Pride and prejudice: opposing constructions of mixed race in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the Australian context, the development of a ‘situated politics of mixedness’ is complicated by the fact that there are (at least) two main categories of mixed race populations–the Indigenous and the migrant/settler. For those with mixed Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal ancestries, and those with mixed White and other migrant ancestries, life chances and identities differ significantly. This paper outlines some of these differences using the trope of pride and prejudice. For those of mixed migrant/settler heritage, evidence is growing that the mixed experience is predominantly one of pride. For them, misrecognition, or being asked about their racial background, is an opportunity for play, often resulting in ‘the big reveal’ of a valorised mixed identity associated with something other than a bland ‘white bread’ Australian-ness. For those of mixed Indigenous heritage however, there remains a significant level of prejudice, not (only) for being Aboriginal, but for not being visibly Aboriginal enough. Using existing studies and a number of media controversies as examples, this paper interrogates the implications of these differences for understandings of the ways in which race is recruited in the construction of legitimate identity claims. It asks particularly how ‘mixed race’ is helpful analytically to describe the identity constructions within these two very different experiences. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-423
JournalSocial Identities: journal for the study of race, nation and culture
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019

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