“We were all just the black kids:” Black mixed-race men and the importance of adolescent peer groups for identity development

Jennifer Patrice Sims, Remi Joseph-Salisbury

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Abstract

While critical Mixed-Race studies (CMRS) has paid attention to the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in sampling and analysis, most studies disproportionately focus on women. This means that generalizability of findings and theories to men should not become axiomatic. Regarding black Mixed-Race people, for example, the theory that rejection from black people is influential for many black Mixed-Race individuals’ identity development is derived from interviews with mainly women. Explicitly noting that these processes are not as applicable for men, yet offering no accompanying theorizing as to the influence of gendered interactions on men’s racial identity development, appears to have become the standard. Therefore, bringing together data from two studies that explored black mixedness in the United States and the United Kingdom, this article joins a nascent literature on the gendered experiences of Mixed-Race men. Our analysis shows that, unlike black Mixed-Race women, black Mixed-Race men’s mixedness is often constructed as compatible with the heteronormative gender identities that are constituted in racialized peer groups. As such, black Mixed-Race men are able to cultivate a sense of strategic sameness with same gender black peers. This and other findings are discussed in light of their implications for CMRS’s intersectional theories of identity development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Currents
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date19 Sept 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Mixed-Race
  • identity
  • men and masculinities
  • peer groups
  • racial and ethnic minorities
  • sex and gender
  • sexualities
  • theory

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