Multiracial Parents

Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

192 pages

2 tables and 1 figure

November, 2017

ISBN: 9781479825905



Add to Cart Available: 10/6/2017

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Miri Song is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent. Her books include Helping Out: Children's Labor in Ethnic Businesses and Mixed Race Identities (with Peter Aspinall.)

All books by Miri Song

The views and experiences of multiracial people as parents
The world’s multiracial population is considered to be one of the fastest growing of all ethnic groups. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 20% of the population will be considered “mixed race” by 2050. Public figures—such as former President Barack Obama and Hollywood actress Ruth Negga—further highlight the highly diverse backgrounds of those classified under the umbrella term of “multiracial.”
Multiracial Parents considers how mixed-race parents identify with and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising and socializing their children. Miri Song presents a groundbreaking examination of how the meanings and practices surrounding multiracial identification are passed down through the generations.
A revealing portrait of how multiracial identity is and is not transmitted to children, Multiracial Parents focuses on couples comprised of one White and one non-white minority, who were mostly “first generation mixed,” situating her findings in a trans-Atlantic framework.
By drawing on detailed narratives about the parents’ children and family lives, this book explores what it means to be multiracial, and whether multiracial identity and status will matter for multiracial people’s children. Many couples suggested that their very existence (and their children’s) is a step toward breaking down boundaries about the meaning of race and that the idea of a mixed-race population is increasingly becoming normalized, despite existing concerns about racism and racial bias within and beyond various communities.
A critical perspective on contemporary multiracial families, Multiracial Parents raises fundamental questions about the future significance of racial boundaries and identities.


  • “A rich account of the complexities of racially classifying mixed-race children. Song strikes at the heart of where mixed-race identity and its variants - such as to identify as White or non-White - are formed. By following parents’ accounts, this innovative and important book helps us understand an important dimension of a world of increasing ethnoracial diversity.”

    —Edward E. Telles, Author of Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America

  • “A novel and searching look at how mixed race people contemplate and confront parenthood. Though their circumstances may seem unique, Song compellingly shows how their experiences and reflections speak volumes about how race is more widely understood. Questions of appearance, community, racism, and ancestry may take on particular forms for multiracial parents, but their power and poignancy clearly derive from the weight they hold for all of us.”

    —Ann Morning, Author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference

  • “An insightful study that illuminates a neglected group: multiracial parents who are raising children. We learn how second-generation multiracials conceptualize and negotiate the meaning of race, racism, and the identity formation of their children.”

    —France Winddance Twine, Author of A White Side of Black Britain: Interracial Intimacy and Racial Literacy