Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries

1st Edition

Edited by Ravinder Barn, Vicki Harman


120 pages

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This pioneering volume draws together theoretical and empirical contributions analyzing the experiences of white mothers in interracial families in Britain, Canada and the USA. The growth of the mixed race population reflects an increasingly racially and culturally heterogeneous society, shaped by powerful forces of globalisation and migration. Mixed family formations are becoming increasingly common through marriage, relationships and adoption, and there is also increasing social recognition of interracial families through the inclusion of mixed categories in Census data and other official statistics. The changing demographic make-up of Britain and other Western countries raises important questions about identity, belonging and the changing nature of family life. It also connects with theoretical and empirical discussions about the significance of ‘race’ in contemporary society.

In exploring mothering across racialised boundaries, this volume offers new insights and perspectives. The notion of racialisation is invoked to argue that, while the notion of race does not exist in any meaningful sense, it continues to operate as a social process. This crucial resource will appeal to academics, researchers, policy makers, practitioners and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Ravinder Barn and Vicki Harman 2. ‘Doing the right thing’: transracial adoption in the USA Ravinder Barn 3. The experiences of race in the lives of Jewish birth mothers of children from black/white interracial and inter-religious relationships: a Canadian perspective Channa C. Verbian 4. Researching white mothers of mixed-parentage children: the significance of investigating whiteness Joanne Britton 5. Social capital and the informal support networks of lone white mothers of mixed-parentage children Vicki Harman 6. Narratives from a Nottingham council estate: a story of white working class mothers with mixed-race children Lisa McKenzie

About the Editors

Ravinder Barn is Professor of Social Policy at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. She has published widely into the areas of ‘race’, ethnicity and children and families.

Vicki Harman is Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. Drawing on her PhD research, she has written several papers about the situation of white mothers in mixed families.

About the Series

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Race, ethnicity and nationalism are at the heart of many of the major social and political issues in the present global environment. New antagonisms have emerged which require a rethinking of traditional theoretical and empirical perspectives. The books in this series are based on special issues of Ethnic and Racial Studies, the leading journal for the analysis of these issues throughout the world. Expert authors and editors present interdisciplinary research and theoretical analysis, drawing on sociology, social policy, anthropology, political science, economics, geography, international relations, history, social psychology and cultural studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family