World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hyperdescent

Article Id: WHEBN0002156133
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hyperdescent  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Patrilineality, New Spain
Collection: Kinship and Descent, Multiracial Affairs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Hyperdescent

Hyperdescent is the practice of classifying a child of mixed race ancestry in the more socially dominant of the parents' races.

Hyperdescent is the opposite of hypodescent (the practice of classifying a child of mixed race ancestry in the more socially subordinate parental race). Both hyperdescent and hypodescent vary from, and may not be mutually exclusive with, other methods of determining lineage, such as patrilineality and matrilineality.

Contents

  • Examples of hyperdescent 1
    • Australia 1.1
    • Latin America 1.2
      • Brazil 1.2.1
      • Hispanic America 1.2.2
    • Iceland 1.3
  • See also 2
  • References 3

Examples of hyperdescent

Australia

Until well into the 20th century, Australian state and federal governments engaged in a program of forcibly separating Aboriginal children with white ancestry from their Aboriginal families, and raising them in institutions that were intended to prepare them for white foster homes, jobs under white employers and/or marriage to whites.

This occurred according to theories of hyperdescent that were popular among white people. These ideas were not usually shared by Aboriginal people. White politicians and officials utilised pseudo-scientific theories – later conclusively disproven – that Aboriginal people were genetically and culturally inferior to whites, and were becoming extinct. These authorities believed that it was therefore improper for part-white children to live as Aboriginal people.

It was also widely believed that if Aboriginal people whose descendants had children with whites for several generations, successies generations of descendants would be less and less distinguishable from whites.

In Australia, while there were many racist laws intended to keep Aboriginal people in a socially inferior position, there were no anti-miscegenation laws and hence no barriers to marriages between Aboriginal and white partners.[1][2]

Latin America

Brazil

Brazil is an example of a country with a history of European slavery of black Africans somewhat analogous to that of the United States of America. However, in the United States, hypodescent was applied, gradually classifying anyone with African American ancestry as black, specifically in one-drop rule laws passed in Virginia and other states in the 20th century. In Brazil, by contrast, people of mixed race who were fair-skinned or were educated and of higher economic classes were accepted into the elite. Thomas E. Skidmore, in Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought explains that many of the Brazilian elite encouraged a national process of "whitening" through miscegenation. Skidmore writes (p. 55): "In fact, miscegenation did not arouse the instinctive opposition of the white elite in Brazil. On the contrary, it was a well-recognized (and tacitly condoned) process by which a few mixed bloods (almost invariably light mulattoes) had risen to the top of the social and political hierarchy."

Hispanic America

Hyperdescent is the rule in the rest of Latin America as well. The mestizo populations of Latin America usually consider themselves to be of European culture rather than American Indian. This is also apparent in the United States, where the practice of hypodescent is the rule among the non-Hispanic population contrasting with hyperdescent among Hispanics. Nearly half of U.S. Hispanics called themselves "white" in the 2000 Census, along with 80% of the population of Puerto Rico. Non-Hispanics, on the other hand, if they are of mixed race, will usually call themselves white only if they are a small fraction (1/8 or 1/16) American Indian, but otherwise will claim being of mixed race or even of the minority race. In the 2000 Census, of 35,305,818 Hispanics, only 407,073 (or just over 1%) called themselves American Indian, and only 2,224,082 (just over 6%) claimed to be of mixed race, even though these Hispanic groups (such as Mexicans) are majority mestizo in their home countries.[3]

About 41.2% of U.S. Hispanics identify as "Some other race" as of 2006, but government agencies which do not recognize "Some other race" (such as the FBI, the CDC, and the NCHS) include this group, and therefore over 90% of Hispanics, within the white population. In such cases, such as with the NCHS, separate statistics are often kept for "White" (which includes whites and over 90% of Hispanics) and "non-Hispanic white".

Iceland

Another example of hyperdescent is in Iceland, which was initially populated by Norsemen, who took with them slaves from Ireland, Scotland and the Ancient Britons, including some women.

Modern Icelanders are considered to be a Scandinavian people ethnically, although many of the founding generations were Irish, Scots, or British women.

See also

References

  1. ^ Doris Pilkington & Nugi Garimara, Follow the Rabbit-proof Fence, University of Queensland Press, 1996 (republished as Rabbit-proof Fence in 2002 and 2004)
  2. ^ [Australian] Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's "Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families" (1997)
  3. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-_lang=en&-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_P008&-format=&-CONTEXT=dt
  • Christine B. Hickman, "The Devil and the One Drop Rule: Racial Categories, African Americans, and the U.S. Census," Michigan Law Review, Vol: 95, March, 1997, 1175-1176.
  • Ian F. Haney Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race (NY: New York University Press: 1996)
  • Thomas e. Skidmore, Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (Durham: Duke University press, 1993
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.