Masquerades of Multiculturalism in Britain: Gendered Mixed Race Identity and Racial Consciousness
Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond

part of: Critical Philosophy of Race: Here and Now
June 5, 2014, 9:00am - 9:30am
Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Room G22/26, Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

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  • Institute of Philosophy
  • Institute of Commonwealth Studies
  • Aristotelian Society
  • Mind Association
  • Analysis Trust
  • UCL Department of Philosophy
  • UCL Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies
  • UCL Race Equality Steering Group


Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman
University College London

Topic areas


Masquerades of Multiculturalism in Britain: 

Gendered Mixed Race Identity and Racial Consciousness (Beckles-Raymond)

Persons racialised as mixed race constitute the fastest growing minority group in Britain. As the push to acknowledge, express and celebrate mixed race identity intensifies, the meaning of mixed race identity, its ontological status, and its relationship to mono-racial identities have increasing importance for our understanding of race relations in the US and Britain. 

In Britain the face of mixed race identity is a woman. As such, this paper uses the framework of gendered racial consciousness to examine this gendered expression of mixed race identity. I show that the stereotypes of persons racialised as mixed race in Britain differ for men and women and that this gendering of mixed race identity is (a) a function of non-racialised male heteronormativity, that now, as during Atlantic slavery, is the dominant perspective and (b) very much part of Britain's racial consciousness. 

I, therefore, suggest that mixed race identities are historically and socially encumbered and caution against the tendency to view the image of mixed race woman as indicative of structural changes that reduce racial oppression in the Britain or as a symbol of multiracial harmony.


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