Both black and symbolically white: The 'Bajan-Brit' return migrant as post-colonial hybrid
Potter, R. B. and Phillips, J. (2006) Both black and symbolically white: The 'Bajan-Brit' return migrant as post-colonial hybrid. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 29 (5). pp. 901-927. ISSN 0141-9870
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/01419870600813942
The research presented in this article centres on an under-researched demographic group of young return migrants, namely, second-generation Barbadians, or 'Bajan-Brits', who have decided to 'return' to the birthplace of their parents. Based on 51 in-depth interviews, the essay examines the experiences of second-generation return migrants from an interpretative perspective framed within post-colonial discourse. The article first considers the Bajan-Brits and issues of race in the UK before their decision to migrate. It is then demonstrated that on 'return', in certain respects, these young, black English migrants occupy a liminal position of cultural, racial and economic privilege, based on their 'symbolic' or 'token' whiteness within the post-colonial context of Barbados. But this very hybridity and inbetweeness means that they also face difficulties and associated feelings of social alienation and discrimination. The ambivalent status of this transnational group of migrants serves to challenge traditional notions of Barbadian racial identity.