Race and Censuses From Around the World

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Statements on 2010-04-09 02:50Z by Steven

Race and Censuses From Around the World

Sociological Images: Inspiring Sociological Imaginations Everywhere

Lisa Wade, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Occidental College

Different countries formalize different racial categories.  Below are examples of the ”race” questions on the Censuses of 9 different countries.   They illustrate just how diverse ideas about race are and challenge the notion that there is one “correct” question or set of questions…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Groups and Educational Inequality: A Rainbow or a Divide?

Posted in Articles, New Media, Statements, United States on 2010-01-07 22:14Z by Steven

Multiracial Groups and Educational Inequality: A Rainbow or a Divide?

Social Problems
Volume 56, Number 3 (August 2009)
Pages 425–446
DOI 10.1525/sp.2009.56.3.425

Mary E. Campbell, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Iowa

How do multiracial groups “fit” into the system of racial oppression and privilege in the United States? Are the outcomes of multiracial individuals explained by the Latin Americanization hypothesis (Bonilla-Silva 2002), or a hardening racial divide between blacks and all other racial groups (Gans 1999; Yancey 2006)? Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, I address these questions and show that the educational outcomes of multiracial groups and individuals are not consistently explained by measures of appearance, as suggested by these theories. Although the educational outcomes of Latinos and single-race groups are significantly associated with skin color and the racial perceptions of observers, multiracial young adults’ high school and college educational outcomes are not consistently related to either measure of appearance. Parental education and family income are the most important predictors of educational outcomes for multiracial respondents across different types of outcomes. The implications of these findings for racial inequality and research on multiracial groups are discussed.

One of the key debates about the future of racial and ethnic inequality in the United States is the question of how multiracial Americans will fit into the United States’ system of racial oppression and privilege. These groups may be a bellwether we can use to discern how racial inequality is changing, since they straddle racial boundaries and therefore are often the first to experience changes in those boundaries and systems of racialized advantage. For example, Eduardo Bonilla Silva (2002; Bonilla Silva and Embrick 2006) has argued that the United States is moving towards a three-tier racial stratification system that is increasingly similar to Latin American systems of racial stratification based on skin tone, and thus biracial groups that are lighter skinned will have greater privilege than those that are darker skinned. George Yancey (2006) and Herbert Gans (1999), in a distinct but related argument, contend that we are moving away from a binary system that used a narrow and exclusive definition of “whiteness” to disadvantage anyone perceived as “not white” towards an evolving binary system that systematically disadvantages anyone seen as “black” and advantages anyone seen as “not black” (even those who are not considered “white”). Under this shifting system, biracial individuals perceived as black will experience oppression, while the rest of the multiracial groups will experience positive outcomes that become more similar to whites over time…

Read or purchase the article here.

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American Anthropological Association Statement on “Race”

Posted in History, Media Archive, Statements, United States on 2009-09-25 03:27Z by Steven

American Anthropological Association Statement on “Race”


The following statement was adopted by the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association, acting on a draft prepared by a committee of representative American anthropologists. It does not reflect a consensus of all members of the AAA, as individuals vary in their approaches to the study of “race.”  We believe that it represents generally the contemporary thinking and scholarly positions of a majority of anthropologists.

In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic “racial” groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within “racial” groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species….

Read the entire statement here.

Mixed Race Organisations in the UK: Joint Statement

Posted in Media Archive, Statements, United Kingdom on 2009-09-17 03:55Z by Steven

Mixed Race Organisations in the UK: Joint Statement

People in Harmony in consultation with:
Multiple Heritage Project
Inheritance Project
Planet Rainbow Project
MOSAIC Black and Mixed Parentage Family Group
Starlight Black Child Mixed Heritage Group

As a coalition of mixed race organisations we seek to advance the social well being of people, couples and families of mixed race.  One of our main objectives is to influence and improve ways in which public services such as education, health, social care and criminal justice are delivered to the mixed race population though discussion and debate, research, campaigns and the arts.

In the past mixed race people, couples and families have frequently been portrayed as occupying a problematic position in our social fabric and life.  They have been described as marginal, isolated, and confused, burdened with identity problems, and disadvantaged in their life chances. In the last decade or so much fresh thinking has shifted the ground from that of problematising our various communities to celebrating their diversity.  New cultures of human rights, equality and diversity, and the positive duties expected of our public bodies have created an environment in which our coalition is seeking positive engagement with the various sectors in society, including government, voluntary bodies and NGOs, and the private sector: we are uniquely placed to share our knowledge and experience and to represent the interests of this community. We are aware, too, that disadvantage and discrimination persist, some of which is mediated by differences in socio-economic position across our different communities, and we seek positive change to ameliorate these drawbacks…

Read the joint statement here.

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