Negotiating claims of ‘whiteness’: Indo-European everyday experiences and ‘mixed-race’ identities in the Netherlands

Julia Rosa Doornbos*, Bettina van Hoven, Peter D. Groote

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

144 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines identity formations and negotiations among Indo-Europeans, and senses of ‘race’ in the postcolonial Netherlands. We do so by analysing daily practices of ‘being’, ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’ identities by second- and third-generation Indo-Europeans in the North-Eastern Netherlands. The paper contributes to ‘mixed-race’ literature by highlighting new, underexplored contexts in which ‘mixed-race’ identities are negotiated. We focus on practices, relations and transmissions across two generations and changing contexts within the Netherlands. Drawing on life story interviews, the narratives reveal how participants’ identities are politically and historically contingent, shaped by larger structures of racialized violence Indo-Europeans experienced in both the Dutch East Indies and the Netherlands. Identities are navigated in various ways with divergences and negotiations between self-identification, social imposition and familial and biological narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number3
Early online date28-Feb-2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ‘mixed-race’ identities
  • the Netherlands
  • intergenerational
  • post colonialism
  • assimiliation

Cite this