More Americans consider themselves multiracial

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2013-06-13 22:52Z by Steven

More Americans consider themselves multiracial

The Los Angeles Times
2013-06-12

Emily Alpert

The number of mixed or multiracial people in the United States jumped 6.6% between 2010 and 2012, according to the Census Bureau. Their ranks will only continue to grow, experts say.

The number of Americans who consider themselves multiracial has grown faster than any other racial group nationwide, new Census Bureau data reveal, a sign of slow but momentous shifts in the way that Americans think about race.

Mixed or multiracial people are still just a small slice of the American public, but their numbers jumped 6.6% between 2010 and 2012 — four times as fast as the national population, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Experts say their ranks will only continue to swell.

…Mingling of races “has been with us forever in this country, and it has been erased and denied,” said G. Reginald Daniel, professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. Today, “that has begun to unravel. That is what you’re seeing with these figures.”…

…For African Americans, in particular, the “one drop rule” that historically defined blackness is relaxing. Sixteen years ago, when golfer Tiger Woods dubbed himself “Cablinasian” — Caucasian, black, American Indian and Asian — critics said Woods was denying his black heritage, said New York University associate professor of sociology Ann Morning

…”For mixed Latinos there’s no answer,” said Thomas Lopez, director of Latinas and Latinos of Mixed Ancestry, a project of the nonprofit Multiracial Americans of Southern California. When the Census Bureau ran an experiment three years ago giving people a chance to claim Hispanic along with at least one other race, 6.8% did so…

…”Americans are becoming more nuanced in their understanding of race,” said Carolyn Liebler, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. “But I don’t think race is becoming less important in our society.”

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As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-05-02 04:19Z by Steven

As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades

jcOnline.com (Journal and Courier)
Lafayette – West Lafayette, Indiana
2011-05-01

Taya Flores

Gerald and Susan Thomas experienced a hurtful racial climate in Greater Lafayette when they dated during the 1970s.

A drive-by verbal assault in Lafayette early in their marriage is one Gerald still remembers today.

He said the couple was driving in a convertible when some white men called out a racial insult. “Those type of things happen. Fortunately, now I think it’s more subtle,” he said. “It’s still there, but it’s much more subtle than it was in the past.”…

…There can also be discrimination from people who might not approve of a person’s interracial parentage, said Carolyn Liebler, a University of Minnesota sociology professor who studies ethnicity.

That is more common among older generations.

Initially, Robinson’s maternal grandparents did not approve of her parents’ interracial relationship.

“I know my grandparents (mom’s parents) didn’t approve of my mom and dad being together, but once my (older) sister was born they accepted the fact,” she said.

Some black-white biracials can penetrate the color line because they have white relatives. These relatives broaden the biracial’s social connections and improve their access to resources such as good schools or employment networks, Liebler said.

These biracials tend to be better off than their minority counterparts but worse off than whites, according to Liebler…

For example, the percentage of black-white biracials who reported fair to poor health (13.4 percent) was closer to whites than blacks who had relatively poorer health.

However, the percentage for white-Asians (7.8 percent) was closer to Asians. But Asians had relatively better health than whites, according to a sociology study published online in the February edition of the journal Demography.

The research was conducted by Rice University sociologists Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman. They used a seven-year (2001-2007) sample from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national health survey, to examine differences in health as reported by participants.

Many social inequalities, such as poverty or health disparities, are passed down from generation to generation. Factors besides race, such as parents’ occupation and family wealth, childhood upbringing and education, also play a role in a person’s success, Liebler said. But racial stereotypes and discrimination have historically caused differences in these socioeconomic factors even among biracial people.

“This is not turning the world upside down. It’s just sort of adding a nuance,” she said…

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More Minnesotans say they’re multiracial in 2010 Census

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-18 04:36Z by Steven

More Minnesotans say they’re multiracial in 2010 Census

TwinCities.com: Pioneer Press
2011-04-17

Richard Chin and MaryJo Webster

Maybe it’s hip to be mixed.

That could be one explanation for Minnesota’s 51 percent increase over the past decade in the number of people who say they are multiracial, substantially higher than the national increase.

According to the recent U.S. census, about 125,000 people in Minnesota identified themselves as being of two or more races, up from about 83,000 in the previous census.

Almost all of that increase took place in the metro-area suburbs and outstate, where the number of multiracial people jumped more than 75 percent.

About 2.4 percent of Minnesota’s population is multiracial, about the same as the nation as a whole.

But multiracial people represent a larger part of the state’s minority population than of the U.S. population. Almost one of six nonwhite people in the state are multiracial, compared with about one in 10 nationwide.

University of Minnesota sociologist Carolyn Liebler, an expert in racial identity, said she thinks three things are driving the increase:

  • More children are from interracial marriages, with parents in those marriages increasingly likely to identify their offspring as multiracial.
  • Immigration has increased, with people born in another country who have a mixed background more likely to say they come from two or more races.
  • More people are deciding to label themselves multiracial because they face increasing acceptance and opportunity to make that choice.

Mixed-race people are nothing new. Most American blacks, for example, have some white ancestry.

But throughout much of American history, mixed-race people were forced legally and socially to identify with just one race…

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Columns: Racial lines no longer just black and white

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2011-02-23 02:09Z by Steven

Columns: Racial lines no longer just black and white

The Minnesota Daily
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul
2011-02-21

Lolla Mohammed Nur

Clear-cut racial categories restrict how multiracial Americans identify themselves.

Based on her appearance, you wouldn’t easily be able to guess University of Minnesota sophomore Mary Taylor‘s racial or ethnic heritage. But if you ask the communications studies major what her ethnicity is, she’d tell you she is three-quarters white, 12.5 percent black and 12.5 percent Native American—a heritage she makes sure to represent when filling out surveys.

The current generation of college students encompasses the largest group of mixed-race people to come of age in the U.S., according to a recent New York Times series on multiracial identity.

Although young Americans increasingly identify themselves as multiracial, they often feel that their fluid identities are restricted when asked to self-identify on paper.

Under new requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education, which will take effect this year, multiracial non-Hispanic students who choose multiple races on surveys will be placed in a “two or more races” category. The justification for this is to offer students of mixed heritage more options to self-identify, and some say it demonstrates the U.S.’s greater appreciation of the fluidity of racial identity.

However, many sociologists fear it will lump all multiracial groups into one category, ignoring the different life experiences and the varying levels of discrimination that members of various multiracial subgroups face.

“It’s like the ‘other’ category or the ‘multiracial’ category because everyone get’s glommed together and you can’t even interpret it,” said sociology faculty member Carolyn Liebler. “It’s a battle whenever you’re trying to compile information about people’s race. On the one hand, institutions want to know who you are, they want you to self-identify … but on the other hand, the entities that want to create statistics would really prefer if you could give a simple answer.”…

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Ties on the fringes of identity

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States on 2011-01-10 00:07Z by Steven

Ties on the fringes of identity

Social Science Research
Volume 33, Issue 4 (December 2004)
Pages 702-723
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2003.10.002

Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota

I use data on part-American Indian children in the 1990 Census 5% PUMS to assess my hypotheses that thick racial ties within the family constrain racial identification, and that structural aspects of the community (group size, inequality, and racial heterogeneity) affect racial identification when racial ties are thin within the family. American Indians present an interesting case study because their high levels of intermarriage and complex patterns of assimilation/identity retention for generations provide a varied group of people who could potentially identify their race as American Indian. Several hypotheses are supported by the data, signifying that racial identification among people with mixed-heritage is affected by the social world beyond individual psychology and racial ties within the family.

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Identity and thickness of ties
3. Hypotheses
4. Data and sample selection
5. Dependent variables
6. Focal independent variables
7. Control variables
8. Drawbacks to using census data to study identity
9. Results
10. Discussion
11. Conclusion
Appendix A. Descriptive statistics for entire sample
References

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Passing and Performance in the 21st Century: Black-White Biracial Americans and Passing as Black

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, New Media, Papers/Presentations, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-26 00:10Z by Steven

Passing and Performance in the 21st Century: Black-White Biracial Americans and Passing as Black

American Sociological Association
Annual Meeting 2010
Regular Session: Multi-Racial Classification/Identity
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Monday, 2010-08-16, 16:30-18:10 EDT (Local Time)
35 pages

Session Organizer: Rebecca C. King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer of Sociology, National University of Ireland-Maynooth 
Presider: Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota

Nikki Khanna Sherwin, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Vermont

Drawing on interview data with black-white biracial adults, I examine the considerable agency most have in asserting their racial identities to others. Extending research on “identity work,” I explore the strategies they use to perform race, and the individual and structural-level factors that limit the accessibility and/or effectiveness of some strategies. I further find that how these biracial respondents identify is often contextual – most identify as biracial, but in some contexts, they “pass” as monoracial. Scholars argue that “passing” may be a relic of the past, yet I find that “passing” still occurs today and quite frequently. Most notably, I find a striking reverse pattern of “passing” today – while “passing” during the Jim Crow era involved “passing” as white, I find that these respondents more often report “passing” as black today. Motivations for “passing” are explored, with an emphasis on “passing” as black.

Read the entire paper here.

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When the Options Are Open: Racial Identification of Part-American Indian Children in Census 2000

Posted in Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Papers/Presentations, Social Science, United States on 2010-08-17 22:07Z by Steven

When the Options Are Open: Racial Identification of Part-American Indian Children in Census 2000 

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Atlanta Hilton Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia
2003-08-16
23 pages

Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota

I will use data on part-American Indian children in the 2000 Census 1 percent- PUMS data (expected March 2003) to assess my hypotheses that thick racial ties within the family constrain racial identification, and that structural aspects of the community (group size, inequality, and racial heterogeneity) affect racial identification when racial ties are thin within the family. I use the case of American Indians because their high levels of intermarriage and complex patterns of assimilation/identity retention for generations provide a varied group of people who could potentially identify their race as American Indian. Several hypotheses are supported by similar analyses using 1990 data, signifying that racial identification among people with mixed-heritage is affected by the social world beyond individual psychology and racial ties within the family. However, additional analyses using Census 2000 data are necessary because people of mixed heritage could mark multiple races (or a single race) in 2000. This freedom of choice in racial identification opens the door for new insights into patterns in and reasons behind racial identification among mixed-race people.

Read the entire paper here.

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Understanding Identity Differences among Biracial Siblings

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2010-08-14 17:51Z by Steven

Understanding Identity Differences among Biracial Siblings

American Sociological Association
Annual Meeting 2010
Regular Session: Multi-Racial Classification/Identity
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Monday, 2010-08-16, 16:30-18:10 EDT (Local Time)

Session Organizer: Rebecca C. King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer of Sociology, National University of Ireland-Maynooth 
Presider: Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota

Melissa R. Herman, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Dartmouth University

This paper examines identity differences among a sample of 256 biracial siblings. We find that gender, age, and ancestry have modest relationships with identity, but that phenotype, racial context, language use, and social psychological factors have stronger relationships.

For more information, click here.

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Fluid or Fixed: Which is Better? Multiracial Identity Consistency and Emotional Well-Being in Adolescence

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2010-08-14 17:44Z by Steven

Fluid or Fixed: Which is Better? Multiracial Identity Consistency and Emotional Well-Being in Adolescence

American Sociological Association
Annual Meeting 2010
Regular Session: Multi-Racial Classification/Identity
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Monday, 2010-08-16, 16:30-18:10 EDT (Local Time)

Session Organizer: Rebecca C. King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
National University of Ireland-Maynooth 

Presider: Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota

Ruth H. Burke
University of Pennsylvania

Rory Kramer
University of Pennsylvania

Camille Zubrinsky Charles, Professor of Sociology and the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Social Sciences; Director, The Center for Africana Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Traditional theories of multiracial identity propose that multiracial individuals go through a period of “crisis” in which their racial and ethnic identity is fluid and inconsistent. These theories argue that such fluidity leads to emotional stress. Recent research has shown that this fluidity is more related to socioeconomic status and background and that racial consistency is not a necessary or ideal goal for multiracial individuals. At the same time, others have shown how to measure consistency of identity in survey research such as Add Health but have not yet studied whether or not consistency is related to negative emotional outcomes. In this paper, we expand those measures to include Hispanic ethnic identity in our measure of consistency and test whether or not inconsistency of racial and/or ethnic identity is related to depression. We find that the older, more linear theories of multiraciality are not correct and that fluid identities are not significantly related to higher scores on a standard measure of depression. The paper concludes by discussing how these findings highlight the importance of producing new theories of racial identity that consider fluidity and multidimensionality of racial identity as a natural and neutral part of an individual’s identity.

For more information, click here.

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Changing Answers but Not Identities: A Qualitative Investigation of Race Responses in a Longitudinal Survey

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-26 04:11Z by Steven

Changing Answers but Not Identities: A Qualitative Investigation of Race Responses in a Longitudinal Survey

Population Association of America
2009 Annual Meeting
Marriott Renaissance Center
Detroit, Michigan
2009-04-16
19 pages

Kelsey Poss
University of Minnesota

Carolyn A. Liebler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Minnesota

Paper presented at the 2009 annual meetings of the Population Association of America on May 1, 2009

We seek to understand why people change their race responses over time. We use longitudinal survey responses to selectively recruit individuals for in-depth interviews about the reasons behind their changing responses to questions about their race(s) and primary racial or ethnic identities between 1988 and 2007. We find a wide variety of changes in 33 individuals’ answers to questions about their race, ancestry and Hispanic origin. To date, we have completed in-depth interviews with nine of these individuals. In many cases, respondents do not remember changing their answers and do not consider themselves to have changed their identities. Respondents’ post-hoc accounts of varied answers often focus on events or thoughts near the time of the survey and on details of question-wording. Many also report a rationalized process for selective reporting of their race(s), depending on the purpose of the form (e.g., job application versus social club).

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