Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Justice, United States on 2019-07-24 22:56Z by Steven

Biracial American Colorism: Passing for White

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-Ă -vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810747
pages 2072-2086

Keshia L. Harris
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Biracial Americans constitute a larger portion of the U.S. population than is often acknowledged. According to the U.S. Census, 8.4 million people or 2.6% of the population identified with two or more racial origins in 2016. Arguably, these numbers are misleading considering extensive occurrences of interracial pairings between Whites and minority racial groups throughout U.S. history. Many theorists posit that the hypodescent principle of colorism, colloquially known as “the one drop rule,” has influenced American racial socialization in such a way that numerous individuals primarily identify with one racial group despite having parents from two different racial backgrounds. While much of social science literature examines the racial identification processes of biracial Americans who identify with their minority heritage, this article focuses on contextual factors such as family income, neighborhood, religion, and gender that influence the decision for otherwise African/Asian/Latino/Native Americans to identify as White.

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The Globalization of Light Skin Colorism: From Critical Race to Critical Skin Theory

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-07-24 22:50Z by Steven

The Globalization of Light Skin Colorism: From Critical Race to Critical Skin Theory

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume: 62 issue: 14 (The Implications of Colorism vis-Ă -vis Demographic Variation in a New Millennium)
DOI: 10.1177/0002764218810755
pages 2133–2145

Ronald E. Hall, Professor of Social Work
Michigan State University

On the cusp of Western civilization, Caucasians aspired to a racial world order defining Caucasian as superior race status. Today, racial diversity is a societal theme facilitated by laws, which deems racial equality a right and racial discrimination illegal. Nevertheless, by globalization, a racial world order exists by locating light skin at the zenith of humanity. As pertains to the globalization of light skin, culture and social criteria are most significant considering the demands of a racist racial hierarchy. The existence of such a hierarchy by replacing racism with colorism then necessitates moving beyond race category. Critical race theory (CRT) per light skin as new world order must defer to critical skin theory (CST). Colorism per CST operates identical in manner to racism per CRT. CST must then be elevated to priority over CRT such that the future of humanity may be rescued from the tenacious transgressions of a racist societal past.

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Essential Measures: Ancestry, Race, and Social Difference

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-13 23:48Z by Steven

Essential Measures: Ancestry, Race, and Social Difference

American Behavioral Scientist
April 2016, Volume 60, Number 4
pages 498-518
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613398

Aaron Gullickson, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Oregon

Race and ancestry are both popularly viewed in the United States as different but intertwined reflections on a person’s essentialized identity that answer the question of “who is what?” Despite this loose but well-understood connection between the two concepts and the availability of ancestry data on the U.S. census, researchers have rarely used the two sources of data in combination. In this article, drawing on theories of boundary formation, I compare these two forms of identification to explore the salience and social closure of racial boundaries. Specifically, I analyze race-reporting inconsistency and predict college completion at multiple levels of racial ancestry aggregation using Census data. The results suggest that, while much of the variation in these measures corresponds to popular “big race” conceptions of difference, considerable variation remains among individual ancestries.

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Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-08 02:01Z by Steven

Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume 60, Number 4 (April 2016)
pages 420-441
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613395

Denia Garcia
Department of Sociology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Maria Abascal
Department of Sociology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Scholars are increasingly employing skin color measures to investigate racial stratification beyond the dimensions of self- or other-classification. Current understandings of the relationship between phenotypic traits, like skin color, and racial classification are incomplete. Scholars agree that perceptions of phenotypic traits shape how people classify others; it remains to be seen, however, whether racial classification in turn shapes people’s perceptions of phenotypic traits. The present study is based on an original survey experiment that tests whether assessments of others’ skin color are affected by a subtle racial cue, a name. Results indicate that skin color ratings are affected by the presence of a racially distinctive name: A significant share of people will rate the same face darker when that face is assigned a distinctively Hispanic name as opposed to a non-Hispanic name. In addition, ratings of male faces are more sensitive to racially distinctive names. The findings bear important lessons for our understanding of the social construction of race and its role in producing inequalities.

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Shades of Race: How Phenotype and Observer Characteristics Shape Racial Classification

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-08 01:32Z by Steven

Shades of Race: How Phenotype and Observer Characteristics Shape Racial Classification

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume 60, Number 4 (April 2016)
pages 390-419
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613401

Cynthia Feliciano, Associate Professor of Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies
University of California, Irvine

Although race-based discrimination and stereotyping can only occur if people place others into racial categories, our understanding of this process, particularly in contexts where observers categorize others based solely on appearance, is limited. Using a unique data set drawn from observers’ assessments of photos posted by White, Black, Latino, and multiracial online daters, this study examines how phenotype and observer characteristics influence racial categorization and cases of divergence between self-identities and others’ classifications. I find that despite the growth in the multiracial population, observers tend to place individuals into monoracial categories, including Latino. Skin color is the primary marker used to categorize others by race, with light skin associated with Whiteness, medium skin with Latinidad, and, most strongly, dark skin with Blackness. Among daters who self-identify as Black along with other racial categories, those with dark skin are overwhelmingly placed solely into a Black category. These findings hold across observers, but the proportion of photos placed into different racial categories differs by observers’ gender and race. Thus, estimates of inequality may vary depending not only on how race is assessed but also on who classifiers are. I argue that patterns of racial categorization reveal how the U.S. racial structure has moved beyond binary divisions into a system in which Latinos are seen as a racial group in-between Blacks and Whites, and a dark-skin rule defines Blacks’ racial options.

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Interrogating Race: Color, Racial Categories, and Class Across the Americas

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-08 01:25Z by Steven

Interrogating Race: Color, Racial Categories, and Class Across the Americas

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume 60, Number 4 (April 2016)
pages 538-555
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613400

Stanley R. Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

FabrĂ­cio M. Fialho
University of California, Los Angeles

Andrew M. Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

We address long-standing debates on the utility of racial categories and color scales for understanding inequality in the United States and Latin America, using novel data that enable comparisons of these measures across both broad regions. In particular, we attend to the degree to which color and racial category inequality operate independently of parental socioeconomic status. We find a variety of patterns of racial category and color inequality, but that in most countries accounting for maternal education changes our coefficients by 5% or less. Overall, we argue that several posited divergences in ethnoracial stratification processes in the United States, compared with Latin America, might be overstated. We conclude that the comparison of the effects of multiple ethnoracial markers, such as color and racial categories, for the analysis of social stratification holds substantial promise for untangling the complexities of “race” across the Americas.

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Documenting Contested Racial Identities Among Self-Identified Latina/os, Asians, Blacks, and Whites

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-08 01:10Z by Steven

Documenting Contested Racial Identities Among Self-Identified Latina/os, Asians, Blacks, and Whites

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume 60, Number 4 (April 2016)
pages 442-464
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613396

Nicholas Vargas, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies and Sociology
University of Florida

Kevin Stainback, Associate Professor of Sociology
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

A contested racial identity refers to incongruence between personal racial identification and external racial categorization. For example, an individual may self-identify as White, but be perceived by most others as non-White. Documenting racial contestation is important because racialized experiences are shaped not only by the racial classification that individuals claim for themselves but also the external racial attributions placed on them by others. Focusing solely on monoracial identifying adults, this study answers three key questions about racial contestation: (a) How common is it? (b) Who is most likely to report experiencing it? and (c) How is it related to aspects of racial identity such as racial awareness, racial group closeness, and racial identity salience? Employing the 2006 Portraits of American Life Study, results suggest that reports of racial contestation among monoracial identifying adults are more common than some studies suggest (6% to 14%)—particularly among the fastest growing racial groups in the United States, including Latina/os and Asians—and that experiences of racial contestation are often associated with immigrant generation, ancestry, and phenotypical characteristics. Ordinal logistic regression analyses indicate that individuals who report experiencing racial contestation are no more aware of race in everyday life than other U.S. adults, but they feel less close to other members of the self-identified racial group and report lower levels of racial identity salience than their noncontested counterparts. These results point to a thinning of racial identity among the racially contested.

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Shades of Race: How Phenotype and Observer Characteristics Shape Racial Classification

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-27 02:52Z by Steven

Shades of Race: How Phenotype and Observer Characteristics Shape Racial Classification

American Behavioral Scientist
Published online before print 2015-10-28
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613401

Cynthia Feliciano, Associate Professor of Sociology; Associate Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies
University of California, Irvine

Although race-based discrimination and stereotyping can only occur if people place others into racial categories, our understanding of this process, particularly in contexts where observers categorize others based solely on appearance, is limited. Using a unique data set drawn from observers’ assessments of photos posted by White, Black, Latino, and multiracial online daters, this study examines how phenotype and observer characteristics influence racial categorization and cases of divergence between self-identities and others’ classifications. I find that despite the growth in the multiracial population, observers tend to place individuals into monoracial categories, including Latino. Skin color is the primary marker used to categorize others by race, with light skin associated with Whiteness, medium skin with Latinidad, and, most strongly, dark skin with Blackness. Among daters who self-identify as Black along with other racial categories, those with dark skin are overwhelmingly placed solely into a Black category. These findings hold across observers, but the proportion of photos placed into different racial categories differs by observers’ gender and race. Thus, estimates of inequality may vary depending not only on how race is assessed but also on who classifiers are. I argue that patterns of racial categorization reveal how the U.S. racial structure has moved beyond binary divisions into a system in which Latinos are seen as a racial group in-between Blacks and Whites, and a dark-skin rule defines Blacks’ racial options.

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Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-11-06 16:19Z by Steven

Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color

American Behavioral Scientist
Published online before print 2015-10-28
DOI: 10.1177/0002764215613395

Denia Garcia
Department of Sociology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Maria Abascal
Department of Sociology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Scholars are increasingly employing skin color measures to investigate racial stratification beyond the dimensions of self- or other-classification. Current understandings of the relationship between phenotypic traits, like skin color, and racial classification are incomplete. Scholars agree that perceptions of phenotypic traits shape how people classify others; it remains to be seen, however, whether racial classification in turn shapes people’s perceptions of phenotypic traits. The present study is based on an original survey experiment that tests whether assessments of others’ skin color are affected by a subtle racial cue, a name. Results indicate that skin color ratings are affected by the presence of a racially distinctive name: A significant share of people will rate the same face darker when that face is assigned a distinctively Hispanic name as opposed to a non-Hispanic name. In addition, ratings of male faces are more sensitive to racially distinctive names. The findings bear important lessons for our understanding of the social construction of race and its role in producing inequalities.

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Show me your CDIB: Blood Quantum and Indian Identity among Indian People of Oklahoma

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-12-06 06:15Z by Steven

Show me your CDIB: Blood Quantum and Indian Identity among Indian People of Oklahoma

American Behavioral Scientist
Volume 47, Number 3 (November 2003)
pages 267-282
DOI: 10.1177/0002764203256187

James F. Hamill, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Discourse concerning the legitimacy of claims of Indian identity characterize much of the debate in Indian country today. Any legitimate claim to an Indian identity rests, in part, on tribal membership, which requires certification by the U.S. government in the form of a Certified Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) and a tribal membership identification. Once a person establishes biological heritage with the CDIB, the blood quantum—full, 1/2, 1/256, and so forth—often is taken as a rough measure of “Indianness.” This emphasis on blood quantum has been an important feature of both Indian and Tribal identity in Oklahoma throughout the 20th century. Using data from interviews with Oklahoma Indian people taken in the 1930s, 1960s, and gathered in the field from 1994 on, this report will look at the meaning and importance of blood quantum in Indian identity and how that has been expressed by Indian women and men throughout the past 100 years.

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