Sociology is interested in how identities are constructed and maintained, especially how gender, race, ethnicity and class impacts on self-identity and on our life chances. Who we are, how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us has increasingly led many social scientists to describe contemporary identities as hybrid. This might be defined at one level as the intermingling or mixture of people from different cultural backgrounds. Sociologists and other social theorists have argued over the last twenty years that individuals have multiple identities that cut across many group allegiances. Nevertheless, there are problems with the use of the term hybrid. For some, hybrid suggests some kind of ‘new cultural melting pot, in which crucial cultural differences are effaced and power relations obscured’ (Hynes 2000). For others it implies that something pure or authentic and of traditional value has been lost. These debates do not hide the fact that racial and cultural hybrid identities have been fuelled by globalizing and transnational processes.
Field of Research
160803 Race and Ethnic Relations 160303 Migration 160806 Social Theory
Socio Economic Objective
940111 Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare
HERDC Research category
BN Other book chapter, or book chapter not attributed to Deakin
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