279. Invited Thematic Session: Crossing Interracial Borders

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Live Events, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-27 01:35Z by Steven

279. Invited Thematic Session: Crossing Interracial Borders

Crossing Borders: 2015 Annual Meeting
Eastern Sociological Society
Millennium Broadway Hotel
New York, New York
2015-02-26 through 2015-03-01

Saturday, 2015-02-28, 12:00-13:30 EST (Local Time)

Organizer: Erica Chito-Childs, City University of New York – Hunter College

Presider: Erica Chito-Childs, City University of New York – Hunter College

  • Transracial Kin-scription: The Silent Engine of Racial Change? Kimberly McClain DaCosta — New York University
  • Emerging Patterns of Interracial Marriage and Immigrant Integration in the United States Daniel Lichter — Cornell University
  • Interracial Marriage in the U.S. and Brazil: Racial Boundaries in Comparative Perspective Chinyere Osuji — Rutgers University
  • A Global Look at Attitudes Towards “Mixed” Marriage Erica Chito-Childs — City University of New York – Hunter College

Discussant: Amy Steinbugler, Dickinson College

For more information, click here.

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Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-03-16 18:05Z by Steven

Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future

Published online: 2013-02-26
DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0197-1

Daniel T. Lichter, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology
Cornell University

Over the next generation or two, America’s older, largely white population will increasingly be replaced by today’s disproportionately poor minority children. All future growth will come from populations other than non-Hispanic whites as America moves toward a majority-minority society by 2043. This so-called Third Demographic Transition raises important implications about changing racial boundaries in the United States, that is, about the physical, economic, and sociocultural barriers that separate different racial and ethnic groups. America’s racial transformation may place upward demographic pressure on future poverty and inequality as today’s disproportionately poor and minority children grow into adult roles. Racial boundaries will be reshaped by the changing meaning of race and ethnicity, shifting patterns of racial segregation in neighborhoods and the workplace, newly integrating (or not) friendship networks, and changing rates of interracial marriage and childbearing. The empirical literature provides complicated lessons and offers few guarantees that growing racial diversity will lead to a corresponding breakdown in racial boundaries—that whites and minorities will increasingly share the same physical and social spaces or interact as coequals. How America’s older population of elected officials and taxpayers responds today to America’s increasingly diverse population will provide a window to the future, when today’s children successfully transition (or not) into productive adult roles. Racial and ethnic inclusion will be reshaped by changing ethnoracial inequality, which highlights the need to invest in children—now.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Growing Diversity Among America’s Children and Youth: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-04 01:06Z by Steven

Growing Diversity Among America’s Children and Youth: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions

Population and Development Review
Volume 36, Issue 1, March 2010
pages 151–176
DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2010.00322.x

Kenneth M. Johnson, Professor of Sociology and Senior Demographer
Department of Sociology and Carsey Institute
University of New Hampshire, Durham

Daniel T. Lichter, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology
Cornell University

This study documents the changing racial and ethnic mix of America’s children. Specifically, we focus on the unusually rapid shifts in the composition and changing spatial distribution of America’s young people between 2000 and 2008. Minorities grew to 43 percent of all children and youth, up from 38.5 percent only eight years earlier. In 1990, this figure stood at 33 percent. Among 0–4-year-olds, 47 percent of all children were minority in 2008. Changes in racial and ethnic composition are driven by two powerful demographic forces. The first is the rapid increase since 2000 in the number of minority children—with Hispanics accounting for 80 percent of the growth. The second is the absolute decline in the number of non-Hispanic white children and youth. The growth of minority children and racial diversity is distributed unevenly over geographical space. Over 500 (or roughly 1 in 6) counties now have majority-minority youth populations. Broad geographic areas of America nevertheless remain mono-racial, where only small shares of minorities live.

AMERICA’S RAPIDLY CHANGING racial and ethnic composition will undoubtedly reshape ethnic identities, electoral politics, and inter-group relations in the foreseeable future. A recent report by the United States Census Bureau projected that racial and ethnic minorities—everyone but non-Hispanic single race whites—will become the majority population in 2042 (US Census Bureau 2008a). The size of the minority population is projected to grow to 235.7 million or 54 percent of the total US population by 2050. Of course, demographers understand that population projections are often not borne out; they rest on demographic assumptions that sometimes prove to be seriously flawed.

We do not need to rely on Census projections or wait until 2042 to observe the putative demographic implications of growing racial and ethnic diversity in American society.2 Our research documents the demographic forces that have placed today’s young people in the vanguard of America’s new racial and ethnic diversity. The seeds of diversity are being sown today by immigration and high fertility, which are revealed in growing racial and ethnic diversity among America’s children and youth. In many parts of the United States, the future is now.

This article has several goals. First, we use up-to-date census population estimates to document recent increases in the racial and ethnic mix of America’s youth, especially its youngest children (i.e., those aged 0–4 years). Predictably, growing racial diversity has been caused by rapid growth of minority children, especially Hispanic children, but perhaps less predictably by absolute numerical declines of non-Hispanic white children. Second, we show how national patterns have manifested themselves unevenly over geographic space. More than 500 US counties in 2008 had “majority-minority” populations of children, a number considerably higher than for the US population overall. Third, we document children’s growing exposure to racial diversity in the areas where they live. We provide new estimates based on the so-called diversity index (Rushton 2008). The frequent claim that we live in an increasingly multiracial or multicultural society—a fact that is both celebrated and feared—does not necessarily mean that national patterns are visible at the local or regional level…

…The uneven geography of racial diversity

How children fare today is a leading demographic indicator of America’s future: its racial composition, health, and social and economic well-being. But an exclusive focus on the national picture also can be misleading. For minority populations, racial and ethnic identities are socially constructed through daily interactions in the places where they live and work (Omi and Winant 1994). The demographic impacts of changing patterns of immigration, fertility, and natural increase are therefore experienced unevenly across the geographical United States (Massey 2008). The so-called Americanization process—the putative weakening of racial and ancestral identities—is shaped by cultural and economic incorporation, patterns of intermarriage, and the growth of immigrant and mixed-race populations, all of which both reflect and reinforce racially divergent residence patterns and inter-group exposure and social interaction (Waters and Jiménez 2005; Lee and Bean 2007)…

…Discussion and conclusion

With the election of Barack Obama as US President, issues of race and racial inclusion have acquired new saliency in the public discourse in America. The influx of roughly 1 million legal immigrants annually—mostly from Latin America and Asia—has further prompted debates about multiculturalism and social, economic, and cultural fragmentation: for example, English-language use, rising intermarriage, growing mixed-race populations, and political and economic power. The Census Bureau’s recent projection of a majority-minority US population in 2042 has sometimes been the source of alarmist rhetoric about America’s future and its essential character. We argue here that the seeds of racial and ethnic multiculturalism are also being sown by recent patterns of fertility, revealed in growing racial and ethnic diversity among America’s children and youth…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 02:46Z by Steven

Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12

The Miami Herald

Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Interracial marriages in the U.S. have climbed to 4.8 million—a record 1 in 12—as a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants expands the pool of prospective spouses. Blacks are now substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

A Pew Research Center study, released Thursday, details a diversifying America where interracial unions and the mixed-race children they produce are challenging typical notions of race.

“The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century,” said Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University. “Mixed-race children have blurred America’s color line. They often interact with others on either side of the racial divide and frequently serve as brokers between friends and family members of different racial backgrounds,” he said. “But America still has a long way to go.”

The figures come from previous censuses as well as the 2008-2010 American Community Survey, which surveys 3 million households annually. The figures for “white” refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity. For purposes of defining interracial marriages, Hispanic is counted as a race by many in the demographic field…

Read the entire article here.

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Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage in the United States [Interview with Daniel T. Lichter]

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-01-08 05:00Z by Steven

Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage in the United States [Interview with Daniel T. Lichter]

Population Reference Bureau

Questions and Answers with:

Daniel T. Lichter, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology
Cornell University

Donghui Yu:
Could you please tell us some features of Asian American(partucularly Chinese American)’s intermarriage with other race? Thanks.

Daniel T. Lichter:
Asian women have among the highest rates of interracial marriage in the United States. My colleague, Yujun Wang, has shown with the 2007 American Coummunity Survey that roughly 55 percent of U.S. born Asian women (aged 18-34) married non-Asians, mostly white men. That’s a lot of out-marriage.

Compared with Asian women, Asian men have much lower rates of marriage to whites or other races. My Asian male students sometimes complain that white guys are dating Asian women, but that white women seem uninterested in them. There is lots of debate about why this is the case, and the empirical evidence is too weak to draw strong conclusions. Antecdotal explanations sometimes emphasize cultural definitions of masculinity (e.g., shorter height of Asian men) or gender roles (e.g., perceptions that Asian men may hold patriarchal gender role attitudes). We just don’t have enough hard data on these sorts of questions, which deal with highly sensitive issues that often strike a nerve.

To your last question, Chinese Americans overall have higher rates of outmarriage to whites than some other Asian groups (e.g., Asian Indians or Vietnamese). This probably reflects that fact that they have been in the U.S. for many generations (and a large percentage share common cultural traits of the majority white population, including language). But among recent Chinese immigrants—the first generation—rates of intermarriage are much lower and perhaps lower than in the past. Some of this seems to reflect the recent influx of Chinese with lower education levels from new sending areas(e.g., from Fujian province).

Chinyere Osuji:
Does interracial marriage really demonstrate a blurring of racial boundaries? If so, in what ways can we see this happening? Does this impact the lives of black-white couples? If so, in what ways?

Daniel T. Lichter:
From my perspective, the growth of interracial marriages has definitely blurred racial boundaries in the U.S. In fact, I often think of interracial marriage as the spoon that stirs the “melting pot.” For example, interracial couples bridge the family and social networks of each partner. They span racial boundaries by interacting on both sides of the racial divide and, more importantly, they bring other friends and family members with them. Of course, this assumes that both sides of the racial divide accept the interracial couple, which isn’t always the case.

Also, the mixed race children of interracial couples, by definition, blur the racial line. These children are more likely than single race children to have cross-racial friends and to marry interracially themselves. Most children of black-white couples, however, are still likely to identify themselves as black or African American rather than as mixed-race or some other racial label. President Obama identified himself as black on the 2010 decennial census, even though his mother was white and his father was black…

…Yang Jiang:
Dr Lichter,
How do you think the increase of biracial/multiracial population in the U.S affect the overall interracial marriage rates? Compared to single race counterparts, are they more likely to to inter marry or intra-marry? How should we distinguish inter- vs intra-marriages for biracial/multiracial individuals?

Daniel T. Lichter:
This is a more difficult question to answer than it appears at first blush. On the one hand, mixed-race individuals are more likely to than single-race persons to marry someone other than another mixed-race person. So if mixed-race people are treated as a separate racial category, then this would increase the overall share of interracial marriages in the United States. Zhenchao Qian and I have treated black-white mixed-race persons as black or white or mixed race in separate analyses. In the end, regardless of classification, it doesn’t have much effect on overall rates of racial intermarriage.

This is likely to change in the future. Only 2-3 percent of the population today self-identifies as having more than one race. Of course, many people who self-identify as having only one race (President Obama) may in fact be multi-racial. Is President Obama’s marriage to Michelle Obama interracial? This question makes clear the conceptual challenges of this sort of research and the subjective nature of racial self-identification…

Read the entire interview here….

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U.S. far from an interracial melting pot

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-06-17 03:00Z by Steven

U.S. far from an interracial melting pot


Daniel T. Lichter, Ferris family professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, and Professor of Sociology
Cornell University

Ithaca, New York (CNN)—According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, one of every seven new marriages in 2008 was interracial or interethnic—the highest percentage in U.S. history. The media and blogosphere have been atwitter.

Finally, it seems, we have tangible evidence of America’s entry into a new post-racial society, proof of growing racial tolerance. Intermarriage trends are being celebrated as a positive sign that we have come to think of all Americans as, well, Americans…

…It’s time for everyone—on all sides of this issue—to relax and take a deep breath. The reality is that racial boundaries remain firmly entrenched in American society. They are not likely to go away anytime soon.

We are still far from a melting pot where distinct racial and ethnic groups blend into a multi-ethnic stew…

Read the entire article here.

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Interracial marriage still rising in U.S.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-26 21:04Z by Steven

Interracial marriage still rising in U.S.

Associated Press

Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race

WASHINGTON – Melting pot or racial divide? The growth of interracial marriages is slowing among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians. Still, blacks are substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million, according to the latest census figures. While still growing, that number is a marked drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent in 2000…

“Racial boundaries are not going to disappear anytime soon,” said Daniel Lichter, a professor of sociology and public policy at Cornell University. He noted the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as well as current tensions in Arizona over its new immigration law…

…Broken down by race, about 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians now marry whites — a figure unchanged since 1980. Their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Asians, meanwhile, multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to roughly 20 percent.

Among U.S.-born Hispanics, marriages with whites increased modestly from roughly 30 percent to 38 percent over the past three decades. But when it came to marriages with foreign-born Hispanics, the share doubled — to 12.5 percent for men, and 17.1 percent for women.

In contrast, blacks are now three times as likely to marry whites than in 1980. About 14.4 percent of black men and 6.5 percent of black women are currently in such mixed marriages, due to higher educational attainment, a more racially integrated military and a rising black middle class that provides more interaction with other races…

‘Multi’ label shunned

Due to increasing interracial marriages, multiracial Americans are a small but fast-growing demographic group, making up about 5 percent of the minority population. Together with blacks, Hispanics and Asians, the Census Bureau estimates they collectively will represent a majority of the U.S. population by mid-century.

Still, many multiracial people — particularly those who are part black — shun a “multi” label in favor of identifying as a single race.

By some estimates, two-thirds of those who checked the single box of “black” on the census form are actually mixed, including President Barack Obama, who identified himself as black in the 2010 census even though his mother was white…

Read the entire article here.

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