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Is there evidence of ‘whitening’ for Asian/White multiracial people in Britain?

Song, Miri (2019) Is there evidence of ‘whitening’ for Asian/White multiracial people in Britain? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, . pp. 1-17. ISSN 1369-183X. (doi:10.1080/1369183X.2019.1654163) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Growing rates of interracial unions in multi-ethnic societies such as Britain are notable, and point to significant changes in the blurring and possibly shifting nature of ethnic and racial boundaries. Asian Americans who partner with White Americans are assumed to engage in ‘whitening’ – both in terms of their aspirations and their social consequences. Yet little is still known about the aftermath of intermarriage, even in the USA. Drawing on this US literature, this paper considers the whitening thesis in relation to multiracial people in Britain, with a particular focus on Asian/White multiracial people. I draw upon the findings of two British studies – one of multiracial young people in higher education (Aspinall, Peter, and Miri Song. 2013. Mixed Race Identities. London: Palgrave Macmillan), and another of multiracial people who are parents (Song, Miri. 2017. Multiracial Parents: Mixed Race Families, Generational Change and the Future of Race. New York: NYU Press) – to explore these questions. I argue that conceptualizations of part Asian people (in the USA) as leaning toward their White heritages are often unsubstantiated, and deduced primarily from one key factor: their high rates of intermarriage with White spouses. Little attention has been given to part Asian people who try to maintain ties with their Asian ancestries. We must consider the ambivalence, tensions, and contextually variable identifications and practices adopted by multiracial Asian people.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1654163
Uncontrolled keywords: Multiracial, Asian/White, intermarriage, Britain, whitening
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Miri Song
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 10:44 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 11:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/78583 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Song, Miri: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1764-4905
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