Mixed “Race” in Southeast Asia?: Racial Theories in Competing Empires (Sawyer Seminar V)

Posted in Asian Diaspora, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-08-27 21:01Z by Steven

Mixed “Race” in Southeast Asia?: Racial Theories in Competing Empires (Sawyer Seminar V)

University of Southern California
Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Center for Japanese Religions and Culture
University Park Campus
Doheny Memorial Library (DML), East Asian Seminar Room (110C)
2013-10-12, 10:00-16:00 PDT (Local Time)

USC Conference Convenors:

Duncan Williams, Associate Professor of Religion
University of Southern California

Brian C. Bernards, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Southern California

Velina Hasu Houston, Associate Dean for Faculty Recognition and Development, Director of Dramatic Writing and Professor
University of Southern California


“Construction Process of the ‘Japanese Filipino Children’ Category and Beyond: What It Means to be Born from a Japanese-Filipino Couple in Japan”

Frédéric Roustan, JSPS Post-doc and Tokyo University of Science, Lecturer
Hitotsubashi University

“Fraternization Revisited: Post-War Legacies of Japanese-Dutch Unions”

Eveline Buchheim, Researcher
Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD)

Respondent: Duncan Williams, USC


“The Making of Race in Colonial Malaya”

Charles Hirschman, Professor of Sociology
University of Washington

“African, Métis, Eurasian, or French? Afro-Asian Children in the French-Indochina War and Beyond, 1946-1960”

Christina Firpo, Assistant Professor of History
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Respondent: Brian Bernards, USC

Presented by the Center for Japanese Religions and Culture’s “Critical Mixed-Race Studies: A Transpacific Approach” Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminars Series at the University of Southern California.

For more information, click here.

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The meaning and measurement of race in the U.S. census: Glimpses into the future

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-09 05:30Z by Steven

The meaning and measurement of race in the U.S. census: Glimpses into the future

Volume 37, Number 3 (August 2000)
pages 381-393
DOI: 10.2307/2648049

Charles Hirschman, Boeing International Professor of Sociology and Professor of Public Affaris
University of Washington

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology
Co-Director of The Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
State University of New York, Albany

Reynolds Farley, Research Professor Emeritus
University of Michigan
Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research

The 1996 Racial and Ethnic Targeted Test (RAETT) was a “mail-out mail-back” household survey with an experimental design of eight alternative questionnaire formats containing systematic variations in race, instructions, question order, and other aspects of the measurement. The eight different questionnaires were administered to random subsamples of six “targeted” populations: geographic areas with ethnic concentrations of whites, blacks, American Indians, Alaskan natives, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics. The major conclusion is that allowing multiple responses to the “race” question in the 2000 census (and other variations in measurement that were considered in RAETT) had only a slight impact on the measured racial composition of the population. Another finding was a dramatic reduction in nonresponse to the combined race/Hispanic-origin question relative to all other questionnaire formats. We conclude that the concept of “origins” may be closer to the popular understanding of American diversity than is the antiquated concept of race.

Read the entire article here.

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The Origins and Demise of the Concept of Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science on 2011-12-26 01:52Z by Steven

The Origins and Demise of the Concept of Race

Population and Development Review
Volume 30, Number 3 (September, 2004)
pages 385-415

Charles Hirschman, Boeing International Professor of Sociology and Professor of Public Affaris
University of Washington

Physical and cultural diversity have been salient features of human societies throughout history, but “race” as a scientific concept to account for human diversity is a modern phenomenon created in nineteenth-century Europe as Darwinian thought was (mis)applied to account for differences in human societies. Although modern science has discredited race as a meaningful biological concept, race has remained as an important social category because of historical patterns of interpersonal and institutional discrimination. However, the impossibility of consistent and reliable reporting of race, either as an identity or as an observed trait, means that the notion of race as a set of mutually exclusive categories is no longer tenable. As a social science term, race is being gradually abandoned. Physical differences in appearance among people remain a salient marker in everyday life, but this reality can be better framed within the concept of ethnicity.

To modern eyes, especially American ones, the reality of race is self-evident. Peoples whose ancestors originated from Africa, Asia, and Europe typically have different appearances in terms of skin color, hair texture, and other superficial features. Although racial differences may be only skin deep, it is widely assumed that races have been a primordial source of identity and intergroup antagonism from the earliest societies to the present, with ancient hatreds, exploitation, and discrimination among the most common patterns. Even in modern societies, which have exposed the myth of racism, race remains a widely used term for socially defined groups in popular discourse—and, in some countries, also in scholarly research, and public policy.

A basic problem, with this perspective is that it is increasingly difficult to define and measure race as a social category. Are Jews a race? What about Muslims in Europe or Koreans in Japan? If Filipinos and Samoans are official races listed in the US census form, why can’t Arab Americans or Middle Easterners be included? And how might the golfer Tiger Woods respond to the standard question about his racial identity?

Although these questions may seem merely pedantic many critical issues of public policy are shaped by the perceptions of racial identities and racial boundaries. Who should be eligible for preferential admission to universities in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, India, South Africa, and other societies that have affirmative action policies? What are the rules for defining the descendants of indigenous peoples who are seeking redress for the expropriation of their ancestral lands in the United States, Canada, and many other countries around the globe? Who decides one’s racial origins—are they based on subjective identity or are there objective criteria that observers can use? These are challenging questions that will tie policymakers and scholars into knots in the coming years as they attempt to take race into account in order to fashion nonracial or postracist societies.

In this essay, I review the history of the concept of race and its ties to social science, including demography. My conclusion (drawing on the work of other scholars) is that race and racism are not ancient or tribal beliefs but have developed apace with modernity over the last 400 years and reached their apogee in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Social science did not originate the belief that innate differences are associated with racial groups, but many social scientists in the Social Darwinist tradition were complicit in the construction and legitimation of racial theories.

In the twentieth century, social scientists made strident efforts to challenge the assumptions and reveal the lack of empirical evidence behind the racial theories of humankind. However, it took epochal events, most notably the specter of Nazi Germany and the nationalist movements of colonized peoples, to weaken the grip of racism as a popular and scientific theory. Although biological theories of race have been largely discredited by these political events and scientific progress, racial identities, classifications, and prejudices remain part of the fabric of many modern societies. I maintain that social science, and demography in particular, have an obligation to show that it is impossible to discuss the issue of race with any logic or consistency without an understanding of the origins and characteristics of racism…

Read the entire article here.

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Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Judaism, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2011-10-18 02:50Z by Steven

Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Cengage Learning
480 pages
ISBN-10: 1111519536; ISBN-13: 9781111519537

Edited by

Elizabeth Higginbotham, Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Criminology
University of Delaware

Margaret L. Andersen, Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology
University of Delaware

This engaging reader is organized in four major thematic parts, subdivided into thirteen different sections. Part I (“The Social Basis of Race and Ethnicity”) establishes the analytical frameworks that are now being used to think about race in society. The section examines the social construction of race and ethnicity as concepts and experience. Part II (“Continuity and Change: How We Got Here and What It Means”) explores both the historical patterns of inclusion and exclusion that have established racial and ethnic inequality, while also explaining some of the contemporary changes that are shaping contemporary racial and ethnic relations. Part III (“Race and Social Institutions”) examines the major institutional structures in contemporary society and investigates patterns of racial inequality within these institutions. Persistent inequality in the labor market and in patterns of community, residential, and educational segregation continue to shape the life chances of different groups. Part IV (“Building a Just Society”) concludes the book by looking at both large-scale contexts of change, such as those reflected in the movement to elect the first African American president.

  • Major themes include coverage showing the diversity of experiences that now constitute “race” in the United States; teaching students the significance of race as a socially constructed system of social relations; showing the connection between different racial identities and the social structure of race; understanding how racism works as a belief system rooted in societal institutions; providing a social structural analysis of racial inequality; providing a historical perspective on how the racial order has emerged and how it is maintained; examining how people have contested the dominant racial order; exploring current strategies for building a just multiracial society.
  • Each section includes several pages of analysis that outline the main concepts to be covered, providing a clear initial roadmap for reading and a convenient resource students can use with assignments and while preparing for exams.
  • The text’s unique organization according to overarching themes and relevant subtopics, including identity, social construction of race, why race matters, inequality, and segregation, places the articles into a broader context to promote greater understanding.
  • This innovative text looks beyond a simple black/white dichotomy and focuses more broadly on an extremely wide range of ethnic groups, providing a much more realistic and useful exploration of key topics that is more relevant and compelling for today’s diverse student population.

Table of Contents

    • 1. The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 1. Howard F. Taylor, “Defining Race”
      • 2. Joseph L. Graves, Jr., “The Race Myth”
      • 3. Abby Ferber, “Planting the Seed: The Invention of Race”
      • 4. Karen Brodkin, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?”
      • 5. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “On Racial Formation”—Student Exercises
    • 2. What Do You Think? Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Racism
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 6. Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer, “American Racism in the Twenty-First Century”
      • 7. Charles A. Gallagher, “Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America”
      • 8. Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria”
      • 9. Rainier Spencer, “Mixed Race Chic”
      • 10. Rebekah Nathan, “What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student”—Student Exercises
    • 3. Representing Race and Ethnicity: The Media and Popular Culture
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 11. Craig Watkins, “Black Youth and the Ironies of Capitalism”
      • 12. Fatimah N. Muhammed, “How to NOT Be 21st Century Venus Hottentots”
      • 13. Rosie Molinary, “María de la Barbie”
      • 14. Charles Springwood and C. Richard King, “‘Playing Indian’: Why Native American Mascots Must End”
      • 15. Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, and Leslie Houts Picca, “Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Order”—Student Exercises
    • 4. Who Are You? Race and Identity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 16. Beverly Tatum, interview with John O’Neil, “Why are the Black Kids Sitting Together?”
      • 17. Priscilla Chan, “Drawing the Boundaries”
      • 18. Michael Omi and Taeku Lee, “Barack Like Me: Our First Asian American President”
      • 19. Tim Wise, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son”—Student Exercises
    • 5. Who Belongs? Race, Rights, and Citizenship
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 20. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, “Citizenship and Inequality”
      • 21. C. Matthew Snipp, “The First Americans: American Indians”
      • 22. Susan M. Akram and Kevin R. Johnson, “Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims”
      • 23. Peggy Levitt, “Salsa and Ketchup: Transnational Migrants Saddle Two Worlds”—Student Exercises
    • 6. The Changing Face of America: Immigration
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 24. Mae M. Ngai, “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America”
      • 25. Nancy Foner, “From Ellis Island to JFK: Education in New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration”
      • 26. Charles Hirschman and Douglas S. Massey, “Places and Peoples: The New American Mosaic”
      • 27. Pew Research Center, “Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America”—Student Exercises
    • 7. Exploring Intersections: Race, Class, Gender and Inequality
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 28. Patricia Hill Collins, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection”
      • 29. Yen Le Espiritu, “Theorizing Race, Gender, and Class”
      • 30. Roberta Coles and Charles Green, “The Myth of the Missing Black Father”
      • 31. Nikki Jones, “From Good to Ghetto”
      • 32. Gladys García-Lopez and Denise A. Segura, “‘They Are Testing You All the Time’: Negotiating Dual Femininities among Chicana Attorneys”—Student Exercises
    • 8. Race and the Workplace
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 33. William Julius Wilson, “Toward a Framework for Understanding Forces that Contribute to or Reinforce Racial Inequality”
      • 34. Deirdre A. Royster, “Race and The Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs”
      • 35. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, “Families on the Frontier”.
      • 36. Angela Stuesse, “Race, Migration and Labor Control”—Student Exercises
    • 9. Shaping Lives and Love: Race, Families, and Communities
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 37. Joe R. Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney, ”The Family and Community Costs of Racism”
      • 38. Dorothy Roberts, “Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare”
      • 39. Kumiko Nemoto, “Interracial Relationships: Discourses and Images”
      • 40. Zhenchao Qian, “Breaking the Last Taboo: Interracial Marriage in America”—Student Exercises
    • 10. How We Live and Learn: Segregation, Housing, and Education
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 41. John E. Farley and Gregory D. Squires, “Fences and Neighbors: Segregation in the 21st Century”
      • 42. Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe”
      • 43. Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee, “Historic Reversals, Accelerating Resegregation and the Need for New Integration Strategies”
      • 44. Heather Beth Johnson and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools: Race and the ‘Good Choices’ of White Families”—Student Exercises
    • 11. Do We Care? Race, Health Care and the Environment
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 45. H. Jack Geiger, “Health Disparities: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know? What Should We Do?”
      • 46. Shirley A. Hill, “Cultural Images and the Health of African American Women”
      • 47. David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle, “Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice”
      • 48. Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright, “Race, Place and the Environment”—Student Exercises
    • 12. Criminal Injustice? Courts, Crime, and the Law
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 49. Bruce Western, “Punishment and Inequality”
      • 50. Rubén Rumbaut, Roberto Gonzales, Goinaz Kamaie, and Charlie V. Moran, “Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment among First and Second Generation Young Men”
      • 51. Christina Swarns, “The Uneven Scales of Capital Justice”
      • 52. Devah Pager, “The Mark of a Criminal Record”—Student Exercises
    • 13. Moving Forward: Analysis and Social Action
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 53. Thomas F. Pettigrew, “Post-Racism? Putting Obama’s Victory in Perspective”
      • 54. Frank Dobbins, Alexandra Kalev, and Erin Kelly, “Diversity Management in Corporate America”
      • 55. Southern Poverty Law Center, “Ways to Fight Hate”—Student Exercises
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The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the US Population: Emerging American Identities

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States on 2010-08-19 04:05Z by Steven

The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the US Population: Emerging American Identities

Population and Development Review
Volume 35, Issue 1 (March 2009)
pages 1-51
DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2009.00260.x

Anthony Daniel Perez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Charles Hirschman, Boeing International Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology and Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology
University of Washington, Seattle

Images and interpretations of the past, present, and future of the American racial and ethnic landscape are contradictory. Many accounts focus on the increasing diversity that results from immigration and differential natural increase as well as the proliferation of racial and ethnic categories in census data. Less attention has been paid to the formation and erosion of racial and ethnic identities produced by intermarriage and ethnic blending. The framers and custodians of census racial classifications assume a “geographic origins” definition of race and ethnicity, but the de facto measures in censuses and social surveys rely on folk categories that vary over time and are influenced by administrative practices and sociopolitical movements. We illustrate these issues through an in-depth examination of the racial and ethnic reporting by whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics in the 2000 census. The emerging pattern, labeled here as the “Americanization” of racial and ethnic identities, and most evident for whites and blacks, is of simplified racial identities with little acknowledgment of complex ancestries. National origin is the predominant mode of reporting racial and ethnic identities among Asians and Hispanics, especially first-generation immigrants. The future of racial and ethnic identities is unknowable, but continued high levels of immigration, intermarriage, and social mobility are likely to blur contemporary divisions and boundaries.

America was a multiethnic and multicultural society from the outset. The original American colonies were formed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as frontier societies composed of multiple founding populations (Klein 2004: Ch. 2). First among these were the indigenous peoples of North America, who were gradually displaced or absorbed by the more numerous European settlers and indentured servants from various parts of the world. Africans were imported primarily as slave labor from the Caribbean and West Africa, although some arrived as indentured servants on terms similar to whites. In the middle decades of the seventeenth century, some blacks became free settlers, but by the close of the seventeenth century, slavery and African heritage became nearly synonymous (Fredrickson 1981). With unbalanced sex ratios in frontier settings, large populations of mixed ancestry soon emerged, particularly in Southern colonies (Davis 1991). While some unions were the result of intermarriage or consensual liaisons, there was also widespread sexual exploitation of black women by white slave owners (Fredrickson 1981: Ch. 3).

The ethnic and racial landscape became even more complex during the nineteenth century. Continental expansion added lands that had been home to Native Americans and peoples of mixed indigenous and Spanish origin, and successive waves of immigration from Europe and Asia fueled the rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population. Tracking the mixed and un-mixed descendants from these many threads is a theoretical possibility, but not one that can be easily accomplished with historical or contemporary data. The problem is that the differential rates of settlement, natural increase, and intermarriage (or sexual unions) that produced progeny of mixed ancestry are largely unknown. Small differences in assumptions about the relative magnitudes of these processes can lead to greatly different estimates of the ancestral origins of the contemporary American population.

An even greater obstacle to describing the ethnic makeup of the American people is the assumption that most people are able and willing to accurately report the origins of their parents, grandparents, and more distant ancestors. In many cases, knowledge of ancestral origins is passed along in families or communities, but in some cases these narratives are suppressed or simply lost to history. As a result, the racial and ethnic composition recorded in censuses, surveys, and administrative records reflects a large degree of subjectivity and even speculation, in addition to actual patterns of genealogical descent. Methodological studies of census questions about race and ethnicity, for instance, show that responses are affected, often remarkably so, by the format of questions, the listed choices, and the examples included in questionnaire instructions (Farley 1991; Hirschman, Alba, and Farley 2000)…

Read an excerpt of this article here.
Read or purchase the entire article here.

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