The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Oceania, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-01-31 02:28Z by Steven

The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification

Palgrave Macmillan
817 pages
16 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-22873-6
eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-22874-3
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-22874-3

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and Asian Journal of Social Science

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, United Kingdom


  • Shows how classification and collection processes around mixedness differ between countries and how measurement has been changing over time
  • Provides a window into the radical global changes in the trend towards multiple racial/ethnic self-identification that has been a feature of the recent past
  • The first and only handbook to directly address the classification of mixed race/ethnicity on a global scale
  • Pays specific attention to both the standard classifications and the range of uses these are put to – including social surveys and administrative data – rather than just census forms and data

This handbook provides a global study of the classification of mixed race and ethnicity at the state level, bringing together a diverse range of country case studies from around the world.

The classification of race and ethnicity by the state is a common way to organize and make sense of populations in many countries, from the national census and birth and death records, to identity cards and household surveys. As populations have grown, diversified, and become increasingly transnational and mobile, single and mutually exclusive categories struggle to adequately capture the complexity of identities and heritages in multicultural societies. State motivations for classification vary widely, and have shifted over time, ranging from subjugation and exclusion to remediation and addressing inequalities. The chapters in this handbook illustrate how differing histories and contemporary realities have led states to count and classify mixedness in different ways, for different reasons.

This collection will serve as a key reference point on the international classification of mixed race and ethnicity for students and scholars across sociology, ethnic and racial studies, and public policy, as well as policy makers and practitioners.

Table of Contents

  • Front Matter
  • Introduction: Measuring Mixedness Around the World / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
  • Race and Ethnicity Classification in British Colonial and Early Commonwealth Censuses / Anthony J. Christopher
  • The Americas
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: North and South America / Peter J. Aspinall, Zarine L. Rocha
    • The Canadian Census and Mixed Race: Tracking Mixed Race Through Ancestry, Visible Minority Status, and Métis Population Groups in Canada / Danielle Kwan-Lafond, Shannon Winterstein
    • Methods of Measuring Multiracial Americans / Melissa R. Herman
    • Mixed Race in Brazil: Classification, Quantification, and Identification / G. Reginald Daniel, Rafael J. Hernández
    • Mexico: Creating Mixed Ethnicity Citizens for the Mestizo Nation / Pablo Mateos
    • Boundless Heterogeneity: ‘Callaloo’ Complexity and the Measurement of Mixedness in Trinidad and Tobago / Sue Ann Barratt
    • Mixed race in Argentina: Concealing Mixture in the ‘White’ Nation / Lea Natalia Geler, Mariela Eva Rodríguez
    • Colombia: The Meaning and Measuring of Mixedness / Peter Wade
  • Europe and the UK
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: Europe and the United Kingdom / Peter J. Aspinall, Zarine L. Rocha
    • The Path to Official Recognition of ‘Mixedness’ in the United Kingdom / Peter J. Aspinall
    • Measuring Mixedness in Ireland: Constructing Sameness and Difference / Elaine Moriarty
    • The Identification of Mixed People in France: National Myth and Recognition of Family Migration Paths / Anne Unterreiner
    • Controversial Approaches to Measuring Mixed-Race in Belgium: The (In)Visibility of the Mixed-Race Population / Laura Odasso
    • The Weight of German History: Racial Blindness and Identification of People with a Migration Background / Anne Unterreiner
    • Mixed, Merged, and Split Ethnic Identities in the Russian Federation / Sergei V. Sokolovskiy
    • Mixedness as a Non-Existent Category in Slovenia / Mateja Sedmak
    • Mixed Identities in Italy: A Country in Denial / Angelica Pesarini, Guido Tintori
    • (Not) Measuring Mixedness in the Netherlands / Guno Jones, Betty de Hart
    • Mixed Race and Ethnicity in Sweden: A Sociological Analysis / Ioanna Blasko, Nikolay Zakharov
  • Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia and the Caucasus
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia and the Caucasus / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
    • The Classification of South Africa’s Mixed-Heritage Peoples 1910–2011: A Century of Conflation, Contradiction, Containment, and Contention / George T. H. Ellison, Thea de Wet
    • The Immeasurability of Racial and Mixed Identity in Mauritius / Rosabelle Boswell
    • Neither/Nor: The Complex Attachments of Zimbabwe’s Coloureds / Kelly M. Nims
    • Measuring Mixedness in Zambia: Creating and Erasing Coloureds in Zambia’s Colonial and Post-colonial Census, 1921 to 2010 / Juliette Milner-Thornton
    • Racial and Ethnic Mobilization and Classification in Kenya / Babere Kerata Chacha, Wanjiku Chiuri, Kenneth O. Nyangena
    • Making the Invisible Visible: Experiences of Mixedness for Binational People in Morocco / Gwendolyn Gilliéron
    • Measuring Mixedness: A Case Study of the Kyrgyz Republic / Asel Myrzabekova
  • Asia and the Pacific
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: The Asia Pacific Region / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
    • Where You Feel You Belong: Classifying Ethnicity and Mixedness in New Zealand / Robert Didham, Zarine L. Rocha
    • Measuring Mixedness in Australia / Farida Fozdar, Catriona Stevens
    • Measuring Race, Mixed Race, and Multiracialism in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha, Brenda S. A. Yeoh
    • Multiracial in Malaysia: Categories, Classification, and Campur in Contemporary Everyday Life / Geetha Reddy, Hema Preya Selvanathan
    • Anglo-Indians in Colonial India: Historical Demography, Categorization, and Identity / Uther Charlton-Stevens
    • Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification in the Philippines / Megumi HaraJocelyn O. Celero
    • Vaevaeina o le toloa (Counting the Toloa): Counting Mixed Ethnicity in the Pacific, 1975–2014 / Patrick Broman, Polly Atatoa Carr, Byron Malaela Sotiata Seiuli
    • Measuring Mixed Race: ‘We the Half-Castes of Papua and New Guinea’ / Kirsten McGavin
    • Measuring Mixedness in China: A Study in Four Parts / Cathryn H. Clayton
    • Belonging Across Religion, Race, and Nation in Burma-Myanmar / Chie Ikeya
    • Recognition of Multiracial and Multiethnic Japanese: Historical Trends, Classification, and Ways Forward / Sayaka Osanami Törngren, Hyoue Okamura
  • Back Matter
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My family had never seen a Kenyan: The Chinese making a new life in Africa

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Economics, Media Archive on 2018-05-10 17:12Z by Steven

My family had never seen a Kenyan: The Chinese making a new life in Africa

BBC News

Rajeev Gupta
BBC World Service, Nairobi, Kenya

Xu Jing and Henry Rotich fell in love a decade ago

“We fell in love but it was very difficult at first,” Xu Jing explains from the courtyard of the Fairmont Hotel in Nairobi.

“My family didn’t know much about Africa at all. They hadn’t even seen a Kenyan before so they were very worried.”

Henry Rotich – the Kenyan in question – was just as concerned.

The pair had fallen for each other after Henry was sent to China to learn Mandarin as part of his government job.

It took him many weeks to get his language skills good enough to meet Jing’s father over a nerve-filled lunch, at which he asked for his blessing.

“Her father didn’t say much so I was really worried about what he was thinking, whether or not he even liked the food we were serving him,” Henry recalls.

Apparently his mastery of Mandarin was enough: a decade later, the couple are living in the Kenyan capital, proud parents to two children.

Jing now teaches Mandarin at the Confucius Institute based at the University of Nairobi, one of an estimated 10,000 Chinese nationals who have moved to the East African state.

Their family provides one snapshot of the growing links between Chinese and Kenyans – propelled somewhat by China’s massive investment in the country…

Read the entire article here.

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Words of Obama’s Father Still Waiting to Be Read by His Son

Posted in Africa, Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-19 00:16Z by Steven

Words of Obama’s Father Still Waiting to Be Read by His Son

The New York Times

Rachel L. Swarns

Family portraits, including one of President Barack Obama’s father, center, hang in his family’s house in Kogelo, western Kenya, in 2008. Credit Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Letters written long ago by Barack Obama Sr. shed new light on a young Kenyan whose ambitions helped change the course of U.S. history. But for the president, they may also revive old pain.

The archivist stumbled across the file in a stack of boxes on the second floor of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The yellowing letters inside dated back more than half a century, chronicling the dreams and struggles of a young man in Kenya.

He was ambitious and impetuous, a 22-year-old clerk who could type 75 words a minute and translate English into Swahili. But he had no money for college. So he pounded away on a typewriter in Nairobi, pleading for financial aid from universities and foundations across the Atlantic.

His letters would help change the course of American history.

“It has been my long cherished ambition to further my studies in America,” he wrote in 1958. His name was Barack Hussein Obama, and his dispatches helped unleash a stream of scholarship money that carried him from Kenya to the United States. There, he fathered the child who would become the nation’s first black president, only to vanish from his son’s life a few years after his birth…

Read the entire article here.

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Artist Phoebe Boswell explores what ‘home’ is, migration, family and Kenya’s troubled past

Posted in Africa, Articles, Arts, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-01-25 16:29Z by Steven

Artist Phoebe Boswell explores what ‘home’ is, migration, family and Kenya’s troubled past

True Africa

Phoebe Boswell is one of the most exciting young artists working today. Her moving-image installation, The Matter of Memory, was exhibited at Carroll / Fletcher Gallery in London in 2014 alongside John Akomfrah and Rashaad Newsome. She is involved in Paul Goodwin’s African Diaspora Artists of the 21st Century project and is currently collaborating with Binyavanga Wainaina on a digital literary project called Since Everything Suddens in the Hurricane.

Her work mainly focuses on ‘transient middle points and passages of migration’, hardly surprising given her upbringing. She was born in Kenya, she spent most of her childhood in the Middle East before coming to London where she now lives and works. She took some time to tell us about her exhibition at the Gothenburg Biennale where she recreated her grandmother’s living room and what’s next for her.

Could you tell us about the Gothenburg Biennale and your piece?

The theme of GIBCA this year is A Story Within a Story, a title allows us as artists the opportunity to really play with the construction of storytelling. Elvira Dyangani Ose is at the curatorial helm of GIBCA and has offered us this title with the aim of contesting history, of rewriting it from new and perhaps previously silenced vantage points.

Curatorially, she has brought together works that seek to re-examine and possibly debunk predetermined histories, histories constructed in stuffy seats of power in order to control the collective memory of who we are, where we are, why we are, and how we came to be. The question she and the Biennale are asking the audience is: ‘If you could rewrite history, what would you do?’ It’s a very participatory experience. It’s a Biennale full of works which demand the audience to be active.

The Matter of Memory Courtesy of GIBCA ©Hendrik Zeitler

My piece in it is an immersive installation called The Matter of Memory. Within the Hasselblad Centre of the Gothenburg Art Museum, I have recreated my grandmother’s living room and filled the fabric of it – its wallpaper, teacups, milk pots, lamps, mantelpiece etc – with drawings, props, sculptures, sound and animated projections based on stories my Kikuyu mother and fourth generation British Kenyan father told me of their childhood memories of ‘home’…

Read the entire interview here.

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Four-country newspaper framing of Barack Obama’s multiracial identity in the 2008 US presidential election

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-09-02 22:02Z by Steven

Four-country newspaper framing of Barack Obama’s multiracial identity in the 2008 US presidential election

Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies
Volume 35, Issue 3, 2014
pages 23-38
DOI: 10.1080/02560054.2014.955867

Kioko Ireri, Assistant Professor of Journalism & Mass Communication
United States International University-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Though Barack Obama was the first African American presidential nominee for a major party in the history of the US presidential election, his multiracial identity put him under intense scrutiny during the 2008 election – more than any other previous black aspirants for the White House. Using quantitative content analysis of election stories in the newspapers of four countries (New York Times – US; Times – Britain; China Daily – China and Daily Nation – Kenya), this comparative study examines the prevalence of four racial frames associated with Obama’s multilayered racial identity: ‘African American’, ‘black’, ‘Kenyan roots’ and ‘white roots’. In addition, the study investigates the four newspapers’ valence coverage of the four racial frames in relation to Obama’s candidacy. The findings indicate that ‘Kenyan roots’ was the racial frame which occurred most frequently, followed by the ‘black’ frame. Overall, Obama received more positive coverage than negative across the racial frames depicted in the four newspapers.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Layers of Meaning in Mr. Obama’s Kenya Trip

Posted in Africa, Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-07-25 01:44Z by Steven

Layers of Meaning in Mr. Obama’s Kenya Trip

The New York Times

The Editorial Board

Nairobi, Kenya (Credit: Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

There often comes a time in the lives of Americans when they feel drawn to explore their roots, a quest that might take them on a pilgrimage to the “old country,” whether County Limerick, or Guangzhou, or a West African country from which their ancestors were abducted as slaves.

Roots are an integral part of one’s identity, especially in a time of mass migrations. So it is no surprise that Barack Obama’s first visit to Kenya as president should be enormously poignant, complex and absorbing. This is no typical presidential visit — and this is no typical descendant of immigrants.

The mix of narratives behind Mr. Obama’s trip is extraordinary. It is the ultimate American dream: the step-grandson of an illiterate African rising to the most powerful office on earth. There is Mr. Obama’s own story so movingly told in his first book, “Dreams From My Father,” about a youth raised by a white mother in Hawaii trying to build an identity out of his complex background, and the central role played in this search by the Kenyan father he meets only once…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama Made in Kenya: Appropriating the American Dream in Kogelo

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2013-07-19 02:07Z by Steven

Obama Made in Kenya: Appropriating the American Dream in Kogelo

Africa Today
Volume 59, Number 4, Summer 2013
pages 68-90
DOI: 10.1353/at.2013.0027

Karin van Bemmel
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

In November 2008, millions of Kenyan citizens expressed their happiness about the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Four years later, people still cheered upon receiving the news of his reelection, but their enthusiasm was nowhere near the euphoria of those earlier days. This article focuses on the consequences of Obama’s presidency over four years in western Kenya—where Obama’s father was raised—and argues that the appropriation of Obama serves multiple purposes, including the negotiation of identity, enabling social and political change, facilitating processes of healing and harmony, and creating conditions for peace after the 2007 postelection violence. Looking at the appropriation of Obama in Kenya enables us to study the processes of change, the localization of global flows, and the ongoing dialogical process of identity negotiation within a sociopolitical context.

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Dala or Diaspora? Obama and the Luo Community of Kenya

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive on 2013-07-02 02:02Z by Steven

Dala or Diaspora? Obama and the Luo Community of Kenya

African Affairs
Volume 108, Issue 431 (2009)
pages 197-219
DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adp002

Matthew Carotenuto, Associate Professor History
St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York

Katherine Luongo, Assistant Professor of History
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

As members of the ethnic group to which the American President’s paternal family belongs, Luo people in Kenya and in the diaspora have been eagerly claiming Barack Obama as ‘their own’ since 2004. This embrace speaks to a range of ethno-political developments in Kenya throughout the twentieth century. Luo identity has been primarily constituted within a diasporic context, beginning with the large-scale labour migrations of the early twentieth century and continuing with the activities of the ‘’ generation into the present. Simultaneously, patrimonial politics constituted along ethnic lines have rendered Luos political outsiders and heightened the urgency of securing a powerful patron. Given these two trends, Luo people at home and abroad have reached into the diaspora with hopes of finding their biggest ‘Big Man’ in the figure of Barack Obama.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Germans Loving Others: Narrating Interracial Romance in Kenya, North America, and Guatemala

Posted in Africa, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, Papers/Presentations on 2012-11-23 02:02Z by Steven

Germans Loving Others: Narrating Interracial Romance in Kenya, North America, and Guatemala

127th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association
New Orleans, Louisiana
2013-01-03 through 2013-01-06

AHA Session 70: Central European History Society 3
Friday, 2013-01-04: 08:30-10:00 CST (Local Time)
Chamber Ballroom II (Roosevelt New Orleans)

Chair: Andrew Zimmerman, George Washington University


Comment: Lora Wildenthal, Rice University

The German fascination with the non-European world and its native populations, as documented and imagined in various forms of the German cultural archive, presents intriguing questions for scholars of race, sex, and empire. The German love affair with natives, including North American Indians, Bedouin nomads, and Masai warriors, dates back to the early days of colonial expansion, and gave rise to romanticized representations and staged performances of native nobility and ethnic pride. These cultural representations produced sentiments and desires that shaped contact and conduct as Germans sought out and stumbled upon native peoples abroad. While scholarship of the past two decades has explored a wide range of political, economic, and cultural aspects of the colonial and postcolonial encounter, interracial contact has received less attention. Scholars have given short shrift to the stunning array of unofficial, personal, and often quite intimate interconnections between Germans and non-Europeans during the modern era.

The proposed panel addresses this lacuna in scholarship, and focuses on the question of whether interracial love subverts or replicates the colonial and postcolonial histories that produced socio-economic inequalities, gendered norms, and racial hierarchies. The papers in this panel explore these questions through the lives, narratives, and memories of Germans, native peoples, and mixed-race children in three vastly different places: postcolonial Kenya, North America, and Guatemala. They collectively challenge and problematize assumptions of colonial and postcolonial scholars about the regulatory norms of interracial sex that shielded white female sexuality from dark, colonized men and often made interracial children the subject of state scrutiny and care. The papers demonstrate how German romance with natives could, in practice, vary widely across historical and geographical contexts, particularly with regard to cultural, economic, and political dimensions of these relationships. Finally, the papers consider the agency of the non-German partners in these interracial and binational relationships. The panels intends to shed new light on interracial and binational romance by probing questions of power and inequality in a comparative and transnational framework.

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