Parenting across racialized boundaries: white parents in mixed family settings in France
Solène Brun (Sciences Po Paris)
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on a study of two types of mixed families in France, this paper investigates the characteristics and effects of white parenting across racialized boundaries. It will be the occasion to question whiteness and its (re)productions and transformations in mixed family settings.
Paper long abstract:
Drawing on a study of two types of mixed families in France - international adoptive families and mixed couples and their descendants (study conducted between October 2015 - November 2017, observations and interviews, n=91), this paper aims at investigating the characteristics and effects of white parenting across racialized boundaries. In both cases, white parents engage in types of mixed parenting, by raising non-white adoptive children, or biological mixed children. As such, most interviewed white parents face experiences that are rarely encountered by whites as members of the majority. This paper will thus be the occasion to question whiteness and its (re)productions and transformations in family settings, when white parents are placed in a position of minority in their own families. I will first look at white parental socialization practices, and explore the diverse ways in which parents engage in forms of ethno-racial socialization in a colorblind context. These different practices reflect the ways white parents negotiate race relations and their embodiment in their very own family. I will then turn to identity formation processes, and look at how parental whiteness in contexts of family mixedness is displayed, enacted, and transformed in the daily family life. This will lead me to interrogate in which ways the parents' whiteness influences the identity construction of non-white children, and, in return, how it is shaped by the intimate experience of parenting across racialized boundaries.
Moving across racialised boundaries - settling in mixedness? Dialogues in critical mixedness studies [Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity Network]