Genetic Options: The Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Consumers’ Racial and Ethnic Identities

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-12-01 00:52Z by Steven

Genetic Options: The Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Consumers’ Racial and Ethnic Identities

American Journal of Sociology
Volume 124, Number 1 (July 2018)
pages 150-184
DOI: 10.1086/697487

Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Biorn Ivemark, Postdoctoral Researcher
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

Publication Cover

The rapid growth of genetic ancestry testing has brought concerns that these tests will transform consumers’ racial and ethnic identities, producing “geneticized” identities determined by genetic knowledge. Drawing on 100 qualitative interviews with white, black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and Native Americans, the authors develop the genetic options theory to account for how genetic ancestry tests influence consumers’ ethnic and racial identities. The theory maintains that consumers do not accept the tests’ results as given but choose selectively from the estimates according to two mechanisms: their identity aspirations and social appraisals. Yet consumers’ prior racialization also influences their identity aspirations; white respondents aspired to new identities more readily and in substantively different ways. The authors’ findings suggest that genetic ancestry testing can reinforce race privilege among those who already experience it.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Establishing the Denominator: The Challenges of Measuring Multiracial, Hispanic, and Native American Populations

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States on 2019-12-01 00:22Z by Steven

Establishing the Denominator: The Challenges of Measuring Multiracial, Hispanic, and Native American Populations

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 48-56
DOI: 10.1177/0002716218756818

Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Issues

For multiracial, Hispanic, and Native Americans, norms for racial and ethnic self-identification are less well established than they are for other population groups. There is considerable variation and fluidity in how multiracial, Hispanic, and Native Americans self-identify, as well as how they are classified by others. This presents challenges to researchers and analysts in terms of consistently and accurately estimating the size and population dynamics of these groups. I argue that for analytic purposes, racial/ethnic self-identification should continue to be treated as a statistical numerator, but that the challenge is for researchers to establish the correct denominator—the population that could identify as members of the group based on their ancestry. Examining how many people who could identify with these groups choose to do so sheds light on assimilation and emerging racial classification processes. Analyses of the larger potential populations further avoid bias stemming from nonrandom patterns of self-identification with the groups.

Read or purchase the article here.

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How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Letters, Media Archive on 2018-03-31 02:37Z by Steven

How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics

BuzzFeed
2018-03-30


Micah Baldwin / Via Flickr: micahb37

Race has long been a potent way of defining differences between human beings. But science and the categories it constructs do not operate in a political vacuum.

This open letter was produced by a group of 68 scientists and researchers. The full list of signatories can be found below.

In his newly published book Who We Are and How We Got Here, geneticist David Reich engages with the complex and often fraught intersections of genetics with our understandings of human differences — most prominently, race.

He admirably challenges misrepresentations about race and genetics made by the likes of former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade and Nobel Laureate James Watson. As an eminent scientist, Reich clearly has experience with the genetics side of this relationship. But his skillfulness with ancient and contemporary DNA should not be confused with a mastery of the cultural, political, and biological meanings of human groups.

As a group of 68 scholars from disciplines ranging across the natural sciences, medical and population health sciences, social sciences, law, and humanities, we would like to make it clear that Reich’s understanding of “race” — most recently in a Times column warning that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races’” — is seriously flawed…

Read the entire letter here.

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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.

Read the entire article here.

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Creating a “Latino” Race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-03-20 04:17Z by Steven

Creating a “Latino” Race

The Society Pages: Social Science That Matters
2013-03-13

Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia
(Author of Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race)

Editors’ Note: The author prefers to capitalize Black and White along with other socially constructed racial categories.

For much of American history, race has been a dichotomous, Black-White affair where the “one-drop rule” dictated that people with any amount of racial mixture were defined legally and socially as Black. In recent generations, however, with the rise of intermarriage and the entrance of new immigrants from all over the world, American racial categories and conceptions have become much more complicated and contested. Latinos provide a particularly revealing case of the new complexities of race in America.

Persons of Hispanic ancestry have long had mixed racial identities and classifications. The history of Latin America is characterized by the mixing of European colonizers, native Indigenous groups, and Africans brought over as slaves. As a result, the diverse Latino group includes people who look White, Black, and many mixtures in between. In the mid-20th century, it was assumed that as they Americanized, Latinos who looked European would join the White race, while those with visible African ancestry would join the Black race, and others might be seen as Native American. For fifty years, the Census has supported this vision by informing us that Latinos could be classified as White, Black, or “other,” but not as a race themselves. “Hispanic” remained an ethnic, not a racial, category.

To answer this question, I studied Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, two groups whose members span the traditional Black/White color line. I interviewed sixty Dominican and Puerto Rican migrants in New York City, and another sixty Dominicans and Puerto Ricans who have never migrated out of their countries of origin. We spoke about how they understand and classify their own and other people’s races, their perception of races in the mainland United States and their home country, what race means to them, and the migrants’ integration experiences. Their interviews revealed that most identify with a new, unified racial category that challenges not only the traditional Black-White dichotomy but also the relationship between race and ethnicity in American society. In other words, the experiences of these groups help us to better understand how immigrants’ views of collective identity and the relationship between color and culture are reshaping contemporary American racial classifications…

Read the entire article here.

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How the United States Racializes Latinos: White Hegemony and Its Consequences

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-12-05 23:07Z by Steven

How the United States Racializes Latinos: White Hegemony and Its Consequences

Paradigm Publishers
May 2009
264 pages
6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-59451-598-9
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59451-599-6

Edited by

José A. Cobas, Emeritus Professor of Sociology
Arizona State University

Jorge Duany, Professor of Anthropology
University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Joe R. Feagin, Ella C. McFadden Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Mexican and Central American undocumented immigrants, as well as U.S. citizens such as Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans, have become a significant portion of the U.S. population. Yet the U.S. government, mainstream society, and radical activists characterize this rich diversity of peoples and cultures as one group alternatively called “Hispanics,” “Latinos,” or even the pejorative “illegals.” How has this racializing of populations engendered governmental policies, police profiling, economic exploitation, and even violence that afflict these groups?

From a variety of settings—New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Central America, Cuba—this book explores this question in considering both the national and international implications of U.S. policy. Its coverage ranges from legal definitions and practices to popular stereotyping by the public and the media, covering such diverse topics as racial profiling, workplace discrimination, mob violence, treatment at border crossings, barriers to success in schools, and many more. It shows how government and social processes of racializing are too seldom understood by mainstream society, and the implication of attendant policies are sorely neglected.

Contents

  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Introduction: Racializing Latinos: Historical Background and Current Forms / José A. Cobas, Jorge Duany, and Joe R. Feagin
  • Chapter 1: Pigments of Our Imagination: On the Racialization and Racial Identities of “Hispanics” and “Latinos” / Rubén G. Rumbaut
  • Chapter 2: Counting Latinos in the U.S. Census / Clara E. Rodríguez
  • Chapter 3: Becoming Dark: The Chilean Experience in California, 1848–1870 / Fernando Purcell
  • Chapter 4: Repression and Resistance: The Lynching of Persons of Mexican Origin in the United States, 1848–1928 / William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb
  • Chapter 5: Opposite One-Drop Rules: Mexican Americans, African Americans, and the Need to Reconceive Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Race Relations / Laura E. Gómez
  • Chapter 6: Racializing the Language Practices of U.S. Latinos: Impact on Their Education / Ofelia García
  • Chapter 7: English-Language Spanish in the United States as a Site of Symbolic Violence / Jane H. Hill
  • Chapter 8: Racialization among Cubans and Cuban Americans / Lisandro Pérez
  • Chapter 9 Racializing Miami: Immigrant Latinos and Colorblind Racism in the Global City / Elizabeth Aranda, Rosa E. Chang, and Elena Sabogal
  • Chapter 10: Blacks, Latinos, and the Immigration Debate: Conflict and Cooperation in Two Global Cities / Xóchitl Bada and Gilberto Cárdenas
  • Chapter 11: Central American Immigrants and Racialization in a Post-Civil Rights Era / Nestor P. Rodriguez and Cecilia Menjívar
  • Chapter 12: Agency and Structure in Panethnic Identity Formation: The Case of Latino/a Entrepreneurs /Zulema Valdez
  • Chapter 13: Racializing Ethnicity in the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean: A Comparison of Haitians in the Dominican Republic and Dominicans in Puerto Rico / Jorge Duany
  • Chapter 14: Transnational Racializations: The Extension of Racial Boundaries from Receiving to Sending Societies / Wendy D. Roth
  • Contributors
  • Index
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Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2012-06-07 20:49Z by Steven

Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race

Stanford University Press
April 2012
268 pages
6 tables, 1 figure, 20 photographs
Cloth ISBN: 9780804777957
Paper ISBN: 9780804777964
E-book ISBN: 9780804782531

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

In this groundbreaking study of Puerto Rican and Dominican migration to the United States, Wendy D. Roth explores the influence of migration on changing cultural conceptions of race—for the newcomers, for their host society, and for those who remain in the countries left behind. Just as migrants can gain new language proficiencies, they can pick up new understandings of race. But adopting an American idea about race does not mean abandoning earlier ideas. New racial schemas transfer across borders and cultures spread between sending and host countries.

Behind many current debates on immigration is the question of how Latinos will integrate and where they fit into the U.S. racial structure. Race Migrations shows that these migrants increasingly see themselves as a Latino racial group. Although U.S. race relations are becoming more “Latin Americanized” by the presence of Latinos and their views about race, race in the home countries is also becoming more “Americanized” through the cultural influence of those who go abroad. Ultimately, Roth shows that several systems of racial classification and stratification co-exist in each place, in the minds of individuals and in their shared cultural understandings of “how race works.”

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. How Immigration Changes Concepts of Race [Read an excerpt here.]
  • 2. Beyond the Continuum: Race in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  • 3. Migrant Schemas: Race in the United States
  • 4. Transnational Diffusion
  • 5. Multiple Forms of Racial Stratification
  • 6. Performing Race Strategically
  • 7. Is Latino Becoming a Race?
  • Cultural Change and Classifications
  • Appendix: Notes on Methodology
  • Notes
  • Index
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Integrating Multiple Identities: Multiracials and Asian-Americans in the United States (Review Essay)

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-03-08 21:23Z by Steven

Integrating Multiple Identities: Multiracials and Asian-Americans in the United States (Review Essay)

Canadian Journal of Sociology
Volume 33, Number 2 (2008)
pages 397-403

Wendy D. Roth, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia, Canada

Kimberly McClain DaCosta, Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007, 280pp., paper (978-0-8047-5546-7), hardcover (978-0-8047-5545-0).

Pawan Dhingra, Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007, 328 pp., paper (978-0-8047-5578-8), hardcover (978-0-8047-5577-1).

As the sociological literature has shifted away from a primordial view of race and ethnicity as fixed identities, research has emphasized not only their fluid and changing nature, but also how individuals maintain and negotiate multiple identities. It was not so long ago that ethnic and — especially — racial identities were seen as exclusive: a person could only have one. Today we recognize that people can identify as both White and Black, as both Chinese and Canadian, or that they can create new identities that combine yet are different from any of their constituent parts (e.g., a “Canadian-Born Chinese” identity that is neither Canadian nor Chinese).

Kimberly McClain DaCosta and Pawan Dhingra both take up the question of how people create and legitimize new identities that blend together different, and sometimes conflicting, cultures or sets of meaning. DaCosta focuses on the construction of “multiracial” as a social category and mode of identification, particularly how the family, marketing, and the state contribute to this construction. Dhingra illustrates how professional second-generation Korean-Americans and Indian-Americans in Dallas live out the hybridity they experience on both sides of their hyphen. His groups work in the mainstream economy, allowing them to balance their ethnic and American selves. DaCosta’s book is ultimately a more satisfying contribution, but both works offer valuable illustrations of how groups resist pressures to sublimate one identity into another, and thereby integrate multiple identities into a more complex whole…

Read the entire book review here.

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The End of the One-Drop Rule? Labeling of Multiracial Children in Black Intermarriages

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-03-08 20:37Z by Steven

The End of the One-Drop Rule? Labeling of Multiracial Children in Black Intermarriages

Sociological Forum
Volume 20, Number 1 (March, 2005)
pages 35-67
Print ISSN: 0884-8971, Online ISSN: 1573-7861
DOI: 10.1007/s11206-005-1897-0

Wendy D. Roth, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of British Columbia, Canada

The identity choices of multiracial individuals with Black heritage have traditionally been limited in America by the one-drop rule, which automatically designated them as Black. This paper evaluates the rules contemporary influence and argues that, with increasing interracial marriage, options in racial identification are now available to this group. Using the 5% 1990 and 2000 Public Use Microdata Samples, I consider how children from Black intermarriages are racially identified by their families and, using 2000 data, evaluate theoretical hypotheses to explain identification processes. The results show that most families with Black intermarriages reject the one-drop rule, but that Black–White families create unique interracial options, the implications of which are considered.

Read or purchase the article here.

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