What Brubaker [2016. “The Dolezal Affair: Race, Gender, and the Micropolitics of Identity.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 39 (3): 414–448] referred to in these pages as “the Dolezal affair”, though widely and intensely scrutinized, was only one example of a broader series of recent public controversies over an individual's “true” racial identity. This article argues that in the early-twenty-first century, claims of race-group membership are being complicated by technological developments in genetics and in cosmetics, as well as by new respect for subjective self-identification. As a result, there are more paths than ever to claiming and demonstrating racial belonging. In particular, I suggest that four new types of race-group member are emerging: genetic, cosmetic, emotive, and constructed. Should these types come to be widely accepted as genuine race members, racial groups will become more heterogeneous, resembling kaleidoscopic arrays of core and peripheral members who differ in terms of how many qualifications for belonging they may legitimately claim.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science