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.”…

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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.

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Film Review: Multiracial Identity

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-10-02 01:36Z by Steven

Film Review: Multiracial Identity

Teaching Sociology
Volume 41, Number 4 (October 2013)
pages 397-399
DOI: 10.1177/0092055X13496205

Sara McDonough
Department of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Multiracial Identity. 77 minutes. 2010. Brian Chinhema , director. Bullfrog Films. PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547. 610.779.8226. http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/.

Released in 2011, Multiracial Identity is a timely, well-crafted film written and directed by Brian Chinhema that presents many of the key concepts, debates, and questions surrounding mixed-race identity and multiraciality in American society. Narrated by Dieter Weber, the film integrates both scholarly and nonscholarly voices to present a number of key discussions and tensions about the place and recognition of multiracial people in U.S. society while also providing space for multiracial individuals or the parents of mixed-race children to talk about their experiences and insights on the meanings of multiraciality in the United States. Featuring prominent scholars in the field of multiracial identity, such as Rainier Spencer and Naomi Zack, as well as Aaron Gullickson and Aliya Saperstein, the film provides some basic historical background to contextualize contemporary discussions about multiraciality. While the numbers show an increase of 33 percent in the multiracial population between 2000 and 2010, the existence of multiracial people is not a new phenomenon. The film sets the historical and conceptual stage early, so students might ask, “What has changed in terms of (multi)race and (multi)racial identity in the United States?”

Viewers are provided with an introductory overview of the existence, status, and sociocultural dilemmas that have faced multiracial populations historically. The film does a good job showing the changing meaning of multiraciality across time and space (e.g., regional differences and across racial/ethnic combinations). Though the historically central organizing principle of the black/white binary is discussed, the film raises the question of the utility of this paradigm for understanding multiraciality as it gives attention to the experience of other multiracial individuals (e.g., Hapa-Haoles/Asian-white). Interfacing with the changing demographics associated with the repeal of certain anti-immigration laws in the 1960s, and the increase in Asian and Hispanic/Latino migration in particular, the film more than adequately …

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