Re: ethnography on race

Drew & Laurie Beck (
1 May 1995 12:35:39 GMT

In article
<>, says...
>Does anybody know of any ethnographies written on interracial
>relationships or biracial individuals or have any opinions of their own
>that they would like to share?

Well...this is my first posting to this group and I'll probably be sorry
that I picked up on this thread, but here goes: What kind of info are
you lookin for? When you say "interracial relationships", do you mean
marriages/romances? Also, how do you define "biracial"? This is a
subject that very much interests me because my wife and I are in the
process of adopting a baby girl from India. We are both "white"
(whatever the heck that means--from now on I'll use "of european descent"
instead) so the issues of race & ethnicity will undoubtedly be prominent
in all of our lives. We've already been asked such moronic questions as,
1. "why don't you adopt one of your own kind?" and 2. "what language will
your baby speak?". My usual answers to these questions are 1. "Oh, you
mean we should adopt a middle-aged bald guy with a big nose and freckles"
(well, that IS my own kind :-)) and 2. "She'll speak baby language, same
as all babies".

BTW, would it be possible for someone on this list with more knowledge of
the subject than I have to define "race"? I'm certainly not very
comfortable with the concept because there seems to be so much blurring
of the lines that we rather arbitrarily draw between and among groups of
people. For any one feature that defines a "race" (at least in popular
terms), it seems to me that there is so much variation within the race
that all kinds of exceptions have to be put forth to hold the concept
together (i.e. all "whites" have blue eyes, except for the ones who
don't, or all "Asians" have low-bridged noses, except for the ones who
don't, etc.).

I'm not trying to be a pain in the rear here, but I am genuinely curious.
The distinctions we use to define a race have always seemed so tenuous to
me when any kind of detailed analysis is done. I'm not saying that there
are not physical differences among people, but the concept of race just
seems kinda lacking. In my admittedly crude and uneducated view, we are
all on a continuum of sorts with features shared to a greater or lesser
extend depending on our ancestory.

Thanks for your forebearance!
Drew Beck