Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Challenging Multiracial Identity

Rainier Spencer
Challenging Multiracial Identity
ISBN: 978-1-58826-424-4
2006/135 pages/LC: 2006011919
Also of interest: Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix by Rainier Spencer

"Spencer offers historically informed theoretical challenges to the field ... [Challenging Multiracial Identity] should be required reading in courses on race, especially critical race theory."—Lewis R. Gordon, Journal of Black Studies

"A hard-hitting critique of multiracial identity scholarship.... Challenging the most basic of assumptions, Spencer's book has the potential to raise the standards of an entire field of study."—Kerry Ann Rockquemore, University of Illinois at Chicago

"A brilliant book, well written, a breath of fresh air.... Spencer's careful analysis of research on multiracial identity is a prelude to hard-hitting ideas that will make the reader think." —Robert M Moore III, Frostburg State University


What is multiracialism—and what are the theoretical consequences and practical costs of asserting a multiracial identity? Arguing that the multiracial movement bolsters, rather than subverts, traditional categories of race, Rainier Spencer critically assesses current scholarship in support of multiracial identity.


Rainier Spencer is professor emeritus of Afro-American and mixed-race studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


  • Introduction: Expecting Excellence in the Field of Multiracial Identity Studies.
  • Projection as Reality: Three Authors, Three Studies, One Problem.
  • Psychobabble, Socioblather, and the Reinscription of the Pathology Paradigm.
  • White Mothers, the Loving Legend, and Manufacturing a Biracial Baby Boom.
  • Distinction Without Difference: The Insidious Argument for First-Generation Black/White Multiracial Identity.
  • The Road Forward.