Clinical Sociology and Mixedness: Towards Applying Critical Mixed Race Theory in Everyday Life

Clinical Sociology and Mixedness: Towards Applying Critical Mixed Race Theory in Everyday Life

Volume 6, Issue 2 (2022) (Special Issue: Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism)
DOI: 10.3390/genealogy6020032
21 pages

Zarine L. Rocha, Affiliated Researcher
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Research on mixed racial and ethnic identities has developed rapidly over the past decades, increasing in theoretical scope and depth, and exploring mixedness across a growing range of national and social contexts. Recent research has highlighted the huge variations and shifts in conceptions of mixedness around the world, and the different pathways to understanding what it means to be mixed through migration, development, postcolonialism and different forms of nation-building. This paper seeks to connect theory to practice, approaching mixedness through the lens of clinical sociology, applying sociological theory on the ground and exploring the utility of critical mixed race studies in everyday life. Clinical sociology as a practice is first outlined, juxtaposed against the development in theorizing around mixed racial and ethnic identities on an international level. The paper then looks at some possibilities for practical impact: by acknowledging the complexity of mixedness and everyday life, research on mixed identities can go beyond the development of theory and case description, with applied and clinical impacts ranging from the level of the individual to the level of the state. Research on mixedness worldwide illustrates the diversity inherent within ideas of mixing, and the micro, meso and macro applications and potential outcomes of such theories. This paper draws on new and shifting conceptions of mixedness, emphasizing that the sociology of mixedness can have considerable value in effecting positive social change: positioning the (mixed) individual within the (mixed) society and allowing sociology to become action. The development and use of theories around mixedness emphasize the importance of clinical sociology as a practice: a reason for theory, connecting the abstract to the everyday.

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