What kind of mixed race/ethnicity data is needed for the 2020/21 global population census round: the cases of the UK, USA, and Canada

Posted in Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-07-27 21:02Z by Steven

What kind of mixed race/ethnicity data is needed for the 2020/21 global population census round: the cases of the UK, USA, and Canada

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2017-07-26
pages 1-19
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1346267

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
Centre for Health Services Studies
University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom

In western countries the mixed race/ethnicity population is experiencing a rapid increase in numbers and growing diversity, raising challenges for its capture in censuses and surveys. Methods include exact combinations of interest, multi-ticking, and open response, as exemplified by the censuses of England and Wales, the USA and Canada, and Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively. However, investigations of question face validity, reproducibility of findings, and efficacy of capture reveal quality problems with all three approaches. The low reporting reliability of this population urgently requires research and testing to identify optimal strategies. While there is clearly no one gold standard method of capture and current approaches have developed within national contexts, it is timely to review these methods across the three countries and to make recommendations for the upcoming 2020/21 censuses.

Introduction

Throughout much of the twentieth century the salient view in ethnicity data collection was that people belonged in separate and mutually exclusive racial/ethnic categories,1 an approach termed ethnic absolutism (Gilroy 2004). This status quo was maintained by some statistical agencies in the UK through the claim that persons of mixed race/ethnicity preferred to identify with a single group (Sillitoe and White 1992). Moreover, in the USA, the “one drop rule” privileged the minority ethnic component in a mixed person’s racial identity, requiring only one race to be assigned to a person (Davis 1991). Mixed persons who utilized “other” categories or unofficially multi-ticked went uncounted. However, as the mixed population began to increase in recent decades and respondents in censuses and surveys demonstrated their wish to self-identify their mixedness in free-text (Aspinall 2010), this approach was no longer sustainable. In consequence, census and other official organizations across the world and especially in western countries have been faced with the challenge of how to count this mixed/multiple population. This has led to the adoption of a plurality of measures (Morning 2008) that belies the complexities with respect to conceptualization and the proliferation in type of mixes or combinations. Moreover, several countries are now approaching their second or third decennial census in which the mixed population has been measured, yielding an evidence base on optimal strategies. It is therefore timely to take stock of these practices and to explore what kind of mixed race/ethnicity data is needed for the upcoming 2020/21 global population census round…

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Unsettling intersectional identities: historicizing embodied boundaries and border crossings

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing on 2017-07-13 01:34Z by Steven

Unsettling intersectional identities: historicizing embodied boundaries and border crossings

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 40, Issue 8 (2017)
pages 1312-1319
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1303171

Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychosocial Studies
University College London, United Kingdom

At a time when the pace of global change has led to unprecedented shifts in, and unsettling of, identities, Brubaker brings “trans/gender” and “trans/racial” creatively into conversation to theorize the historical location of identity claims and to examine the question of whether identities are optional, self-consciously chosen and subject to political claims rather than biologically pre-given. His main argument is that the distinction between sex and gender allows us to construct gender identity as personal, individual and separate from the (biologically) sexed body. In contrast, other people always have a stake in allowing or challenging identity claims to racial identity. Brubaker’s argument is persuasive. However, he treats both race and sex/gender as solipsistic and neglects the wider social context that has produced the conditions of possibility for the entrenched differences he records. An intersectional approach would have deepened his discussion of the place of categories in “trans” arguments.

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With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-10 19:31Z by Steven

The Beautiful Faces commercial was about thirty seconds long: ‘I am negro, morena, mulata, zamba. I am Afro-descendant. I count. Palenquero, raizal, mulato, negra, I count. Afro-descendant, morena, negra. I’m zambo, raizal. I count. Palenquero, negro.’ It ended with the confident words of Maria Eugenia Arboleda, a famous AfroColombian actress: ‘My people, in this census, count yourself!’ This was followed by the some fifteen Afro-Colombians featured in the commercial exclaiming in unison: ‘Proud to be Afro-Colombian!’ With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Tianna S. Paschel, “‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 36, Issue 10 (2013). 11-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2013.791398.

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‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2017-01-06 02:22Z by Steven

‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 36, 2013 – Issue 10: Rethinking Race, Racism, Identity, and Ideology in Latin America
Pages 1544-1563
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2013.791398

Tianna S. Paschel, Assistant Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

The recent multicultural turn in Latin America has made the census a key site of struggle for both recognition and resources. Drawing on document analysis and ethnographic methods, this paper examines the politics around Colombia’s 2005 census. I argue that Afro-Colombian organizations were successful in pressuring the state to move beyond the purely cultural notions of blackness institutionalized in the 1991 constitution and toward a broader ethno-racial Afro-Colombian category in the 2005 census. However, their success required them not only to situate their claims in international mandates and domestic law, but also to grapple with competing definitions of blackness within the movement itself. In this way, the Afro-Colombian movement has been an important actor in shaping how ‘official’ ethno-racial categories are made and remade in Colombia. This case not only sheds light on the politics of multiculturalism in Latin America more generally, but raises questions about how we understand ‘race’ versus ‘ethnicity’.

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Book Review: Mixed-race youth and schooling: the fifth minority

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2016-06-04 01:12Z by Steven

Book Review: Mixed-race youth and schooling: the fifth minority

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2016-06-01
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2016.1190852

Remi Joseph-Salisbury
University of Leeds

Mixed-race youth and schooling: the fifth minority, by Sandra Winn Tutwiler, Abingdon, Routledge, 2016, xv + 241 pp., £29.95 (paperback), ISBN-13 978-1138021938

Mixed-race youth and schooling offers a welcome contribution to a sparse area of academic inquiry. Making the case that as a group mixed-race individuals are constitutive of the ‘fifth minority’ in the United States, the book is interested in the schooling of children of ’minority/non-minority’ and ‘minority/minority’ parents.

With a primary target audience of school teachers and educationalists, the book of nine chapters is divided into three sections. Section one considers how race constitutes a determinant factor in lived experiences in the United States, and how this implicates mixed-race individuals particularly. In section two, Winn Tutwiler turns to look at how mixed-race children interact with their families, peers, communities and schools and how these interactions impact upon schooling experiences. The third and final section of the book focuses on how mixedness is constructed in the school, and by teachers. This section concludes by outlining how schooling environments can be supportive of mixed-race students.

Chapter one looks at the emergence and permanence of race, white supremacy, and the racial stratification of society. The chapter refutes notions that race is reducible to class before beginning to probe how mixedness impacts upon race discourse and stratification.

Building on this, the second chapter considers how, historically, white supremacist power structures have responded to the potential challenges mixed-race people present to ’societies wanting uncomplicated divisions by race’ (28). This chapter considers different responses to mixedness and explores interesting distinctions between different mixed-race groups. Winn Tutwiler shows that white America has a deep-rooted and abiding moral aversion to racial mixing and historically this engendered a proliferation of anti-miscegenation laws and morals.

In Chapter three, Winn Tutwiler seeks to provide a knowledge base for educators on the processes of racial identity formation for mixed-race youth. This endeavour, Win Tutwiler explains, is essential to countering teachers’ ideas that may be based upon stereotypes and misinformation. Emphasizing the importance for the ‘social, emotional and academic well—being’ of mixed-race youth, this chapter gives an overview of some of the (predominantly) psychological literature on racial identity (57). Winn Tutwiler unpicks what she sees as some often fundamental inadequacies in the application of theories developed for monoracial identities to mixed-race children. Although perhaps understandable due to the predominance in existing literature, this chapter seems to focus heavily on Black-white mixed-race identity and thus it is unclear how widely applicable some of the cited research is to other mixed-race groups.

As the focus shifts slightly to look at how these identities are constituted and lived, chapter four considers the role of the family in the lives of mixed-race…

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The multiple dimensions of race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-04-04 01:07Z by Steven

The multiple dimensions of race

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2016-03-21
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2016.1140793

Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Increasing numbers of people in the United States and beyond experience ‘race’ not as a single, consistent identity but as a number of conflicting dimensions. This article distinguishes the multiple dimensions of the concept of race, including racial identity, self-classification, observed race, reflected race, phenotype, and racial ancestry. With the word ‘race’ used as a proxy for each of these dimensions, much of our scholarship and public discourse is actually comparing across several distinct, albeit correlated, variables. Yet which dimension of race is used can significantly influence findings of racial inequality. I synthesize scholarship on the multiple dimensions of race, and situate in this framework distinctive literatures on colourism and genetic ancestry inference. I also map the relationship between the multidimensionality of race and processes of racial fluidity and racial boundary change.

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Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America [Brunsma Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-01-16 16:27Z by Steven

Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America [Brunsma Review]

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 39, Issue 3, 2016
pages 492-494
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1095308

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia

Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America, by Edward Telles and the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA), Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Press, 2014, 320pp., $29.95 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-4696-1783-1

In the inaugural issue of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (2015) in laying out what he saw as the most necessary theoretical developments in the sociology of race and ethnicity wrote:

… racial theory should have been rooted in the experiences of the first peoples who experienced racialization, but that was not the case… Even when Latin American and Caribbean writers have written about race, they have relied mostly on American or European theorizations. We would be in a better explanatory position today to understand not only race in the world system, but even developments in the United States and Europe, if we were to go back and … ‘begin at the beginning’. [r]ooting our racial theory on the historical experiences of the oldest racial regimes in the world. (79)

Those oldest racial regimes are located in present-day Caribbean and Latin American countries. For over five years, the 12 scholars who make up the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) have been working on the conceptualization, pilot studies, and, ultimately, groundbreaking data collection effort to comparatively ‘illuminate how race and ethnicity play out in Latin America’ (31). Edward Telles, eminent sociologist of race and ethnicity at Princeton University in the USA, has coordinated this amazing effort, resulting in Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America. This book begins to fill major gaps in the empirical, and, given time, ultimately, the theoretical development so necessary to understand inequalities and experiences of race and racialization. Equally important, this study introduces researchers in Europe and the USA to a set of scholars and scholarships that have not typically made it into the theoretical and empirical canon of studies of race and ethnicity (e.g. Mexico’s Regina Martínez Casas, Columbia’s Óscar Almario, Peru’s Juan Carlos Callirgos, and Brazil’s Graziella Moraes Silva, to name just a few). PERLA, formed in 2008 and concluding data collection by 2013, has given us the first cross-national, representative surveys of race and ethnicity in Latin America—the sheer scale of the project is breathtaking…

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Whither ‘non-racialism’: the ‘new’ South Africa turns twenty-one

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, South Africa on 2015-10-05 18:29Z by Steven

Whither ‘non-racialism’: the ‘new’ South Africa turns twenty-one

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 38, Issue 13, 2015
pages 2167-2174
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1058511

Deborah Posel, Professor of Sociology
Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA)
University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

This brief essay reflects on the meaning and significance of ‘non-racialism’ in South Africa’s recent past and present. I consider the version of non-racialism that shaped the transition from apartheid to a constitutional democracy as having had dual dimensions, ethical and strategic. Ethically, non-racialism has signified a principle of human recognition that exceeds the mere tolerance of difference. Strategically, non-racialism has afforded ways of managing and disciplining the historical realities of racial differences. The politicization of race in recent years has rendered the project of non-racialism more precarious: both its ethical and strategic dimensions merit further scrutiny, if the project is to be revitalized.

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What does race do?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-09-21 00:45Z by Steven

What does race do?

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 38, Issue 8, 2015
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1401-1406
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1016064

Alana Lentin, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis
University of Western Sydney, Australia

In writing on ‘John Rex’s Main Mistake’, Michael Banton reveals more about Banton than he does about Rex. I use Banton’s discussion of the differences between his own and John Rex’s ‘mistakes’ to explore why, in my view, race continues to have analytical purchase in a purportedly ‘post-racial’ age

Why race?

Michael Banton claims that while he ‘wanted to supersede the use of race in sociology altogether’, Rex argued that its meaning should be expanded to ‘cover other beliefs of a deterministic kind’ (Banton this volume, original emphasis). This was born of Rex’s insistence on the significance of class and colonialism for understanding racial categories. Banton notes Rex’s neglect of other concepts that may have been ‘fit for purpose’, such as ‘gender, faith, or social origin’ (Banton this volume). However, the search for alternatives seems a fruitless one, even for Banton, who has devoted his entire career precisely to attempting to answer the question ‘why race?’

…Race as ordering, as management, sedimentation, sifting, as correction and disciplining, as empowering some while causing others to buckle under that power has always relied on a plurality of processes. Racism’s genocidal impulses have been condemned by those who live by the logics of division that ultimately enable the other’s annihilation. To be clearer: I can be utterly opposed to deaths in police custody while doubting whether I should send my child to the public school in the Aboriginal neighbourhood. So, race, not as wrong-headed theorization of inherent difference, but as a logic that gathers a suite of rationales in its armoury, persists precisely because so much has been invested in dismissing it as unreasonable. This is why Jared Sexton (2008, 27), following Albert Memmi, rightly points to the problem of attempting to unveil racism’s ‘secure foundation’. The arguments of those who call for race to be abandoned because it somehow participates in the reproduction of racism miss the point that there is no way of separating between race and racism as though racism were easily definable in relation to a pre-prescribed series of actions, beliefs or policies. On the contrary, while racism is ‘incoherent, unjustified’, according to Sexton, this does not mean that it is not ‘systemic, structuring and governing for the whole racist complex’ (27). In other words, it is not by treating racism as irrational that that very irrationality dissipates. Rather, as Sexton so presciently remarks, ‘racism does its most essential work in the shadow of the very attempt to explain it’ (27). We can see this most clearly in the workings of the supposedly ‘anti-racist racist states’ that most readers, I wager, inhabit…

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Cross-country variation in interracial marriage: a USA–Canada comparison of metropolitan areas

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-03 19:44Z by Steven

Cross-country variation in interracial marriage: a USA–Canada comparison of metropolitan areas

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 38, Issue 9, 2015
pages 1591-1609
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1005644

Feng Hou

Zheng Wu

Christoph Schimmele

John Myles

While black–white intermarriage is uncommon in the USA, blacks in Canada are just as likely to marry whites as to marry blacks. Asians, in contrast, are more likely to marry whites in the USA than in Canada. We test the claim that high rates of interracial marriage are indicative of high levels of social integration against Peter Blau’s ‘macrostructural’ thesis that relative group size is the key to explaining differences in intermarriage rates across marriage markets. Using micro-data drawn from the American Community Survey and the Canadian census, we demonstrate that the relative size of racial groups accounts for over two-thirds of the USA–Canada difference in black–white unions and largely explains the cross-country difference in Asian–white unions. Under broadly similar social and economic conditions, a large enough difference in relative group size can become the predominant determinant of group differences in the prevalence of interracial unions.

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