Negotiating Mixed Identities: Generations of mixed African Caribbean and white Londoners

Conference item


Bauer, E (2017). Negotiating Mixed Identities: Generations of mixed African Caribbean and white Londoners. Goldsmith’s, University of London Anthropology Dep’t Spring summer Seminar series “The Politics of Embodiment”. Goldsmith's, University of London, UK 01 - 01 Mar 2017 London South Bank University.
AuthorsBauer, E
Abstract

Abstract Children of mixed African-Caribbean and white British parents are currently one of one of the largest ethnic groups in Britain today. Far from denying any part of their heritage, they have fought and struggled to carve out a place in British society where they can finally be acknowledged for who they feel they are. And although identity is not always a matter of total free choice, individuals do have a certain amount of choice about how they define themselves. Thus, the mixed-parentage individuals in my research have chosen to construct their own identification, which for them, have become adequate idioms for locating themselves within the society. Through their strategic manipulations, they have made a significant step in liberating themselves from the institutional structures of “racial” categorisation that prevailed up until the 2001 census, and which forced them into a “half-denial [denial of the white side]” through inclusion in the “Black-Other” category of the 1991 census. They have effectively located themselves between their African-Caribbean and white British heritages, thus validating their existence, and declaring their visibility in British society. Thus, “mixed-race” individuals have chosen to be recognized as visible and responsible agents whose hopes, desires, opinions, experiences and actions matter. This paper is drawn from research on mixed African-Caribbean and white British extended families in London. It examines mixed-heritage individuals’ understanding of their social positions within their families and within the wider society, and their innovative agency in constructing and establishing their “mixed” positions in British society. Thus, it challenges the suggestion that mixed-race children experience problems arising from an ambiguous ethnicity (see for example Benson 1981).

Year2017
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File description
Abstract
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Jun 2017
Accepted15 Dec 2016
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87030

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