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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Placing Racial Classification in Context

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-14 02:02Z by Steven

Placing Racial Classification in Context

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World
First Published 2019-06-25
15 pages
DOI: 10.1177/2378023119851016

Robert E. M. Pickett, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology and Demography
University of California, Berkeley

Aliya Saperstein, Associate Professor of Sociology
Stanford University, Stanford, California

Andrew M. Penner, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

This article extends previous research on place-based patterns of racial categorization by linking it to sociological theory that posits subnational variation in cultural schemas and applying regression techniques that allow for spatial variation in model estimates. We use data from a U.S. restricted-use geocoded longitudinal survey to predict racial classification as a function of both individual and county characteristics. We first estimate national average associations, then turn to spatial-regime models and geographically weighted regression to explore how these relationships vary across the country. We find that individual characteristics matter most for classification as “Black,” while contextual characteristics are important predictors of classification as “White” or “Other,” but some predictors also vary across space, as expected. These results affirm the importance of place in defining racial boundaries and suggest that U.S. racial schemas operate at different spatial scales, with some being national in scope while others are more locally situated.

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Are you racially fluid?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2018-03-03 02:33Z by Steven

Are you racially fluid?

Cable News Network (CNN)
2018-03-02

Story by John Blake, CNN
Video by Tawanda Scott Sambou, CNN

The blurring of racial lines won’t save America. Why ‘racial fluidity’ is a con

(CNN) He was a snappy dresser with slicked back hair and a pencil mustache. A crack bandleader, musician and legendary talent scout, he was dubbed the “Godfather of R&B.”

But Johnny Otis’ greatest performance was an audacious act of defiance he orchestrated offstage.

Most people who saw Otis perform during his heyday in the 1950s thought he was a light-skinned black man. He used “we” when talking about black people, married his black high school sweetheart and stayed in substandard “for colored only” hotels with his black bandmates when they toured the South.

Johnny Otis, though, wasn’t his real name. He was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes to Greek immigrants in Northern California. He grew up in a black neighborhood where he developed such a kinship with black culture that he walked away from his whiteness and became black by choice.

“As a kid I decided that if our society dictated that one had to be black or white, I would be black,” he wrote in his 1968 book, “Listen to the Lambs.”

“No number of objections such as ‘You were born white … you can never be black’ on the part of the whites, or ‘You sure are a fool to be colored when you could be white’ from Negroes, can alter the fact that I cannot think of myself as white.

“I do not expect everybody to understand it, but it is a fact. I am black environmentally, psychologically, culturally, emotionally, and intellectually.”…

…What if racial fluidity leads not to less racism, but to more?

That’s the warning being issued by many who study racial fluidity — including some who are racially fluid themselves. They say people are naïve if they believe expanding the menu of racial choices will lead to more tolerance; that racism is deeper and more adaptable than people realize.

A brown-skinned man with a white mother can gush all he wants about his DNA mix, but that won’t stop him from being racially profiled, says Rainier Spencer, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has written extensively about mixed-race identity, including his own.

“If I stand on a corner holding a sign saying, ‘I’m racially fluid,'” says Spencer, “that still doesn’t mean I’m going to get a cab.”…

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The Race of a Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perception

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-04-04 01:32Z by Steven

The Race of a Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perception

Social Problems
Volume 57, Issue 1 (February 2010)
pages 92-113
DOI: 10.1525/sp.2010.57.1.92

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Andrew M. Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

In the United States, racial disparities in incarceration and their consequences are widely discussed and debated. Previous research suggests that perceptions of crime and the operations of the criminal justice system play an important role in shaping how Americans think about race. This study extends the conversation by exploring whether being incarcerated affects how individuals perceive their own race as well as how they are perceived by others, using unique longitudinal data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results show that respondents who have been incarcerated are more likely to identify and be seen as black, and less likely to identify and be seen as white, regardless of how they were perceived or identified previously. This suggests that race is not a fixed characteristic of individuals but is flexible and continually negotiated in everyday interactions.

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The Criminal Justice System and the Racialization of Perceptions

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-12 00:01Z by Steven

The Criminal Justice System and the Racialization of Perceptions

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume 651, Number 1 (January 2014)
pages 104-121
DOI: 10.1177/0002716213503097

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Andrew M. Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Jessica M. Kizer
Department of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Recent research on how contact with the criminal justice system shapes racial perceptions in the United States has shown that incarceration increases the likelihood that people are racially classified by others as black, and decreases the likelihood that they are classified as white. We extend this work, using longitudinal data with information on whether respondents have been arrested, convicted, or incarcerated, and details about their most recent arrest. This allows us to ask whether any contact with the criminal justice system triggers racialization, or only certain types of contact. Additional racial categories allow us to explore the racialization of crime beyond the black-white divide. Results indicate even one arrest significantly increases the odds of subsequently being classified as black, and decreases the odds of being classified as white or Asian. This implies a broader impact of increased policing and mass incarceration on racialization and stereotyping, with consequences for social interactions, political attitudes, and research on inequality.

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Disentangling the Effects of Racial Self-identification and Classification by Others: The Case of Arrest

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-11 20:45Z by Steven

Disentangling the Effects of Racial Self-identification and Classification by Others: The Case of Arrest

Demography
June 2015, Volume 52, Issue 3
pages 1017-1024
DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0394-1

Andrew M. Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Scholars of race have stressed the importance of thinking about race as a multidimensional construct, yet research on racial inequality does not routinely take this multidimensionality into account. We draw on data from the U.S.Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to disentangle the effects of self-identifying as black and being classified by others as black on subsequently being arrested. Results reveal that the odds of arrest are nearly three times higher for people who were classified by others as black, even if they did not identify themselves as black. By contrast, we find no effect of self-identifying as black among people who were not seen by others as black. These results suggest that racial perceptions play an important role in racial disparities in arrest rates and provide a useful analytical approach for disentangling the effects of race on other outcomes.

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Race, color, and income inequality across the Americas

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Economics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-11 20:32Z by Steven

Race, color, and income inequality across the Americas

Demographic Research
Volume 31
Article 24 (2014-09-19)
pages 735-756
DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2014.31.24

Stanley Bailey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Andrew Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Background: Racial inequality in the U.S. is typically described in terms of stark categorical difference, as compared to the more gradational stratification based on skin color often said to prevail in parts of Latin America. However, nationally representative data with both types of measures have not been available to explicitly test this contrast.

Objective: We use novel, recently released data from the U.S. and 18 Latin American countries to describe household income inequality across the region by perceived skin color and racial self-identification, and examine which measure better captures racial disparities in each national context.

Results: We document color and racial hierarchies across the Americas, revealing some unexpected patterns. White advantage and indigenous disadvantage are fairly consistent features, whereas blacks at times have higher mean incomes than other racial populations. Income inequality can best be understood in some countries using racial categories alone, in others using skin color; in a few countries, including the U.S., a combination of skin color and self-identified race best explains income variation.

Conclusions: These results complicate theoretical debates about U.S. racial exceptionalism and methodological debates about how best to measure race. Rather than supporting one measure over another, our cross-national analysis underscores race‟s multidimensionality. The variation in patterns of inequality also defies common comparisons between the U.S. on the one hand and a singular Latin America on the other.

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Pew: Multiracial Americans Now Make Up 7% Of Population

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-06-12 21:16Z by Steven

Pew: Multiracial Americans Now Make Up 7% Of Population

Wisconsin Public Radio
Thursday, 2015-06-11, 16:35 CDT

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Jennifer Sims, Adjunct Visiting Professor of Sociology
University of Wisconsin, River Falls

According to Census data, only about 2 percent of Americans consider themselves to be multiracial, but a new report out Thursday from Pew suggests that the real number of people with multiracial backgrounds is more than three times that. It also shows that the number of people who identify as…

Listen to the story (00:22:49) here.

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Racial Fluidity and Inequality in the United States

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-02 20:36Z by Steven

Racial Fluidity and Inequality in the United States

American Journal of Sociology
Volume 118, Number 3, November 2012
pages 676–727
DOI: 10.1086/667722

Aliya Saperstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Andrew M. Penner, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

The authors link the literature on racial fluidity and inequality in the United States and offer new evidence of the reciprocal relationship between the two processes. Using two decades of longitudinal data from a national survey, they demonstrate that not only does an individual’s race change over time, it changes in response to myriad changes in social position, and the patterns are similar for both self-identification and classification by others. These findings suggest that, in the contemporary United States, microlevel racial fluidity serves to reinforce existing disparities by redefining successful or high-status people as white (or not black) and unsuccessful or low-status people as black (or not white). Thus, racial differences are both an input and an output in stratification processes; this relationship has implications for theorizing and measuring race in research, as well as for crafting policies that attempt to address racialized inequality.

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