity question in the 2001 England and Wales Census, Britain’s recognition of, and interest in, ‘mixed race’ (or ‘multiracial’) people and families has not abated. Recent studies have focused primarily upon how mixed (young) people identify themselves, or how parents racially identify their multiracial children. But Britain now has a population of multiracial individuals who are themselves parents, about whom we know very little. Despite the growing commonality of mixed people and families, such families can still be subject to forms of racial pathologzation and scrutiny in various settings. Extant studies of multiracial family life (especially in the US) have tended to focus upon interracial couples and their multiracial children, but we now need to look a further generation down – at their grown children. What are the particular concerns which arise for multiracial individuals in Britain who are parents? How do multiracial people who are parents experience and negotiate forms of objectification and/or prejudice from others? Do multiracial people (who are parents) want to steer their children toward a particular kind of socialization, and if so, toward what (and why)? This paper is an in-depth exploration of the ways in which different types of mixed people (South Asian/White, Black/White, East Asian/White) in Britain think about and engage in parenting.

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