A New Take On A Old Idea: Do We Need Multiracial Studies?

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-07-07 22:08Z by Steven

A New Take On A Old Idea: Do We Need Multiracial Studies?

Du Bois Review: Social Science Review on Race
Volume 3, Issue 2 (September 2006)
pages 437-447
DOI: 10.1017/S1742058X06060280

Victor Thompson, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersery

Publications about multiracial identity and the multiracial population increased significantly prior to the 2000 U.S. Census. Most of these publications emerged after 1997—a significant year in the recent history of studies on the multiracial population, as this was the year the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) established new guidelines for collecting data on race, allowing people to choose more than one race (Office of Management and Budget 1997). It quickly became evident that this change in how the federal government tallies race was a significant event that merited the attention of academics. This surge in research on multiracial identity and the multiracial movement reflected, on the one hand, a push by multiracial advocates for more attention to the complexities of “being multiracial” and, on the other hand, a group of scholars interested in understanding the unfolding of these events…

Mark One or More: Civil Rights in Multiracial America, by Kim Williams (2006), treats issues characteristic of scholars interested in the set of events leading up to and following the adoption of the “mark one or more” (MOOM) option for the 2000 Census.  Challenging Multiracial Identity, by Rainier Spencer (2006), represents a growing interest in critically understanding and evaluating the motivations of “multiracial” politics.  And The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking (2004), edited by Heather Dalmage (2004), is a collection of essays by authors who contribute to what might be seen as the emerging field of multiracial studies.  I shall discuss these authors’ attempts to reflect on, and potentially give birth to, a sub-discipline of multiracial studies, after first offering a synopsis of each work…

Read the entire review of all three books here.

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