The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2020-08-12 00:45Z by Steven

The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream

Princeton University Press
2020-09-01
336 pages
15 b/w illus. 7 tables.
6.13 x 9.25 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691201634
eBook ISBN: 9780691202112

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Why the number of young Americans from mixed families is surging and what this means for the country’s future

Americans are under the spell of a distorted and polarizing story about their country’s future―the majority-minority narrative―which contends that inevitable demographic changes will create a society with a majority made up of minorities for the first time in the United States’s history. The Great Demographic Illusion reveals that this narrative obscures a more transformative development: the rising numbers of young Americans from ethno-racially mixed families, consisting of one white and one nonwhite parent. Examining the unprecedented significance of mixed parentage in the twenty-first-century United States, Richard Alba looks at how young Americans with this background will play pivotal roles in the country’s demographic future.

Assembling a vast body of evidence, Alba explores where individuals of mixed parentage fit in American society. Most participate in and reshape the mainstream, as seen in their high levels of integration into social milieus that were previously white dominated. Yet, racism is evident in the very different experiences of individuals with black-white heritage. Alba’s portrait squares in key ways with the history of immigrant-group assimilation, and indicates that, once again, mainstream American society is expanding and becoming more inclusive.

Nevertheless, there are also major limitations to mainstream expansion today, especially in its more modest magnitude and selective nature, which hinder the participation of black Americans and some other people of color. Alba calls for social policies to further open up the mainstream by correcting the restrictions imposed by intensifying economic inequality, shape-shifting racism, and the impaired legal status of many immigrant families.

Countering rigid demographic beliefs and predictions, The Great Demographic Illusion offers a new way of understanding American society and its coming transformation.

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The Rise of Mixed Parentage: A Sociological and Demographic Phenomenon to Be Reckoned With

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-12-01 00:35Z by Steven

The Rise of Mixed Parentage: A Sociological and Demographic Phenomenon to Be Reckoned With

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume: 677, Issue: 1, What Census Data Miss about American Diversity, (May 2018)
Pages 26-38
DOI: 10.1177/0002716218757656

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
City University of New York

Brenden Beck, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology
University of Florida

Duygu Basaran Sahin
City University of New York

Issues

Ethno-racially mixed parentage is rising in frequency, creating a strong challenge to both census classification schemes and, indeed, to common conceptions of ethnicity and race. Majority (white) and minority (nonwhite or Hispanic) parentage predominates among individuals with mixed-family backgrounds. Yet in public presentations of census data and population projections, individuals with mixed backgrounds are generally classified as nonwhite. We analyze 2013 American Community Survey data and summarize the results of important studies to argue that individuals from mixed majority-minority backgrounds resemble whites more than they do minorities in terms of some key social characteristics and experiences, such as where they grow up and their social affiliations as adults. Those with a black parent are an important exception. An implication of this analysis is that census classification practices for mixed individuals risk distorting conceptions of the current population, especially its youthful portion, and promoting misunderstandings of ethno-racial change.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Economics, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-19 18:00Z by Steven

Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

SAGE Publishing
2017
488 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781506306940

Edited by:

Zulema Valdez, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Beyond Black and White is a new anthology of readings that reflects the complexity of racial dynamics in the contemporary United States, where the fastest-growing group is “two or more races.” Drawing on the work of both established figures in the field and early career scholars, Zulema Valdez has assembled a rich and provocative collection of pieces that illustrates the diversity of today’s American racial landscape. Where many books tend to focus primarily on majority–minority relations, Beyond Black and White offers a more nuanced picture by including pieces on multiracial/multiethnic identities, relations between and within minority communities, and the experiences of minority groups who have achieved power and status within American society.

Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Editor
  • About the Contributors
  • PART I. THEORIES OF RACE AND ETHNICITY
    • 1. A Critical and Comprehensive Sociological Theory of Race and Racism; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 2. The Theory of Racial Formation; Michael Omi, Howard Winant
    • 3. Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • PART II. THEORIES OF ASSIMILATION
    • 4. Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration; Richard Alba, Victor Nee
    • 5. Segmented Assimilation and Minority Cultures of Mobility; Kathryn M. Neckerman, Prudence Carter, Jennifer Lee
  • PART III. RACE AND BIOLOGY REVISITED
    • 6. Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race; Audrey Smedley, Brian D. Smedley
    • 7. Back to the Future? The Emergence of a Geneticized Conceptualization of Race in Sociology; Reanne Frank
  • PART IV. COLOR-BLIND AND OTHER RACISMS
    • 8. Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Other; Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, Leslie Houts Picca
    • 9. Invisibility in the Color-Blind Era: Examining Legitimized Racism against Indigenous Peoples; Dwanna L. Robertson
  • PART V. BOUNDARY MAKING AND BELONGING
    • 10. Who Are We? Producing Group Identity through Everyday Practices of Conflict and Discourse; Jennifer A. Jones
    • 11. Illegality as a Source of Solidarity and Tension in Latino Families; Leisy Abrego
    • 12. Are Second-Generation Filipinos “Becoming” Asian American or Latino? Historical Colonialism, Culture and Panethnicity; Anthony C. Ocampo
  • PART VI. COLORISM
    • 13. The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality; Margaret Hunter
    • 14. The Case for Taking White Racism and White Colorism More Seriously; Lance Hannon, Anna DalCortivo, Kirstin Mohammed
  • PART VII. EDUCATION AND SCHOOLING
    • 15. “I’m Watching Your Group”: Academic Profiling and Regulating Students Unequally; Gilda L. Ochoa
    • 16. Race, Age, and Identity Transformations in the Transition from High School to College for Black and First-Generation White Men; Amy C. Wilkins
  • PART VIII. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND COOPERATION
    • 17. Out of the Shadows and Out of the Closet: Intersectional Mobilization and the DREAM Movement; Veronica Terriquez
    • 18. Racial Inclusion or Accommodation? Expanding Community Boundaries among Asian American Organizations; Dina G. Okamoto, Melanie Jones Gast
    • 19. The Place of Race in Conservative and Far-Right Movements; Kathleen M. Blee, Elizabeth A. Yates
  • PART IX. SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AND WORK
    • 20. Negotiating “The Welfare Queen” and “The Strong Black Woman”: African American Middle-Class Mothers’ Work and Family Perspectives; Dawn Marie Dow
    • 21. Nailing Race and Labor Relations: Vietnamese Nail Salons in Majority–Minority Neighborhoods; Kimberly Kay Hoang
    • 22. Becoming a (Pan)ethnic Attorney: How Asian American and Latino Law Students Manage Dual Identities; Yung-Yi Diana Pan
  • PART X. HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES
    • 23. Miles to Go before We Sleep: Racial Inequities in Health; David R. Williams
    • 24. Identity and Mental Health Status among American Indian Adolescents; Whitney N. Laster Pirtle, Tony N. Brown
    • 25. Assimilation and Emerging Health Disparities among New Generations of U.S. Children; Erin R. Hamilton, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Robert A. Hummer, Yolanda C. Padilla
  • PART XI. CRIMINALIZATION, DEPORTATION, AND POLICING
    • 26. The Racialization of Crime and Punishment: Criminal Justice, Color-Blind Racism, and the Political Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex; Rose M. Brewer, Nancy A. Heitzeg
    • 27. Mass Deportation at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 28. The Hyper-Criminalization of Black and Latino Male Youth in the Era of Mass Incarceration; Victor M. Rios
  • PART XII. INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND MULTIRACIALITY
    • 29. “Nomas Cásate”/“Just Get Married”: How a Legalization Pathway Shapes Mixed-Status Relationships; Laura E. Enriquez
    • 30. I Wouldn’t, but You Can: Attitudes toward Interracial Relationships; Melissa R. Herman, Mary E. Campbell
    • 31. Love Is (Color)Blind: Asian Americans and White Institutional Space at the Elite University; Rosalind S. Chou, Kristen Lee, Simon Ho
    • 32. A Postracial Society or a Diversity Paradox? Race, Immigration, and Multiraciality in the Twenty-First Century; Jennifer Lee, Frank D. Bean
  • Glossary
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Right now, census data are distorting one of the most transformative population developments of the early 21st century. A sizable and growing number of young people come from families with one white and one minority parent, as more adults form families across racial and ethnic lines.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-02-14 23:35Z by Steven

Today’s census questions misunderstand both Hispanic and white identity

Right now, census data are distorting one of the most transformative population developments of the early 21st century. A sizable and growing number of young people come from families with one white and one minority parent, as more adults form families across racial and ethnic lines. By far the largest group among them have Hispanic and white European ancestry.

But you wouldn’t know that from the 2000 or 2010 Census results. While 2000 was the first to allow Americans to report a multiracial heritage, neither it nor the 2010 Census allowed people to check off both part Hispanic and part something else.

Why? The culprit is that the census examines race and ethnicity with two questions: first, race; and then Hispanic origins. This format was created in accordance with a 1997 Office of Management and Budget memorandum that defined the standards for collecting and classifying ethnic and racial data to which all federal agencies must adhere.

Richard Alba, “There’s a big problem with how the census measures race,” The Washington Post, February 6, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/06/theres-a-big-problem-with-how-the-census-measures-race.

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There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-14 23:06Z by Steven

There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

The Washington Post
2018-02-06

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York


Activists hold signs during a news conference in front of the Supreme Court in 2015. (Getty Images)

Will the 2020 Census be accurate? A number of observers have been worrying about that question for several reasons. For instance, the Justice Department has been trying to insert a citizenship question on the census form; such a question could discourage many immigrants from completing the form. As a result, cities and regions with large numbers of immigrants could see their populations seriously undercounted, with troubling results for political representation, services and funding.

But there’s another reason to be worried, one that hasn’t gotten much attention. The Census Bureau just announced that its 2020 form will not fundamentally change the questions it uses to ask about ethnic and racial origins. This may seem like a minor technical issue — but it will have major real-world implications. If it does not incorporate already-tested improvements into these questions, the census will deliver a less accurate picture of the United States.

And as a result, census statistics will continue to roil the public discussion of diversity, by exaggerating white decline and the imminence of a majority-minority United States. Political figures and pundits who oppose immigration and diversity could exploit that, peddling an alarmist narrative that doesn’t fit with the long-standing reality of mixing between immigrant and established Americans….

Read the entire article here.

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How Census Data Mislead Us about Ethno-Racial Change in the United States: A Response to Mora and Rodríguez-Muñiz

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-05-04 01:38Z by Steven

How Census Data Mislead Us about Ethno-Racial Change in the United States: A Response to Mora and Rodríguez-Muñiz

New Labor Forum
2017-04-28

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

I am pleased to open a conversation with G. Cristina Mora and Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz about census data and what they indicate about ethno-racial change.

In this issue of New Labor Forum. To forestall misunderstandings, I think it advisable at the outset to make clear the framework within which I am operating. I take it from the way that Mora and Rodríguez-Muñiz formulate their critique that their starting point is critical race theory, with its normatively inflected concerns about the deep and persisting structures of American racism and the pathways to eventual racial justice. That is fine. But I am operating from a different standpoint, that of sociological realism, which has the goal of identifying and understanding important ongoing social processes and discerning their implications. This, it should be obvious, does not mean that I am unconcerned about racial justice, just as critical race theorists generally are not unconcerned about empirical patterns and their consequences.

It does not help the conversation that Mora and Rodríguez-Muñiz tend throughout to downplay the significance of the concerns behind my analysis, which they characterize as narrowing “debates to the issue of ‘methodological accuracy’.” I find this an unfortunate attempt to reduce my argument to mainly technical issues (granted, these are part of the story); they miss that I, too, am talking ultimately about social power, even if I do not place it in the foreground in the piece I wrote for The American Prospect (it is more clear in other writings, some currently under review [1])….

Read the entire article here.

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With respect to Latinos in particular, the suggestion that on the whole they are becoming white underestimates the ongoing racial stigmatization and exclusion faced by many in this community.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-05-03 02:49Z by Steven

With respect to Latinos in particular, the suggestion that on the whole they are becoming white underestimates the ongoing racial stigmatization and exclusion faced by many in this community. Such arguments do not account for present-day anti-Latino and anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric. Should we assume that mass deportations, which, too, often lead to the separation of Latino families, or inflammatory electoral campaigns will have no effect on how Latinos identify and understand their place in U.S. society for years to come? And what of the widespread presumptions of illegality that Latino citizens must contend with?

G. Cristina Mora and Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz, “A Response to Richard Alba’s “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority”,” New Labor Forum: A journal of ideas, analysis, and debate, April 28, 2017. http://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2017/04/28/a-response-to-richard-albas-the-likely-persistence-of-a-white-majority/.

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A Response to Richard Alba’s “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority”

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-04-30 01:17Z by Steven

A Response to Richard Alba’s “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority”

New Labor Forum: A journal of ideas, analysis, and debate
2017-04-28

G. Cristina Mora, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, Berkeley

Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latina/o Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois


Photo Credit: Stephen Phillips

That politics undergirds censuses is a truism. At least since Benedict Anderson wrote Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism in 1983 [1]. scholars have accepted that censuses are both political and scientific enterprises. Census racial classifications are a case in point because they have historically become instituted through political efforts. For example, “Mulatto” became a census classification in 1850 after politicians, alarmed by racial miscegenation, demanded that the Census Bureau enumerate those of black/white parentage [2] More recent ethnoracial categories have arisen as a result of the political efforts championed by community stakeholders. To wit, the Hispanic/Latino classification emerged as Mexican, Puerto Rican, and other community leaders pressured the Census Bureau for official recognition during the 1970s [3] And if a Middle Eastern/North African category is added to the next census in 2020, as is predicted, it will be because activists, academics, and others have lobbied over two decades for its inclusion. In effect, rather than reflecting an existing reality, all census racial categories emerge, or are negotiated, in such a political fashion—none exists in nature.

Despite the political origins of our official racial and ethnic categories, lay and academic prognostications about the country’s demo- graphic future rarely take politics seriously.

Take, for example, sociologist Richard Alba’s provocative commentary published in The American Prospect, “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Latino Flight to Whiteness

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-02-12 19:53Z by Steven

The Latino Flight to Whiteness

The American Prospect
2016-02-11

William Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy; Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy; Professor of African and African American Studies; Professor of Economics
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

This is a contribution to Prospect Debate: The Illusion of a Minority-Majority America.

Based upon trends in racial self-classification, one has to be skeptical about the emergence of “majority-minority” America.

Will the United States have a majority of people of color by the year 2050, as both researchers and the popular press commonly assert? Richard Alba urges skepticism because, he argues, U.S. Census policy overestimates the presence of nonwhites in the American population. As Alba observes, in mixed-race marriages where one parent is white and the other nonwhite, the Census uses a default rule of counting all the children as nonwhite, even though that is not necessarily how the children see themselves…

Read the entire article here.

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“Whiteness,” however, has never been fixed; it is a malleable concept, and it is on its way to changing again, as it has before.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-01-12 20:23Z by Steven

This assimilation should disabuse us of the fantasy of the imminent demise of the white majority and its loss of power. Not all the newcomers to the mainstream will identify as whites, and its visibly growing diversity will be a key development of the early 21st century, as the election of the nation’s first black president unmistakably signals. “Whiteness,” however, has never been fixed; it is a malleable concept, and it is on its way to changing again, as it has before.

Yet it is critical not to lapse immediately into another fantasy, namely, the belief that assimilation will prove a panacea for still-glaring ethno-racial disparities. Contemporary assimilation is simply not on the same scale as that of the mid-20th century, when, for example, Italians caught up to other whites in education and socioeconomic attainment in just a 25-year period after World War II. Assimilation today is crimped by greatly heightened inequalities and is leaving many outside its reach, including many Hispanics, such as the undocumented and their children, even those who are U.S. citizens because they were born here. In one respect, however, the earlier and current patterns of assimilation are similar: African Americans are participating only to a limited extent. Indeed, one could even say they are being bypassed.

Richard Alba, “The Likely Persistence of a White Majority,” The American Prospect, Winter 2016, Volume 27, Number 1 (January 11, 2016). http://prospect.org/article/likely-persistence-white-majority-0.

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