IRRPP Annual Bowman Lecture: Fatal Invention: Why The Politics of Race and Science Still Matters

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-04 14:43Z by Steven

IRRPP Annual Bowman Lecture: Fatal Invention: Why The Politics of Race and Science Still Matters

Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy
University of Illinois, Chicago
Student Center East
750 S. Halsted St, Room 302
Chicago, Illinois
2015-03-12, 16:00 CDT (Local Time)

Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law and Sociology
University of Pennsylvania

Co-sponsors: Medical Education, Institute for the Humanities Health and Society Working Group, Gender & Women’s Studies, Sociology, Biocultures, Racialized Body Cluster, African American Studies

An acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law, Professor Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, George A. Weiss University Professor, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at University of Pennsylvania. She holds appointments in the Law School and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. Professor Roberts received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard Law School.

This lecture was established to honor Phillip J. Bowman’s contributions to UIC during his tenure as Director of IRRPP and Professor of African American Studies. It features national scholars of race, ethnicity, and public policy who provide timely analysis of issues of critical importance to the field and to communities of color.

For more information, click here.

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Bio Science: Genetic Genealogy Testing and the Pursuit of African Ancestry

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-03-03 20:21Z by Steven

Bio Science: Genetic Genealogy Testing and the Pursuit of African Ancestry

Social Studies of Science
Volume 38, Number 5 (October 2008)
pages 759-783
DOI: 10.1177/0306312708091929

Alondra Nelson, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies; Director, Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Columbia University, New York, New York

This paper considers the extent to which the geneticization of `race’ and ethnicity is the prevailing outcome of genetic testing for genealogical purposes. The decoding of the human genome precipitated a change of paradigms in genetics research, from an emphasis on genetic similarity to a focus on molecular-level differences among individuals and groups. This shift from lumping to splitting spurred ongoing disagreements among scholars about the significance of `race’ and ethnicity in the genetics era. I characterize these divergent perspectives as `pragmatism’ and `naturalism’. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, I argue that neither position fully accounts for how understandings of `race’ and ethnicity are being transformed with genetic genealogy testing. While there is some acquiescence to genetic thinking about ancestry, and by implication, `race’, among African-American and black British consumers of genetic genealogy testing, test-takers also adjudicate between sources of genealogical information and from these construct meaningful biographical narratives. Consumers engage in highly situated `objective’ and `affiliative’ self-fashioning, interpreting genetic test results in the context of their `genealogical aspirations’. I conclude that issues of site, scale, and subjectification must be attended to if scholars are to understand whether and to what extent social identities are being transformed by recent developments in genetic science.

Read or purchase the article here.

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A Look at Race as a Social Construct

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-03-03 18:16Z by Steven

A Look at Race as a Social Construct

The Huffington Post
2015-02-03

Kimberly Cooper

Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words. For those of us from the “multiracial” or mixed race community, photos of our population — our people, our families, our children — aren’t as shocking as they are an affirmation of what we have already known: Race is a social construct.

For twins, Lucy and Maria Aylmer from Gloucester, England who have been asked to produce their birth certificates to prove they are related, they aren’t alone. In the U.S., the self-identified “multiracial” community is at nine million and climbing. So why is it so difficult for so many to believe that the two girls are related, even after being told of their biological ties? Well, our notion of “race” and the historical “one-drop-rule” may be a good place to start.

The 1924 Racial Integrity Act defined race by the “one-drop rule,” defining as “colored” persons as anyone with any African or Native American ancestry. This law was in effect to purify the white population, while also expanding the scope of Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage (anti-miscegenation law) by criminalizing all marriages between white persons and non-white persons. In 1967 the law was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in its ruling on Loving v. Virginia.

As for those who believe that “race” is somehow biologically determined, Lucy and Maria are twins — (yes, from the same mother and father), but which racial group do they belong to? Is it the same one? Given the one-drop rule, should red-headed Lucy still be considered “black”?…

Read the entire article here.

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Roundtable: Global Mixed Race

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-02 20:41Z by Steven

Roundtable: Global Mixed Race

University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Political Science
The Lane Room (Ellison 3824)
Monday, 2015-03-02, 16:00 PST (Local Time)

The authors of the new book Global Mixed Race (New York University Press) will participate in a Roundtable on the subject. The authors are:

Discussant: Ingrid Dineen Wimberly, University of La Verne

For more information, click here.

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Mestizaje and Public Opinion in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-03-01 02:50Z by Steven

Mestizaje and Public Opinion in Latin America

Latin American Research Review
Volume 48, Number 3 (2013)
pages 130-152
DOI: 10.1353/lar.2013.0045

Edward Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

Denia Garcia
Department of Sociology
Princeton University

Latin American elites authored and disseminated ideologies of mestizaje or race mixture, but does the general population value them today? Using the 2010 Americas Barometer, we examined public opinion about mestizaje in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru using survey questions that modeled mestizaje both as a principle of national development and as tolerance for intermarriage with black or indigenous people. We found that most Latin Americans support mestizaje, although support varies by country and ethnicity. Across countries, we find partial evidence that the strength of earlier nation-making mestizaje ideas is related to support for mestizaje today, and that strong multicultural policies may have actually strengthened such support. Ethnoracial minorities showed particular support for the national principle of mestizaje. Finally, we discovered that the national principle of mestizaje is associated with more tolerant attitudes about intermarriage, especially in countries with large Afro-descendant populations.

Ideas of mestizaje, or race mixture, are central to the formation of many Latin American nations and are assumed to predominate in much of the region today (Hale 2006; Holt 2003; Telles 2004; Wade 1993). Concepts of mestizaje stress racial fusion and the inclusion of diverse racial elements as essential to the nation; hence mestizos, or mixed-race people, are considered the prototypical citizens. Although racial hierarchies characterize Latin American socioeconomic structures (Telles, Flores, and Urrea-Giraldo 2010), ideas of mestizaje have stood in contrast to ideas of white racial purity and anti-miscegenation historically held in the United States (Bost 2003; Holt 2003; Sollors 2000). While ideas of mestizaje emerged as Latin American state projects in the early twentieth century, they are often hailed as widely shared ideologies that are central to Latin Americans’ understanding of race and race relations (Knight 1990; Mallon 1996; Whitten 2003).

Despite Latin America’s diverse racial composition and the fact that an estimated 133 million Afro-descendant and 34 million indigenous people reside there, according to recent data—numbers far higher than in the United States (Telles, forthcoming)—racial attitudes in Latin America have, surprisingly, been understudied. Despite clues from ethnographic research, we lack nationally representative evidence on the general population’s feelings about mestizaje. In this article, we examine support for mestizaje and its variations across nation and ethnicity in eight Latin American countries with large nonwhite populations: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. These countries represent more than 70 percent of Latin America’s population and are home to the vast majority of both Afro-descendants and indigenous people in the region. We focused on two dimensions of the mestizaje ideology: as a national development principle and an individual intermarriage principle. The first, which is closely related to the national narratives developed by elites during nation making, maintains that race mixture is good for the nation. The second addresses tolerance for intermarriage in one’s family—often considered the ultimate marker of racial and ethnic integration (Alba and Nee 2003; Gordon 1964).

Our examination of eight Latin American countries provides new contexts for thinking about racial attitudes, beyond the large literature that is dominated by the case of the United States. Since racial meanings are context dependent, the study of Latin America may complicate social science understandings of racial attitudes more generally. As Krysan (2000, 161) wrote, “This complexity forces those who have developed their theories in an American context to take care not to rely too heavily on uniquely American values, principles, politics, and racial histories.” Latin America differs from the United States in that nothing like mestizaje ideology exists in the United States. Moreover, understanding racial attitudes is important because they may guide behaviors, even though attitudes are often more liberal than actual behaviors (Schuman et al. 1997). In particular, the degree to which the public embraces mestizaje may be important for understanding whether the ideology has implications for racial and national identity and democratic politics in Latin America, including whether the population would support or resist measures to combat racial discrimination and inequality…

Read the entire article here.

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One Drop of Love at Iowa State University

Posted in Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-01 02:16Z by Steven

One Drop of Love at Iowa State University

Great Hall, Memorial Union
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
2015-03-01, 19:00 CST (Local Time), Doors open at 18:30

One Drop of Love produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, performed by Fanshen Cox Digiovanni is a multimedia solo show that tells the story of how the notion of ‘race’ came to be in the United States. In addition, Fanshen whom is of mixed race shares personal accounts of how it affected the relationship with her father.

Admission is free.

For more information, click here.

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Waking from Mixed Dreams

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-28 03:22Z by Steven

Waking from Mixed Dreams

Mixed Dreams: towards a radical multiracial/ethnic movement
2015-02-26

Nicole Asong Nfonoyim-Hara

Let me begin, if I may, by introducing this rather belated post with the powerful words of some scholars, poets, writers, and activists to set our scene:

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it–and that it belongs to him [the black child]. I would teach him that he doesn’t have to be bound by the expediencies of any given administration, any given policy, any given morality; that he has the right and the necessity to examine everything.” (James Baldwin)

“It is in this space that we will find those words with which we can speak of Ourselves and Others. And by exploring this hybridity, this ‘Third Space’, we may elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves.” (Homi Bhabha)

“The effect of mass migrations has been the creation of radically new types of human being… people
who have been obliged to define themselves–because they are so defined by others– by their otherness; people in whose deepest selves strange fusions occur, unprecedented unions between what they were and where they find themselves… To see things plainly you have to cross a frontier.” (Salman Rushdie “Imaginary Homelands”)

To survive the Borderlands
you must live sin fronteras
be a crossroads. (Gloria Anzaldua- full poem at the end of the post)

I’ve been feeling a lot like an oyster these past couple of years, working out, mulling over, rubbing painfully up against a little grain– an irritant– that made its way suddenly into my pristine little shell (although, perhaps, it had always been there). Now bear with me, I promise this image will (hopefully) make sense by the end of this.

I began this blog back in 2009 as a response to a very particular moment in our ever-shifting, ever-challenging social terrain in the U.S. That moment was what I liked to call the time “We-Drank-That-Postracial-KoolAid-And-Almost-Died”. It was a time of short-lived, but heady hope for a new America in the wake of President Obama’s historic 2008 win. To that point, there are actually some really interesting reflections out there on how the visceral reaction against the post-racial moment (of which I was very much a part) in its fervor actually obscured the possibility that a particularly important and valid desire was being articulated. A desire, that perhaps, prematurely and albeit naively, declared itself into a celebratory daze despite all obvious evidence to the contrary…

Read the entire article here.

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394. Paper Session: New Issues in Race and Identity

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Law, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-28 02:59Z by Steven

394. Paper Session: New Issues in Race and Identity

Crossing Borders: 2015 Annual Meeting
Eastern Sociological Society
Millennium Broadway Hotel
New York, New York
2015-02-26 through 2015-03-01

Sunday, 2015-03-01, 10:15-11:45 EST (Local Time)

Presider: Vilna Bashi Treitler, Baruch College, City University of New York

  • Blacks, Latinos, Jews and Foreigners are Taking Over: How Innumeracy About Groups Shapes Public Policy Charles A. Gallagher — La Salle Uinversity
  • Limited by the Color Line: How Hypodescent Affects Responses to Mixed-Race Identity Claims Casey Lorene Stockstill — University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Siblings: the Overlooked Agents of Racial Socialization of Black/White Biracial Youth Monique Porow — Rutgers University
  • The Mulata Identity: Race, Gender, and Nation Nicole Barreto Hindert — George Mason University
  • Resurrecting Slavery: Temporal Borders, Causal Logics and Anti-racism in France Crystal Fleming — State University of New York at Stony Brook

For more information, click here.

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Pigmentocracies: Educational Inequality, Skin Color and Census Ethnoracial Identification in Eight Latin American Countries

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-02-27 02:28Z by Steven

Pigmentocracies: Educational Inequality, Skin Color and Census Ethnoracial Identification in Eight Latin American Countries

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Available online: 2015-02-25
DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2015.02.002

Edward Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

René Flores
University of Washington

Fernando Urrea Giraldo, Professor of Sociology
Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

Highlights

  • We use two measures of race and ethnicity – ethnoracial self-identification as used by national censuses and interviewer –rated skin color to examine educational inequality in eight Latin American countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
  • We find that inequality based on skin color is more consistent and robust than inequality based on census ethnoracial identification.
  • Census ethnoracial identification often provided inconsistent results especially regarding the afro-descendant populations of Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
  • Skin color inequality was particularly great in Bolivia and Guatemala.
  • Parental occupation, a proxy for class origins, is also robust and positively associated with educational attainment.
  • In other words, both class and race, especially as measured by skin color, predicts educational inequality in Latin America.

For the first time, most Latin American censuses ask respondents to self-identify by race or ethnicity allowing researchers to examine long-ignored ethnoracial inequalities. However, reliance on census ethnoracial categories could poorly capture the manifestation(s) of race that lead to inequality in the region, because of classificatory ambiguity and within-category racial or color heterogeneity. To overcome this, we modeled the relation of both interviewer-rated skin color and census ethnoracial categories with educational inequality using innovative data from the 2010 America’s Barometer from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and 2010 surveys from the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) for eight Latin American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru). We found that darker skin color was negatively and consistently related to schooling in all countries, with and without extensive controls. Indigenous and black self-identification was also negatively related to schooling, though not always at a statistically significant and robust level like skin color. In contrast, results for self-identified mulattos, mestizos and whites were inconsistent and often counter to the expected racial hierarchy, suggesting that skin color measures often capture racial inequalities that census measures miss.

Read the entire article here.

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235. Paper Session: Racial Dynamics of Dating & Marriage

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-27 01:56Z by Steven

235. Paper Session: Racial Dynamics of Dating & Marriage

Crossing Borders: 2015 Annual Meeting
Eastern Sociological Society
Millennium Broadway Hotel
New York, New York
2015-02-26 through 2015-03-01

Saturday, 2015-02-28, 08:30-10:30 EST (Local Time)

Presider: Erica Chito-Childs, City University of New York – Hunter College

  • The Role of Race in Dating Among Americans: How “Whiteness” Influences Perception of Interracial Relationships Jennifer Dejesus — Pace University, Andrea Voyer — Pace University
    University
  • Marriage Patterns among Multiracial Americans: Upward Amalgamation, Downward Amalgamation, Matching and Hyper-Matching Gregory Eirich — Columbia University, Gracelyn Bateman — Mindshare
  • Disappearing Difference, or The Illegibility of Multiracials in Interracial Relationships Melinda Mills — Castleton State College
  • Does Intermarriage Blur Boundaries? The Transformation of Racial and Ethnic Boundaries among Interracially and Inter-ethnically Married Filipino Americans and their Families Brenda Gambol — The Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • They Don’t Want to Date Any Dark People Chong-suk Han — Middlebury College

For more information, click here.

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