‘We'll be fine until our kid goes to school’: biraciality and discourse in Tia & Tamera

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This article offers a Critical Discourse Analysis of an episode of the reality TV show Tia & Tamera. A symbolic interactionist frame provides a lens for focusing on how social interactions impact the ways in which meanings of race are constructed around the topic of biraciality, while critical race theory facilitates an understanding of this construction on a macro-level. Conversations between the biracial title characters and their family and friends comprise the data corpus considered for analysis. Three notable themes emerge from the discourses observed: (1) race talk is avoided; (2) racial understanding varies in public and private contexts; and (3) realities of racial self-concepts based upon past experiences shape expectations of future racial self-concepts. Each theme provides insight into how and why the title character engages in discourse work that serves to establish the racial identity of her yet unborn son within the context of a societal structure that leaves her without a range of choices for how to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-227
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Discourse Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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