And you thought we had moved beyond all that: biological race returns to the social sciences

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-08-27 15:45Z by Steven

And you thought we had moved beyond all that: biological race returns to the social sciences

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1676-1685
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.931992

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

Recently, sociologists have argued in high-profile journals that racial categories are linked to genetically distinct clusters within the human population. They propose theorizing race as a socially constructed categorization system that is related to biological groupings within our species. This work overlooks, however, the extent to which statistically inferred genetic clusters are themselves socially constructed, making it impossible to juxtapose ‘subjective’ social categories with ‘objective’ biological ones. This editorial urges social scientists to take a critical look at claims about the genetic underpinnings of race, and to contribute their insights to ongoing debates about the nature of race.

Read the entire article here.

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“Everyone Knows It’s a Social Construct”: Contemporary Science and the Nature of Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-08-27 15:32Z by Steven

“Everyone Knows It’s a Social Construct”: Contemporary Science and the Nature of Race

Sociological Focus
Volume 40, Issue 4, 2007
pages 436-454
DOI: 10.1080/00380237.2007.10571319

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

Sociological literature frequently claims that scientists across the disciplinary spectrum have arrived at the common conclusion that race is socially constructed, not biologically anchored. I investigate contemporary scientific thinking about race by interviewing more than 40 biologists and anthropologists at four northeastern universities. Contrary to sociologists’ expectations, racial constructionism is revealed to be a minority viewpoint. Moreover, this research shows that the usual “constructionist” versus “essentialist” dichotomy a blunt tool for characterizing the debate about race; a third platform—“antiessentialism”—must be taken into account. Recognizing antiessentialist discourse calls for a reevaluation of prior research that emphasizes socioeconomic status and professional affiliation as influences on interviewees’ concepts of race; this project demonstrates that such tectors do little to distinguish essentialist from antiessentialist veiwpoints.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Race & Its Categories in Historical Perspective

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-27 09:36Z by Steven

Race & Its Categories in Historical Perspective

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generatons
Brooklyn Historical Society
June 2014

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

A native New Yorker, Ann Morning is an associate professor of sociology at New York University and the author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference (University of California Press, 2011). In this essay she explores race and its categories in historical perspective.

What Is “Race”? Academics Disagree

“Race” is a familiar, everyday word for Americans, one that we routinely come across when we open a newspaper or fill out a form. Yet there is no scientific consensus about what exactly the term denotes. As I report in The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference, even academics within the same discipline, like biology or anthropology, disagree on how best to define the concept of race.

The scholarly debate hinges on whether races are groupings that we human beings invent, influenced by our subjective cultural prejudices and hierarchies, or whether they are groups of people who objectively share certain physical characteristics, whether visible or invisible (e.g. genetic). Members of the former camp are often referred to as “constructivists” because of their insistence that racial categories are built or put together by human hands, while proponents of the latter perspective are often labelled “essentialists” due to their conviction that racial groupings reflect traits naturally embedded within individuals’ bodies (i.e. “essences”). To illustrate this scientific conflict with a concrete example, take the standard U.S. racial category “black.” To a constructivist, this classification has all the makings of a social construct: Over the nation’s history, there have been changing beliefs about who falls into this category (e.g. anybody with a black mother during colonial times, or anybody with any known African ancestry after the Civil War) and conflicting beliefs by region (e.g. Louisiana versus Virginia). Moreover, if we compare the United States to other countries, it is quickly apparent that someone who is considered “black” here might not be classified the same way in Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, or Africa. In other words, racial categorization depends a lot on the society that is doing the categorizing—which is exactly the point that constructivists wish to make. To an essentialist however, the biological sciences demonstrate that there are distinct subgroups—races—within the human species. In the past, biologists thought the telltale markers of racial type lay in such disparate physical features as skull size and shape, blood type, skin color, hair texture, eye shape, and so on. Today however the academic debate about race and biology takes place almost entirely on the terrain of genetics, where scholars argue whether DNA patterns do or do not map onto racial groupings…

Read the entire article here.

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Race Based Medication BiDil and African Americans

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2013-07-02 15:28Z by Steven

Race Based Medication BiDil and African Americans

New York University
2009-10-16

Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York University

Ann Morning, Assistant Professor of Sociology, discusses race-based medications.

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Census Bureau Names Ann Morning to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2013-06-26 16:23Z by Steven

Census Bureau Names Ann Morning to National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations

Newsroom, News Release: CB13-R.30
United States Census Bureau
2013-06-26

Public Information Office, Phone: 301-763-3030

Note from Steven F. Riley: Ann Morning is the author of book The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference (University of California Press, 2011) and the chapter “New Faces, Old Faces: Counting the Multiracial Population Past and Present,” in the book New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century (SAGE, 2002).  To read more of Dr. Morning’s discourses, click here.

The U.S. Census Bureau today announced 10 new members of its National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, and has named Ann Morning from New York University as a member of the committee.

The National Advisory Committee advises the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau’s programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 32 members from multiple disciplines, advises the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race, ethnicity and sexual-orientation issues.

“The committee has helped us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing high-quality statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee ensures that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on their expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of “hard-to-count” populations. The new members will be seated on Aug. 1.

Morning is an associate professor at New York University’s Department of Sociology. She completed her Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University. Prior to becoming an academic, she worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as a U.S. Foreign Service officer based in the American Embassy in Honduras. Her research interests are race and ethnicity, especially racial classification; multiracial population; demography; sociology of knowledge and science; immigration; and economic sociology. Morning received the prestigious Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association in 2005 and received a Fulbright scholarship to spend the 2008-09 academic year at the University of Milan-Bicocca.

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Toward a Sociology of Racial Conceptualization for the 21st Century

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-10-25 19:47Z by Steven

Toward a Sociology of Racial Conceptualization for the 21st Century

Social Forces
Volume 87, Number 3, 2009
Pages: 1167-1192
DOI: 10.1353/sof.0.0169

Ann J. Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology
New York Univeristy

Despite their longstanding interest in race, American sociologists have conducted little empirical research on sociodemographic patterns or longitudinal trends in “racial conceptualization” – that is, notions of what race is, how races differ, and the origins of race. This article outlines key empirical, methodological and theoretical considerations for a research agenda on racial conceptualization. Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than 50 college students, I describe the variety of race concepts among respondents, illustrate the importance of using multiple measures of conceptualization, and demonstrate the malleability of conceptualization, linking it to demographic context and thereby raising the question of its future evolution in the changing United States of the 21st century.

The color line, “problem of the twentieth century” as Du Bois (1986[1903]) famously put it, has long been a prominent concern of American sociologists (Calhoun 2007).  The ways in which they have engaged the topic of race, however, reflect the preoccupations of their times. Early work on “race relations” (Park 1949) gave way to theories of “racism” in the civil-rights era, drawing new attention to institutional structures of racial oppression (Winant 2000). Large-scale surveys began to track attitudes – toward groups and policies – that might pose obstacles to achieving racial equality (Schuman, Steeh, Bobo and Krysan 1997). And in the wake of diversifying immigration inflows and rising intermarriage rates, scholars have revisited longstanding assumptions about racial identity and classification, launching new research on the categorization of mixed-race people and immigrant groups (Lee and Bean 2004).  By the end of the 20th century, American sociology had acquired a significant body of knowledge on race relations, attitudes, stratification and classification…

Read the entire article here.

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The multiple-race population of the United States: Issues and estimates

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-25 17:32Z by Steven

The multiple-race population of the United States: Issues and estimates

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
2000-05-23
vol. 97 no. 11
pages 6230-6235

Joshua R. Goldstein

Ann J. Morning, Assistant Professor of Sociology
New York University

This paper presents national estimates of the population likely to identify with more than one race in the 2000 census as a result of a new federal policy allowing multiple racial identification. A large number of race-based public policies—including affirmative action and the redistricting provisions of the Voting Rights Act—may be affected by the shift of some 8–18 million people out of traditional single-race statistical groups. The declines in single-race populations resulting from the new classification procedure are likely to be greater in magnitude than the net undercount in the U.S. census at the center of the controversy over using census sampling. Based on ancestry data in the 1990 census and experimental survey results from the 1995 Current Population Survey, we estimate that 3.1–6.6% of the U.S. population is likely to mark multiple races. Our results are substantially higher than those suggested by previous research and have implications for the coding, reporting, and use of multiple response racial data by government and researchers. The change in racial classification may pose new conundrums for the implementation of race-based public policies, which have faced increasing criticism in recent years.

Read the entire article here.

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The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2009-10-22 20:55Z by Steven

The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals

Russell Sage Foundation
October 2002
391 pages
Hardcover: ISBN-13: 978-0-87154-657-9, ISBN-10: 0-87154-657-4
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-0-87154-658-6, ISBN-10: 0-87154-658-2

Edited by

Joel Perlmann, Senior Scholar and Program Director
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology
Harvard University

The change in the way the federal government asked for information about race in the 2000 census marked an important turning point in the way Americans measure race. By allowing respondents to choose more than one racial category for the first time, the Census Bureau challenged strongly held beliefs about the nature and definition of race in our society. The New Race Question is a wide-ranging examination of what we know about racial enumeration, the likely effects of the census change, and possible policy implications for the future.

The growing incidence of interracial marriage and childrearing led to the change in the census race question. Yet this reality conflicts with the need for clear racial categories required by anti-discrimination and voting rights laws and affirmative action policies. How will racial combinations be aggregated under the Census’s new race question? Who will decide how a respondent who lists more than one race will be counted? How will the change affect established policies for documenting and redressing discrimination? The New Race Question opens with an exploration of what the attempt to count multiracials has shown in previous censuses and other large surveys. Contributor Reynolds Farley reviews the way in which the census has traditionally measured race, and shows that although the numbers of people choosing more than one race are not high at the national level, they can make a real difference in population totals at the county level. The book then takes up the debate over how the change in measurement will affect national policy in areas that rely on race counts, especially in civil rights law, but also in health, education, and income reporting. How do we relate data on poverty, graduation rates, and disease collected in 2000 to the rates calculated under the old race question? A technical appendix provides a useful manual for bridging old census data to new.

The book concludes with a discussion of the politics of racial enumeration. Hugh Davis Graham examines recent history to ask why some groups were determined to be worthy of special government protections and programs, while others were not. Posing the volume’s ultimate question, Jennifer Hochschild asks whether the official recognition of multiracials marks the beginning of the end of federal use of race data, and whether that is a good or a bad thing for society?

The New Race Question brings to light the many ways in which a seemingly small change in surveying and categorizing race can have far reaching effects and expose deep fissures in our society.

Copublished with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.

Read the entire first chapter here.

Table of Contents

Contributors
Acknowledgment
Introduction
PART I WHAT DO WE KNOW FROM COUNTING MULTIRACIALS?

    1. RACIAL IDENTITIES IN 2000: THE RESPONSE TO THE MULTIPLE-RACE RESPONSE OPTION — Reynolds Farley
    2. DOES IT MATTER HOW WE MEASURE? RACIAL CLASSIFICATION AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MULTIRACIAL YOUTH — David R. Harris
    3. MIXED RACE AND ETHNICITY IN CALIFORNIA — Sonya M. Tafoya

PART II HOW MUCH WILL IT MATTER?

    1. BACK IN THE BOX: THE DILEMMA OF USING MULTIPLE-RACE DATA FOR SINGLE-RACE LAWS — Joshua R. Goldstein and Ann J. Morning
    2. INADEQUACIES OF MULTIPLE-RESPONSE RACE DATA IN THE FEDERAL STATISTICAL SYSTEM — Roderick J. Harrison
    3. THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF A MULTIRACIAL CENSUS — Nathaniel Persily

PART III A MULTIRACIAL FUTURE?

    1. AMERICAN INDIANS: CLUES TO THE FUTURE OF OTHER RACIAL GROUPS — C. Matthew Snipp
    2. CENSUS BUREAU LONG-TERM RACIAL PROJECTIONS: INTERPRETING THEIR RESULTS AND SEEKING THEIR RATIONALE — Joel Perlmann
    3. RECENT TRENDS IN INTERMARRIAGE AND IMMIGRATION AND THEIR EFFECTS ON THE FUTURE RACIAL COMPOSITION OF THE U.S. POPULATION — Barry Edmonston, Sharon M. Lee, and Jeffrey S. Passel

PART IV THE POLITICS OF RACE NUMBERS

    1. HISTORY, HISTORICITY, AND THE CENSUS COUNT BY RACE — Matthew Frye Jacobson
    2. WHAT RACE ARE YOU? — Werner Sollors
    3. COUNTING BY RACE: THE ANTEBELLUM LEGACY — Margo J. Anderson
    4. THE ORIGINS OF OFFICIAL MINORITY DESIGNATION — Hugh Davis Graham
    5. LESSONS FROM BRAZIL: THE IDEATIONAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSIONS OF MULTIRACIALITY — Melissa Nobles
    6. REFLECTIONS ON RACE, HISPANICITY, AND ANCESTRY IN THE U.S. CENSUS — Nathan Glazer
    7. MULTIRACIALISM AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE — Peter Skerry
    8. MULTIPLE RACIAL IDENTIFIERS IN THE 2000 CENSUS, AND THEN WHAT? — Jennifer L. Hochschild
    9. RACE IN THE 2000 CENSUS: A TURNING POINT — Kenneth Prewitt

Appendix BRIDGING FROM OLD TO NEW

  1. Chapter 19 COMPARING CENSUS RACE DATA UNDER THE OLD AND THE NEW STANDARDS — Clyde Tucker, Steve Miller, and Jennifer Parker

Index

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New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, South Africa, United States, Women on 2009-10-16 03:06Z by Steven

New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century

SAGE Publications, Inc.
Paperback ISBN: 9780761923008
2001
432 pages

Edited by

Loretta I. Winters
California State University, Northridge

Herman L. DeBose
California State University, Northridge

How multiracial people identify themselves can have major consequences on their positions in their families, communities and society. Even the U.S. Census has recognized the rapidly increasing numbers of those who consider themselves multiracial, adding a new racial category to the 2000 Census form: two or more races.

New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century examines the multiracial experience, its history and the political issues and consequences surrounding biracial and multiracial identity, bringing together top names in the field to give readers cutting edge views and insights gained from contemporary research.

This important new text follows the trail blazed by Maria Root, who contributes its opening chapter. An introduction places the issues of multiracial identity into context via a discussion of U.S. Census data and debates, providing an overview of the varied readings to come covering such topics as:

  • Race as a social, rather than biological, construction
  • The Multiracial Movement
  • Racial/Ethnic Groups in America and Beyond
  • Race, Gender & Hierarchy
  • Gang Affiliation and Self-Esteem
  • Black/White Interracial Couples and the Beliefs that Help Them to Bridge the Racial Divide

The book concludes with “The Multiracial Movement: Harmony and Discord,” by co-editor Loretta Winters, an epilogue putting the readings into perspective according to three models in the multiracial identity literature: the Multiracial Movement model, the Counter Multiracial movements model and the Ethnic Movement model.

Timely and comprehensive in its range of topics, this is an important resource for many audiences: students in Ethnic Studies, Race Relations and related courses; human service professionals including psychologists, counselors, social workers and school personnel and, importantly, multiracial individuals themselves.

Forward  
Introduction Herman L. DeBose
Acknowledgments  
PART I: RACE AS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION  
1. Five Mixed Race Identities: From Relic to Revolution Maria P. P. Root
2. The New Multiracialism: An Affirmation or an End to Race as we Know It? Mary Thierry Texeira
PART II: THE MULTIRACIAL MOVEMENT  
3. New Faces, Old Faces: Counting the Multiracial Population (Click here to read.) Ann Morning
4. Multiracial Identity: From Personal Problem to Public Issue Kimberly McClain DaCosta
5. From Civil Rights to the Multiracial Movement Kim M. Williams
6. Census 2000: Assessments in Significance Rainier Spencer
7. Evolution of Multiracial Organizations: Where We Have Been & Where We Are Going Nancy G. Brown & Ramona E. Douglas
PART III: RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUPS IN AMERICA & BEYOND  
8. The Dilemma of Biracial People of African American Descent Herman L. DeBose & Loretta L. Winters
9. Check All That Apply: Trends & Perspectives Among Asian Descent Multiracials Teresa Williams-Leon
10. Beyond Mestizaje: The Future of Race in America Gregory Velazco y Trianosky
11. Colonization, Cultural Imperialism, and the Social Construction of American Indian Mixed Blood Identity Karren Baird-Olson
12. “Race,” “Ethnicity,” and “Culture” in Hawai’i: The Myth of the “Model Minority” State Laura Desfor Edles
13. Multiracial Identity in Global Perspective: The United States, Brazil, and South Africa G. Reginald Daniel
PART IV: RACE, GENDER & HIERARCHY  
14. Does Multiraciality Lighten? Me-too Ethnicity & the Whiteness Trap Paul Spickard
15. The Hazards of Visibility: “Biracial Women,” Media Images, and Narratives of Identity Caroline A. Streeter
16. Masculine Multiracial Comedians Darby Li Po Price
PART V: SPECIAL TOPICS  
17. Gang Affiliation & Self-Esteem: The Effects of a Mixed Heritage Identity Patricia O’Donnell Brummett & Loretta I. Winters
18. Black/White Interracial Couples & the Beliefs That Help Them to Bridge the Racial Divide Kristyan M. Kouri
Epilogue: The Multiracial Movement: Harmony & Discord Loretta I. Winters
Index  
About the Editors  
About the Contributors
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