‘Mexican,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latin American’ top list of race write-ins on the 2010 census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, New Media, United States on 2014-04-04 17:06Z by Steven

‘Mexican,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latin American’ top list of race write-ins on the 2010 census

Pew Research Center

Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research

Jens Manuel Krogstad, Writer/Editor
Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project

What is your race? The U.S. Census Bureau asks this question of every U.S. household, but the menu of options offered may feel limiting to some.

On the 2010 census form, in addition to boxes marked “white,” “black or African Am. Or Negro” or “American Indian or Native Alaskan” or one of several Asian options, respondents have the option to select a box called “some other race”—and to write in a response in a box below

According to a new Census report released last week, about one-third of the 47.4 million self-identified Hispanics chose “some other race” when describing their racial identity. Among them, 44.3% wrote in Mexican, Mexican American or Mexico in the box provided. An additional 22.7% wrote in Hispanic or Hispano or Hispana as their race and another 10.0% wrote in Latin American or Latino or Latin…

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Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-04-01 21:59Z by Steven

Bung Mokhtar: Mixed-race Malaysians will benefit from racial voting

Malay Mail Online
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Zurairi AR

UALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — Malaysians with mixed-race parentage will benefit the most from voting along racial lines as they will have more than one representative, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said today.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) MP also claimed that the system suggested by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday will ensure justice for every ethnic group in Malaysia.

“For those who may have two or three ancestries, they can choose which one they prefer… They can be in both worlds,” Bung said in Parliament here.

“For me that is really good. At least, for me who has both Sungai and Malay ancestries, I can then get two or three representatives. Now, I can only get one.”

Sungai is the name of one of the many official tribes in Sabah.

Bung also refuted claims that Shahidan’s remarks is alike the now-abolished apartheid regime in South Africa, in which people voted for representatives from their own ethnic communities…

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Playing Chinese Whispers: The Official ‘Gossip’ of Racial Whitening in Jorge Amado’s Tenda dos Milagres

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media on 2014-03-26 17:36Z by Steven

Playing Chinese Whispers: The Official ‘Gossip’ of Racial Whitening in Jorge Amado’s Tenda dos Milagres

Forum for Modern Language Studies
Published online: 2014-03-26
DOI: 10.1093/fmls/cqu006

Helen Lima de Sousa, Santander Post-Doctoral Senior Studentship in Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies
Clare College, University of Cambridge

This article explores the possible inauthentic nature of official discourse, as political, religious or intellectual elites manipulate facts in a process that parallels the childhood game of Chinese Whispers. Considering this process of manipulation, and the false messages it produces, it is suggested that such discourses, while official, resemble the assumed inauthentic nature of gossip. Within the framework of this concept, the article explores the fusion of official and unofficial discourse in Jorge Amado’s novel Tenda dos milagres (1969). Initially analysing Amado’s fictionalization of the nineteenth-century Bahian doctor Raimundo Nina Rodrigues and his theories on racial whitening, the article subsequently investigates the continued manipulation of fact by the fictional Bahian political and intellectual elite of the 1960s as the image of the protagonist Pedro Archanjo is transformed, during the official posthumous celebrations of his life, from a poor mulatto who questioned the status quo, to an obedient, white intellectual.

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‘Stretching out the categories’: Chinese/European narratives of mixedness, belonging and home in Singapore

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Oceania, Social Science on 2014-03-20 20:45Z by Steven

‘Stretching out the categories’: Chinese/European narratives of mixedness, belonging and home in Singapore

Volume 14, Number 2 (April 2014)
pages 279-302
DOI: 10.1177/1468796813505554

Zarine L. Rocha, Research Scholar
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore

Racial categorization is important in everyday interactions and state organization in Singapore. Increasingly, the idea of ‘mixed race’ and new conceptions of mixedness are challenging such classification along racial lines. Although contemporary Singapore is extremely diverse, the underlying ideology of multiracialism remains grounded in distinctly racialized groups, leaving little space for more complex individual identities. This paper explores the identifications of individuals of mixed Chinese and European descent in the Singaporean context, looking at how complexity is lived within firmly racialized structures. Drawing on a series of 20 narrative interviews, this research examines the relationship between categorization and identity, focusing on the identities of individuals with multiple national, cultural and ethnic ties. The practical impacts of racial categorization shape many aspects of life in Singapore, and individuals of mixed descent illustrated a constant tension between official categorization and personal mixedness, seen in the frustrations experienced and strategies developed by individuals around race and belonging. Individuals negotiated their connections around race and nationality both in practical terms around language, social policies and culture, and personally in terms of symbolic feelings of connection.

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Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel

Posted in Books, New Media, Novels, Passing on 2014-03-04 04:43Z by Steven

Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel

Riverhead Press (an imprint of Penguin Press)
320 pages
5.74 x 8.58in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781594631399

Helen Oyeyemi

From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

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Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions Of Race

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2014-02-11 23:45Z by Steven

Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions Of Race

Morning Edition
National Public Radio

Steve Inskeeep, Host

Shankar Vedantam, Science correspondent

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Governments, schools and companies all keep track of your race. The stats they collect are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school, for example. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us to measure health disparities between races. But there’s a problem with all of those statistics and with the deeper way that we think about race. NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain. Hi, Shankar.

Shankar Vedantam, Byline: Good morning, Steve.

Inskeep: What’s the problem?

Vedantam: Well, there’s an assumption that’s built into all those tracking systems that you mentioned, Steve, and that assumption is that a person’s race is fixed. If we figure out today that you’re white, we expect that you will be white next year.

Inskeep: Mm-hmm.

Vedantam: I spoke with Aliya Saperstein. She’s a sociologist at Stanford University and, along with Andrew Penner and Jessica Kizer, she recently looked at a survey that tracks life changes among thousands of young men and women in the country. It’s called the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, sometimes abbreviated as NLSY. It’s conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Inskeep: Longitudinal, meaning that they’re tracking people over a very long period of time.

Vedantam: Exactly. And it’s used to collect snapshots of economic wellbeing and social changes. Saperstein found that the racial classifications of people in the survey seemed to change over time.

Aliya Saperstein: What our research challenges is the idea that the race of an individual is fixed. Twenty percent of the respondents in the NLSY survey experienced at least one change, and had the interviewer perceived them by race over the course of different observations…

Vedantam: I think that’s exactly the same idea, Steve. And the idea is that race is actually socially constructed. And this provides data for the theory at the individual level.

One fascinating thing that Saperstein has found is that it isn’t just other people’s perceptions of you that change. The survey that she followed also asked people to report their own race. And she found that when people went to prison, they became more likely to think of themselves as black. And that’s because their minds were also subject to this very same stereotypes.

Inskeep: You are saying that someone goes in, they have the prison experience – maybe they’re mixed-race, maybe they look ambiguous, maybe they look white – but they’re more likely to come out and say I’m a black man.

Vedantam: That is exactly what Saperstein is saying, Steve. And it’s a troubling idea because we say we track people’s race in order to address prejudice and disparities, in all the ways that you mentioned at the start of our conversation. But it turns out that the way we track race itself is subject to the very same prejudices…

Listen to in interview here. Download the interview here. Read the entire transcript here.

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Migrating race: migration and racial identification among Puerto Ricans

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2014-02-11 05:20Z by Steven

Migrating race: migration and racial identification among Puerto Ricans

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Number 3 (2014-02-23)
pages 383-404
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2012.672759

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Research Associate
Center for Puerto Rican Studies
Hunter College, City University of New York

The pattern of racial identification among Puerto Ricans is not uniform. It varies depending on where they live. Most identify as white, but more do so in Puerto Rico than in the USA. This paper addresses the impact that living alternatively in the USA and in Puerto Rico has on racial identification among Puerto Ricans. Using Public Use Microdata Sample data from the American Community Survey and the Puerto Rico Community Survey 2006–2008, I find that while there is no single pattern of impact, those more grounded on the island’s racial system are more likely to identify as white in the USA, while those less grounded in Puerto Rico are more likely to identify as multiracial or by another racial descriptor. On their return to the island, they revert to the prevalent pattern of racial identification, while still exhibiting effects of their sojourn on their racial identity.

Census data on Puerto Ricans and race manifest the contingent nature of racial identity and identification and how specific racial formations impact an individual’s understanding of race and racial identification. Despite contemporary projections of Puerto Ricans as a multiracial people (Davila 1997), in fact a mulatto nation (Torres 1998; Duany 2002). the majority of Puerto Ricans portray themselves as white in the context of official statistics. This is the case for both Puerto Ricans on the island and in the USA. Their location, however, determines the proportions by which they identify as white or as something else.

Presently, more than half of the 8.3 million people who identify as Puerto Ricans live in the USA. Moreover, there is a recurrent movement of migrants between the island and the USA, with net migration reaching the hundreds of thousands between decades (Rivera-Batiz and Santiago 1996; Duany 2002; Acosla-Belen and…

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Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

Posted in Articles, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, New Media on 2014-01-27 03:10Z by Steven

Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

NBC News

Alan Boyle, Science Editor

A 7,000-year-old man whose bones were left behind in a Spanish cave had the dark skin of an African, but the blue eyes of a Scandinavian. He was a hunter-gatherer who ate a low-starch diet and couldn’t digest milk well — which meshes with the lifestyle that predated the rise of agriculture. But his immune system was already starting to adapt to a new lifestyle.

Researchers found all this out not from medical records, or from a study of the man’s actual skin or eyes, but from an analysis of the DNA extracted from his tooth.

The study, published online Sunday by the journal Nature, lays out what’s said to be the first recovered genome of a European hunter-gatherer from a transitional time known as the Mesolithic Period, which lasted from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. It’s a time when the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was starting to give way to a more settled existence, with farms, livestock and urban settlements.

The remains of the Mesolithic male, dubbed La Braña 1, were found in 2006 in the La Braña-Arintero cave complex in northwest Spain. In the Nature paper, the researchers describe how they isolated the ancient DNA, sequenced the genome and looked at key regions linked to physical traits — including lactose intolerance, starch digestion and immune response.

The biggest surprise was that the genes linked to skin pigmentation reflected African rather than modern European variations. That indicates that the man had dark skin, “although we cannot know the exact shade,” Carles Lalueza-Fox, a member of the research team from the Spanish National Research Council, said in a news release. At the same time, the man possessed the genetic variations that produce blue eyes in current Europeans…

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Annual Question (2014): What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement? [Race]

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, New Media on 2014-01-16 20:36Z by Steven

Annual Question (2014): What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement? [Race]



Nina Jablonski, Biological Anthropologist and Paleobiologist; Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
Pennsylvania State University

Race has always been a vague and slippery concept. In the mid-eighteenth century, European naturalists such as Linnaeus, Comte de Buffon, and Johannes Blumenbach described geographic groupings of humans who differed in appearance. The philosophers David Hume and Immanuel Kant both were fascinated by human physical diversity. In their opinions, extremes of heat, cold, or sunlight extinguished human potential. Writing in 1748, Hume contended that, “there was never a civilized nation of any complexion other than white.”

Kant felt similarly. He was preoccupied with questions of human diversity throughout his career, and wrote at length on the subject in a series of essays beginning in 1775. Kant was the first to name and define the geographic groupings of humans as races (in German, Rassen). Kant’s races were characterized by physical distinctions of skin color, hair form, cranial shape, and other anatomical features and by their capacity for morality, self-improvement, and civilization. Kant’s four races were arranged hierarchically, with only the European race, in his estimation, being capable of self-improvement…

…The mid-twentieth century witnessed the continued proliferation of scientific treatises on race. By the 1960s, however, two factors contributed to the demise of the concept of biological races. One of these was the increased rate of study of the physical and genetic diversity human groups all over the world by large numbers of scientists. The second factor was the increasing influence of the civil rights movement in the United States and elsewhere. Before long, influential scientists denounced studies of race and races because races themselves could not be scientifically defined. Where scientists looked for sharp boundaries between groups, none could be found

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Dr. Eliot Favors Racial Dead Line

Posted in New Media on 2014-01-16 16:20Z by Steven

Dr. Eliot Favors Racial Dead Line

The New York Times
page 3

Declares the South’s Future Depends On the Whites Preserving Their Integrity


Did Not Say That Irish and Italians Furnished Race Problem for North Like Negroes In South

ATLANTA, Ga., March 14.—Sharply denying that he had been taken to task by a Massachusetts committee for his recently expressed views on the negro question, ex-President C. W. Eliot of Harvard, who is staying In Atlanta, to-day reiterated his belief that the South is handling the racial problem in the right way, and that the best interests of both whites and blacks require that a racial dead line be established. Racial Intermingling, Dr. Eliot declared, would be fatal to both white and black.

The future of the South depends, according to Dr. Eliot, on the preservation by the whites of their racial integrity, and, therefore, he thinks they are handling the negro problem in the proper way.

“Why you believe,” said Dr. Eliot, “that your race problem is a new one, but it has been experienced before, only it is intensified here. The negro cannot be expected to be ready for all phases of civilization, when he is a few decades removed from the time when he first began to enjoy civilization as a free man. After 500 or 1,000 years we may expect more substantial growth.”

It was Dr. Eliot’s opinion that the negro will need all the professions to enable him to maintain his racial integrity, especially physicians and nurses. Negro women, when properly trained, make good nurses, he said.

Dr. Eliot mentioned the amalgamation of the Germans and Chinese as an admixture of races that had been suggested as being practical, but he said that he did not believe that such an intermingling would stand.

Dr. Eliot said he had been misquoted in the interview sent out from Montgomery, in which he was credited with saying that the Irish and Italians furnished a race problem for the North similar to that created for the South by the negroes. He said that he did not suggest the examples of racial intermingling that were mentioned in the interview, but he repeated the statement that to maintain racial integrity an individuality was a good thing. For that reason he opposed the intermingling of racial stocks, even of the Aryan branch. The fact that a number of races are associated in a country should not prevent them from dwelling together in harmonious relations.

When the English people were cited as an example of intermingling of’ Jutes, Angles, Saxons, and Normans, that was successful, Dr. Eliot replied:

“But notice how long it required for them to unite. Races that dwell together, of course, tend to become similar.”

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