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Reproducing race: the paradox of generation mix, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010, 355 pp., $27.50 (paper)

Harman, Vicki (2011) Reproducing race: the paradox of generation mix, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010, 355 pp., $27.50 (paper) Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34 (12). pp. 2218-2219.

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From the outset, Reproducing Race promised to be a controversial read. The repeated use of the term ‘mulatto’ (not confined to historical discussions, as is conventional) stood out and created a sense of anticipation at the arguments to follow. This book centres on the significance of Generation Mix, defined as ‘people (typically, but not necessarily, young people) who consider themselves to be the immediately mixed or first generation offspring of parents who are members of different biological racial groups’ (p. 2). Young people who have parents from different racial backgrounds have been celebrated in the media and within much sociological literature as representing a more tolerant and potentially post-racial future. This book offers a critique of celebratory accounts of multi-racialism in the USA and the ideas underpinning the American Multiracial Identity Movement. Rainier Spencer argues that ‘racial ambiguity, in and of itself, is no guarantee of political progressiveness, racial destabilisation, or, indeed, of anything in particular’ (p. 3). Furthermore, Generation Mix does not radically change the racial order; it simply adds another category because whiteness is still at the top of the racial hierarchy while African-Americans remain at the bottom.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 21 October 2011
DOI : 10.1080/01419870.2011.623133
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 08 Dec 2017 08:38
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:05

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