Supervisor: Dr. Renisa Mawani

Research Interests

Racial and ethnic inequality, Interracial intimacy, Mixed race studies and Qualitative methods

Current Research

The 2011 National family and household survey reported an increase in the number of mixed unions. This news was celebrated as a success of Canadian multiculturalism in the mainstream media. For instance, an editorial in Maclean’s magazine declared in its headline, “Canada is leading the pack in mixed unions – Why we’re setting the global standard for multicultural acceptance and integration” (Macleans, 2014). This presents an example of an emerging social narrative that frames increasing number of mixed unions as an indication of increasing tolerance for racial and cultural diversity and diminishing racism in Canadian society. My research will examine the everyday experiences of mixed couples in Vancouver who belong to different ethno-racial groups to interrogate this narrative.

I use a sociology of race and culture framework to study the meanings attached to race in intimate romantic settings. I examine how being a mixed couple becomes a cultural identity, and how it is perceived and performed. Through qualitative semi structured interviews with couple together and individually, I will investigate how personal stories of mixed couples reinforce, reimagine and challenge the social narrative that claims that the rise in their numbers reflects the success of progressive multiculturalism in Canada. I will closely attend to use of metaphors, and symbolic and ideological codes in construction of these narratives. I will investigate how mixed couples talk about race, racial identity, and racism in Canadian society and how does being with someone from a different racial and cultural background affects people’s personal identities, cultural preferences and social interactions. This research will contribute towards understanding how race structures identities and interactions in intimate social settings addressing the question – “Do mixed couples and their multiracial families disrupt symbolic boundaries of race by loving across the racial line?”

 

Teaching Assistant for the following courses:

Introduction to Sociology

Racial and Ethnic Inequality

Sociology of Social Inequality

Sociological Research Methods

Sociology of Diversity in the family

Groups: