To Escape Jim Crow–Era Discrimination and Violence, Some Black Men Passed as White. But How Many?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-07-03 03:24Z by Steven

To Escape Jim Crow–Era Discrimination and Violence, Some Black Men Passed as White. But How Many?

Kellogg Insight
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
2021-04-01

Based on the Research of:

Ricardo Dahis, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Emily Nix, Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Nancy Qian, James J. O’Connor Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois


Lisa Röper

Hundreds of thousands, according to a new study of Census data. Doing so provided some economic benefits but came at a great personal cost.

In the 1920s, a doctor named Albert Johnston had trouble finding a medical residency. Johnston was biracial, with Black ancestry, and hospitals at the time often did not permit Black physicians to treat white patients. But when a Maine hospital allowed him to apply without specifying his race, Johnston finally secured a position. He and his wife Thyra, who was one-eighth Black, started a new life as a white couple.

Johnston’s decision was an example of “passing”: identifying as a different race. During the Jim Crow era, when Black people were systematically denied opportunities and lived under the threat of lynching, some who were able to pass chose to do so in order to avoid the economic, physical, and social injustices of the time. And while historians and biographers have documented many instances of passing, researchers have not had a clear idea of how common this behavior was.

“The big question is, can we quantify this?” says Ricardo Dahis, a PhD student in economics at Northwestern University, who coauthored a study on this topic with Nancy Qian, a professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at Kellogg, and Emily Nix at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

To come up with numbers, the researchers searched detailed U.S. census records taken from 1880 to 1940. They were able to thus track specific people through time and note if their race changed from one census to the next. (Women were too difficult to track because they usually changed their last names after marriage.) The team estimated that, on average, at least 1.4 percent of Black men under age 55 started passing as white per decade, adding up to more than 300,000 men over the study period. However, the estimate is very conservative, and the actual rate could be as high as 7–10 percent, the researchers say.

Men who passed often moved to other counties or states. Census records suggest that in some cases, the men passed without their Black wives or children; in others, the entire family may have passed as white.

“Racial discrimination was so extreme that in order to escape it, people redefined themselves,” Qian says. “They changed their own identity.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Don’t let the politics of BLM define mixed-race Americans

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-06-21 01:11Z by Steven

Don’t let the politics of BLM define mixed-race Americans

The New York Daily News
2021-06-19

Charles Byrd


Mixed-race Americans (Shutterstock/Shutterstock)

Prior to June 12, 1967, anti-miscegenation laws still existed in the southern United States. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned those remaining statutes of segregationist race-consciousness with its landmark “Loving v. Virginia” decision. That case did not magically eradicate racist attitudes towards interracial couples and their progeny, but it did signal yet another milestone in our country’s continuing evolution from a slaveholding society to one that extends the same civil rights and freedoms to all.

The 2020 Census allowed multiracials to again choose multiple boxes instead of being forced to identify solely with one race, yet in the throes of the current Black Lives Matter era, there is a seeming renewed effort to compel mixed Black/white Americans to look in the mirror and acknowledge that, in the face of “relentless white supremacy” particularly on the part of law enforcement, they will always be viewed and treated as Black and nothing else. That rationale runs counter to the philosophy that how one views oneself is more important than societally imposed identities, a worldview that a growing number of mixed-race Americans embrace…

Read the entire article here.

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Genetic ancestry test results shape race self-identification, Stanford researchers find

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-25 01:49Z by Steven

Genetic ancestry test results shape race self-identification, Stanford researchers find

Stanford News
Stanford University, Stanford, California
2021-05-17

Sandra Feder, Public Relations Communications Officer


A new Stanford study examines how genetic information learned from ancestry tests changes how people self-identify their race on surveys and the implications this may have for how racial discrimination is monitored. (Image credit: Getty Images)

People who have taken a genetic ancestry test are more likely to report multiple races when self-identifying on surveys, according to Stanford sociologists.

A genetic ancestry test (GAT) can not only unearth deep family secrets, it also can change how people self-identify their race on surveys. A new study by Stanford sociologists delves into how such changes could affect data that demographers use to measure population shifts and monitor racial inequalities.

Aliya Saperstein, associate professor of sociology, and sociology doctoral candidate Sasha Shen Johfre explored how people who have taken a GAT use their newfound ancestry information to answer questions about race on demographic surveys. In a paper recently published online in the journal Demography, the researchers found that GAT takers were significantly overrepresented among people who self-identified with multiple races.

“Theoretically, race and ancestry are distinct constructs,” said lead author Johfre. “Race is more than just family history; it is a reflection of how society interprets a person’s ancestry.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Measuring Race and Ancestry in the Age of Genetic Testing

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-24 21:27Z by Steven

Measuring Race and Ancestry in the Age of Genetic Testing

Demography
2021-04-12
26 pages
DOI: 10.1215/00703370-9142013

Sasha Shen Johfre, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Sociology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Aliya Saperstein, Associate Professor of Sociology; Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Jill A. Hollenbach, Associate Professor of Neurology
Weill Institute for Neurosciences
University of California, San Francisco, California

Will the rise of genetic ancestry tests (GATs) change how Americans respond to questions about race and ancestry on censuses and surveys? To provide an answer, we draw on a unique study of more than 100,000 U.S. adults that inquired about respondents’ race, ancestry, and genealogical knowledge. We find that people in our sample who have taken a GAT, compared with those who have not, are more likely to self-identify as multiracial and are particularly likely to select three or more races. This difference in multiple-race reporting stems from three factors: (1) people who identify as multiracial are more likely to take GATs; (2) GAT takers are more likely to report multiple regions of ancestral origin; and (3) GAT takers more frequently translate reported ancestral diversity into multiracial self-identification. Our results imply that Americans will select three or more races at higher rates in future demographic data collection, with marked increases in multiple-race reporting among middle-aged adults. We also present experimental evidence that asking questions about ancestry before racial identification moderates some of these GAT-linked reporting differences. Demographers should consider how the meaning of U.S. race data may be changing as more Americans are exposed to information from GATs.

Read the entire article here.

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Majority-Minority Myths

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2021-05-15 23:01Z by Steven

Majority-Minority Myths

Dissent
Spring 2021

Jake Rosenfeld, Professor of Sociology
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri


Outside a Latinos for Trump campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, in October 2020 (Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s time to let go of the belief that changing demographics will bring about a progressive America.

The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream
by Richard Alba
Princeton University Press, 2020, 336 pp.

Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics
by Zoltan L. Hajnal
Cambridge University Press, 2020, 362 pp.

The Case for Identity Politics: Polarization, Demographic Change, and Racial Appeals
by Christopher T. Stout
University of Virginia Press, 2020, 268 pp.

In a commencement address at the University of California, San Diego in 1997, President Bill Clinton spoke of a time when white people would no longer constitute a majority in the United States. In the decades since, the idea that growing diversity will bring about a “majority-minority” America in the near future has become a widespread belief across the ideological spectrum, propelled by periodic Census updates, like a report that 2013 marked the first year that more nonwhite babies had been born in the United States than white ones.

There are three major problems with this now-clichéd belief. First, it scares many white people, pushing their political stances toward the right. Numerous studies confirm that merely mentioning the demographic shift is enough to change their political views. As Ezra Klein has written, “The simplest way to activate someone’s identity is to threaten it.” Many white people interpret stories about the imminent reordering of the country’s racial and ethnic hierarchy as a threat.

Second, it leads Democrats astray. Divvying up the nation between whites and nonwhites implies a neat, fixed, and immutable ordering of a complex set of shifting racial and ethnic identities. The corollary—that a shared political identity should bind minorities to a leftist, emancipatory project against white oppression—induces complacency in Democratic Party organizing and policymaking realms, and ignores the varied ethnic and class backgrounds of those who comprise this broad, diverse population.

The 2020 election shook the premise that nonwhite voters shared a liberal political identity, with growing evidence of an across-the-board shift toward the GOP among Latinos and, to a smaller degree, African Americans. But evidence that the “browning of America” may not lead to progressive nirvana predated the election. Bush’s 2004 re-election bid was buoyed by his record performance among Latinos. Since then, between a quarter and a third of Latinos have voted for Republican presidential candidates despite the restrictionist turn in the party’s immigration policies.

Which brings us to the third problem with the majority-minority claim: it’s empirically wrong…

Read the entire article here.

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Web Event: The great demographic illusion: Majority, minority, and the expanding American mainstream

Posted in Census/Demographics, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2021-04-19 15:56Z by Steven

Web Event: The great demographic illusion: Majority, minority, and the expanding American mainstream

American Enterprise Institute
2021-04-19, 12:00-13:30 EDT

The majority-minority thesis contends that increasing demographic change in America will inevitably lead to a nation where minorities replace whites as the majority. In his new book, “The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream” (Princeton University Press, 2020), sociologist Richard Alba argues that this narrative distorts ongoing changes because it overlooks the surge of young Americans growing up with one white and one nonwhite parent.

Please join AEI for a panel discussion, moderated by AEI’s Karlyn Bowman, on mixed-race families, US Census definitions, Hispanic identity across generations, personal definitions of race, and the implications for American politics.

Agenda
12:00 PM
Introduction:
Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow, AEI

12:05 PM
Presentation:
Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York

12:30 PM
Discussion

Panelists:

  • Musa al-Gharbi, Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology, Columbia University
  • D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer and Editor, Pew Research Center
  • Mark Hugo Lopez, Director, Global Migration and Demography Research, Pew Research Center
  • Ruy Teixeira, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Moderator:
Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow, AEI

1:10 PM
Q&A

1:30 PM
Adjournment

For more information, click here.

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Special Issue “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism”

Posted in Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Gay & Lesbian, Religion, Social Science, Social Work, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2021-04-14 20:27Z by Steven

Special Issue “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism”

Genealogy
2021-04-14
Abstract Deadline: 2021-05-31
Manuscript Submission Deadline: 2021-11-30

Professor Dr. Dan Rodriguez-Garcia, Guest Editor and Serra Húnter Associate Professor
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Dear colleagues,

This Special Issue of Genealogy invites essays on the topic of “Beyond the Frontiers of Mixedness: New Approaches to Intermarriage, Multiethnicity, and Multiracialism.”

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

The field of mixed-race studies has experienced an incredible expansion since the pivotal work of Paul Spickard (1989) and Maria Root (1992, 1995). In the last three decades, we have witnessed numerous publications in this area of study, including edited collections and special issues, which have advanced our knowledge of “mixedness,” an encompassing concept that refers to mixed unions, families, and individuals across national, ethnocultural, racial, religious, and class boundaries as well as to the sociocultural processes involved (Rodríguez-García 2015). As the super-diversification of societies continues, the ever-growing research interest in mixedness can be attributed to scholars’ understanding that such an area of study both reveals existing social boundaries and shows how societies are being transformed. Mixedness can be understood to have a transformative potential in the sense that it disturbs, contests, and may reinvent social norms and established identity categories.

While intermarriage is on the rise and multiracial and multiethnic populations continue to grow worldwide, there are still many areas in which our knowledge of mixedness is limited or nascent. This Special Issue aims to expand our understanding of this complex phenomenon by exploring a variety of under-researched issues in the field, by seeking out research on untrodden topics and implications, and by employing innovative analytical approaches.

This Special Issue is intended to be broad in scope and welcomes innovative contributions across disciplines in the social sciences that may be theoretical or empirically based and that address—but are not limited to—one or more of the following topics:

  • New conceptualizations of mixedness, intermarriage, and multiracialism;
  • Mixedness beyond race: ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, micro-locations;
  • Intersectional analyses of mixedness;
  • New methods and mixed methods applied to the study of mixedness;
  • Mixedness and statistics: the challenge of counting and categorizing intermarriage and mixed people;
  • Comparative (inter-local/international/inter-continental) analyses of mixedness, including outside European and English-speaking settings;
  • Decentering and decolonizing mixedness: multiracial and multiethnic identity formations outside of white-centric constructions;
  • Mixedness in super-diverse contexts;
  • New forms of cosmopolitanism and creolization;
  • Mixedness and the reconceptualization of majority/minority meanings (reshaping the mainstream);
  • Mixedness in highly segmented societies;
  • Mixedness and religion: interfaith couples, families, and individuals;
  • Mixedness, racialization, color blindness, and post-racialism;
  • Mixedness and colorism: intraracial discrimination and horizontal hostility;
  • Multiracial identifications for understanding racial formation;
  • Ethnoracialism: multiracialism and multiethnicity as different or complementary processes;
  • Mixedness, discrimination, and resilience/agency;
  • Mixedness and whiteness (white privilege, white identities);
  • Mixed-race privilege;
  • Mixedness and (in)visibility;
  • Contextual, multiform, translocational, malleable and shifting mixed identities: fixities and fluidities;
  • Kinning in mixed families: raising and socializing multiracial and multiethnic children; inter-generational changes and continuities;
  • Multiracial parents of multiracial children;
  • Queer, LGBTQ+, same-sex, and transgender interracial and interethnic unions/families;
  • Mixed-race masculinities;
  • Mixedness and indigenous groups;
  • Mixedness involving national ethnic minorities;
  • Transracial adoption;
  • Mixedness and the impact of COVID-19 (e.g., transnational reconfigurations, discrimination);
  • Mixedness and cyberspace (i.e., online identity narratives, dating preferences, and relationships across race and ethnicity);
  • Bridging the research-policy divide: working on mixedness with policymakers and third-sector practitioners.

This Special Issue is also interested in contributions that use novel analytical perspectives and methodologies, whether quantitative or qualitative or a combination of both.

For more information, click here.

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How do multiracial people inhabit space when we don’t tick a box?

Posted in Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2021-03-22 19:54Z by Steven

How do multiracial people inhabit space when we don’t tick a box?

2021-03-22

Syriah Bailey

I am a multiracial person writing a dissertation exploring the role of national censuses and monitoring forms in tracking multiracial people who are two or more minority races/ethnicities.

My research looks at those who typically select “mixed other” or “any other mixed background” in forms and how we as multiracial people inhabit space when we do not fit inside a tick box.

The first component of the research is a survey open to people of all ages, genders and locations here.

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‘Majority Minority’ America? Don’t Bet on It

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2021-02-09 17:52Z by Steven

‘Majority Minority’ America? Don’t Bet on It

The Wall Street Journal
2021-02-05

John J. Miller


Illustration: Ken Fallin

How a Census Bureau error led Democrats to assume they were on the right side of inexorable demographic trends.

Remember the “coalition of the ascendant”? National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein invented the phrase in 2008 to describe the “growing elements of American society” that had elected Barack Obama and given Democrats commanding majorities in both congressional houses: “young people, Hispanics and other minorities, and white upper-middle-class professionals.”

Republican successes in 2010, 2014 and 2016 called the coalition’s durability into question. But the 2020 election—Joe Biden’s victory notwithstanding—may provide the greatest reason to doubt it. Compared with 2016, President Trump and congressional Republicans improved their standing significantly among Hispanic voters and made smaller strides among other groups, such as Asian-Americans, blacks and Muslims.

“The majority minority narrative is wrong,” says sociologist Richard Alba, referring to the idea that nonwhite Americans will outnumber whites by 2050 or so. In his recent book, “The Great Demographic Illusion,” Mr. Alba, 78, shows that many “nonwhites” are assimilating into an American mainstream, much as white ethnic groups did before them. Government statistics have failed to account for this complex reality, partly for political reasons, and in doing so they’ve encouraged sloppy thinking about the country’s future…

Read the entire article here.

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The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2020-10-11 02:22Z by Steven

The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream

Princeton University Press
2020-09-01
336 pages
15 b/w illus. 7 tables.
6.13 x 9.25 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691201634
eBook ISBN: 9780691202112

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Why the number of young Americans from mixed families is surging and what this means for the country’s future

Americans are under the spell of a distorted and polarizing story about their country’s future―the majority-minority narrative―which contends that inevitable demographic changes will create a society with a majority made up of minorities for the first time in the United States’s history. The Great Demographic Illusion reveals that this narrative obscures a more transformative development: the rising numbers of young Americans from ethno-racially mixed families, consisting of one white and one nonwhite parent. Examining the unprecedented significance of mixed parentage in the twenty-first-century United States, Richard Alba looks at how young Americans with this background will play pivotal roles in the country’s demographic future.

Assembling a vast body of evidence, Alba explores where individuals of mixed parentage fit in American society. Most participate in and reshape the mainstream, as seen in their high levels of integration into social milieus that were previously white dominated. Yet, racism is evident in the very different experiences of individuals with black-white heritage. Alba’s portrait squares in key ways with the history of immigrant-group assimilation, and indicates that, once again, mainstream American society is expanding and becoming more inclusive.

Nevertheless, there are also major limitations to mainstream expansion today, especially in its more modest magnitude and selective nature, which hinder the participation of black Americans and some other people of color. Alba calls for social policies to further open up the mainstream by correcting the restrictions imposed by intensifying economic inequality, shape-shifting racism, and the impaired legal status of many immigrant families.

Countering rigid demographic beliefs and predictions, The Great Demographic Illusion offers a new way of understanding American society and its coming transformation.

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