Who Is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2013-07-01 01:39Z by Steven

Who Is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide

Lynne Rienner
230 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-58826-337-7

George Yancey, Professor of Sociology
University of North Texas

“By the year 2050, whites will be a numerical racial minority, albeit the largest minority, in the United States.” This statement, asserts George Yancey, while statistically correct, is nonetheless false.

Yancey marshals compelling evidence to show that the definition of who is “white” is changing rapidly, with nonblack minorities accepting the perspectives of the current white majority group and, in turn, being increasingly assimilated. In contrast, African Americans continue to experience high levels of alienation. To understand the racial reality in the United States, Yancey demonstrates, it is essential to discard the traditional white/nonwhite dichotomy and to explore the implications of the changing color of whiteness.


  • Alienation and Race in the United States.
  • How To Become White.
  • “They Are OK—Just Keep Them Away From Me”: Residential and Marital Segregation Patterns.
  • The End of the Rainbow Coalition.
  • The Changing Significance of “Latino” and “Asian.”
  • The Black/Nonblack Society.
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Black/Non-Black Divide and The Anti-Blackness of Non-Black Minorities

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-07-01 01:19Z by Steven

Black/Non-Black Divide and The Anti-Blackness of Non-Black Minorities

Still Furious and Brave: Who’s Afraid of Persistent Blackness?

Robert Reece
Department of Sociology
Duke University

Last week, an Asian-American fraternity at the University of California Irvine posted a parody of a music video featuring one of their members in blackface. Blackface has become the go-to type of public racism for many types of white people across the political spectrum, and the internet is overflowing with analyses of why it’s racist so I won’t bother with that here. My concern is that an Asian-American fraternity is the culprit this time and what that may mean as we enter an era where our racial boundaries may be shifting as dramatically as the racial demographics.

I’m certainly not surprised that an Asian-American fraternity harbors racial stereotypes, both about themselves and other minorities. White supremacy is partially rule by consent, with subordinate groups believing in their own pathology (I’m looking at you Bill Cosby), but I think this incident, in this moment, deserves much more attention.

Proclamations by demographers about the coming white minority are used by both liberals and conservatives to promise inevitable political change. Liberals discuss how minorities outnumbering whites will signal as intense power shift in politics that will usher in an unprecedented age of progress and liberalism, and conservatives fear that they will lose their country to the brown hoards resting just over the horizon. But sociologist George Yancey, in Who is White?, questions the very demographers claiming that a white minority is certain. Yancey argues that demographers cannot account for shifting racial boundaries when making their predictions. So while their raw numbers may be correct, their racial predictions are probably incorrect because racial categories are always changing…

…This is the phenomenon at play when an Asian American fraternity implicitly approves of an act of anti-black racism. And this isn’t an isolated incident of negative black attitudes. In Racism Without Racists, sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva presents survey results showing that Asian American political attitudes, including those regarding stereotypes of blacks, are very similar to those of whites. On some items, Asian Americans even demonstrated stronger anti-black attitudes than whites. In this way, they are following in the footsteps of other formerly marginalized groups who demonized blackness on their way to whiteness.

In The Wages of Whiteness, historian David Roediger chronicles how the newly immigrated Irish of the 19th century made a strategic decision to pit themselves against blacks despite their acknowledgement of a common oppressor. They essentially built their case for inclusion into whiteness on the back of their anti-black attitudes. Anti-black racism was the glue that bound white ethnics to whiteness, and it may serve a similar purpose as our current racial project progresses. In the case of the Irish, their attitudes eventually manifested in an emulation of whiteness, in committing mob violence against blacks. But in 2013, popular violence against blacks doesn’t come in the form of gruesome beatings in the streets (police brutality notwithstanding); it comes in the form of YouTube videos of fraternity boys in blackface that, just like the mob violence of the 19th century, goes unpunished by authorities.

Read the entire article here.

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The Browning and Yellowing of Whiteness

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-12-13 01:31Z by Steven

The Browning and Yellowing of Whiteness

The Black Commentator

Tamara K. Nopper, Adjunct Professor of Asian American Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Latino/as and Asians Americans do not necessarily reject dominant culture and ideology when it comes to racial politics.

A Review of Who is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide by George Yancey (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003).

In 1903 the ever-forward looking W. E. B. DuBois declared, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”  A century later, the relevance of DuBois’ observation is being contested by those preoccupied with the increasing ethnic and cultural diversification of the US.  Many argue that DuBois’ centralization of the boundary between the entangled black and white worlds is outdated, going so far as to propose that we now have “colorlines.”  Such gestures are more than semantic and instead imply that blackness as the definitive social boundary for US race relations is either less pronounced or completely erased by the significant presence of nonblack racial minorities such as Latino/as and Asian Americans.

This is precisely why George Yancey’s book Who is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide is such a necessary read.  Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, provides compelling evidence that supports the (unstated) hypothesis that the color line of the twentieth century will remain firmly entrenched in the twenty-first. Using as his point of departure the popular projection that whites will soon be a minority group, Yancey opens his book by arguing that whites will remain the majority despite the growing populations of Latino/as and Asian Americans.  How can the increase of Latino/as and Asian Americans enforce, rather than disrupt, the color line?  Simple.  By 2050, according to Yancey, most Latino/as and Asian Americans will be white…

…Overall, while some will surely dismiss Who is White? as “academic”—a practice many activists and even academics engage in when confronted with political conclusions that make them uncomfortable—Yancey’s research is extremely relevant for contemporary racial politics.  Most importantly, Yancey’s findings hint at possible inadequacies of current approaches to “multiracial” America, most of which emphasize a white/non-white paradigm that minimizes or outright dismisses the reality of antiblack racism as the structuring and generative ideology of US race relations and social inequality…

Read the entire article here.

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SOCI3600 – The Multiracial Family

Posted in Course Offerings, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-10-15 03:09Z by Steven

SOCI3600 – The Multiracial Family

Univeristy of North Texas
Summer 2010

George Alan Yancey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of North Texas

Academic study of the dynamics found in multiracial families. Important concepts in race/ethnicity studies such as assimilation, racial identity and pluralism. Other topics include passing, one-drop rule, interracial dating/marriage, bi- or multiracial identity and transracial adoption.

For more information, click here.

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Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity

Posted in Anthologies, Arts, Books, Economics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-04-26 00:45Z by Steven

Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity

256 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-48397-1
Papeback ISBN: 978-0-415-48399-5
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-203-88373-0

Edited by

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Professor of Sociology
William Paterson University

As the racial hierarchy shifts and inequality between Americans widens, it is important to understand the impact of social class on the rapidly growing multiracial population. Multiracial Americans and Social Class is the first book on multiracial Americans to do so and fills a noticeable void in a growing market.

In this book, noted scholars examine the impact of social class on the racial identity of multiracial Americans in highly readable essays from a range of sociological perspectives. In doing so, they answer the following questions: What is the connection between class and race? Do you need to be middle class in order to be an ‘honorary white’? What is the connection between social class and culture? Do you need to ‘look’ White or just ‘act’ White in order to be treated as an ‘honorary white’? Can social class influence racial identity? How does the influence of social class compare across multiracial backgrounds?

Multiracial Americans and Social Class is a key text for undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and academics in the fields of Sociology, Race and Ethnic Studies, Race Relations, and Cultural Studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Who are Multiracial Americans?

  • 1. Multiracial Americans and Social Class, Kathleen Odell Korgen
  • 2. In-Between Racial Status, Mobility and Promise of Assimilation: Irish, Italians Yesterday, Latinos and Asians Today, Charles Gallagher
  • 3. ‘What’s Class Got to Do with It?’: Images and Discourses on Race and Class in Interracial Relationships, Erica Chito Childs
  • 4. Social Class: Racial/Ethnic Identity, and the Psychology of Choice, Peony Fhagen-Smith
  • 5. Stability and Change in Racial Identities of Multiracial Adolescents, Ruth Burke and Grace Kao

Part 2: Culture, Class, Racial Identity, and Blame

  • 6. Country Clubs and Hip-Hop Thugs: Examining the Role of Social Class and Culture in Shaping Racial Identity, Nikki Khanna
  • 7. Language, Power, and the Performance of Race and Class, Benjamin Bailey
  • 8. Black and White Movies: Crash between Class and Biracial Identity Portrayals of Black/White Biracial Individuals in Movies, Alicia Edison and George Yancey
  • 9. ‘Who is Really to Blame?’ Biracial Perspectives on Inequality in America, Monique E. Marsh

Part 3: Social Class, Demographic, and Cultural Characteristics

  • 10. ‘Multiracial Asian Americans’, C. N. Le
  • 11. A Group in Flux: Multiracial American Indians and the Social Construction of Race, Carolyn Liebler
  • 12. Socioeconomic Status and Hispanic Identification in Part-Hispanic Multiracial Adolescents, Maria L. Castilla and Melissa R. Herman

Part 4: Social Class, Racial Identities, and Racial Hierarchies

  • 13. Social Class and Multiracial Groups: What Can We Learn from Large Surveys? Mary E. Campbell
  • 14. The One-Drop Rule through a Multiracial Lens: Examining the Roles of Race and Class in Racial Classification of Children of Partially Black Parents, Jenifer Bratter
  • 15. It’s Not That Simple: Multiraciality, Models, and Social Hierarchy, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly and Paul Spickard


Benjamin Bailey is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His research on the interactional negotiation of ethnic and racial identity in US contexts has appeared in Language in Society, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology and International Migration Review.

Jenifer L. Bratter is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. Her research focuses on the dynamics of racial intermarriage, marriage and multiracial populations, and has recently been published in Social Forces, Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Forum and Family Relations.

David L. Brunsma is Associate Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the University of Missouri. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Beyond Black: Biracial Identity in America. His research has appeared in Social Forces, Social Science Quarterly, Sociological Quarterly, and Identity.

Ruth H. Burke is a Graduate Student in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on racial inequality in the United States and racial identification.

Mary E. Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on racial inequality and identification, and has recently been published in American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Social Science Quarterly and Social Science Research.

Maria Castilla earned her BA in 2009 from Dartmouth College, with high honors in sociology. She currently attends Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

Erica Chito Childs is an Associate Professor at Hunter College. Her research interests focus on issues of race, black/white couples, gender and sexuality in relationships, families, communities and media/popular culture. Her publications include Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and Their Social Worlds (2005) and Fade to Black and White (2009).

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly is a historian and lecturer at UC Santa Barbara, whose forth-coming book, By the Least Bit of Blood, examines the uplift potential a vocal Black identity provided mixed-raced leaders during the 19th and 20th centuries. Her analysis extends beyond the U.S. to include the function of race in the process of Latin-American nation-making.

Alicia L. Edison is a Graduate Student at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, biracial identity formation, and the perpetuation of racial stereotypes within the media.

Peony Fhagen-Smith is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Her research centers on racial/ethnic identity development across the life-span and has published in Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, and The Counseling Psychologist.

Melissa R. Herman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dartmouth, studies how identity affects developmental outcomes among multiracial adolescents. Her current research projects examine perceptions of multiracial people and interracial relationships. Her recent work appears in Child Development, Sociology of Education, and Social Psychology Quarterly.

Charles A. Gallagher is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at La Salle University in Philadelphia. In addition to numerous book chapters, his research on how the media, popular culture and political ideology shapes perceptions of racial and social inequality has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Social Forces and Race, Gender and Class.

Grace Kao is Professor of Sociology and Education at University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on race and immigrant differences in educational outcomes. Currently, she serves on the editorial boards of Social Science Research, Social Psychology Quarterly and Social Science Quarterly.

Nikki Khanna is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont. Her research on racial identity negotiation and gender in group processes has been published in Social Psychology Quarterly, Advances in Group Processes, and The Sociological Quarterly.

C. N. Le is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Director of Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He focuses on racial/ethnic relations, immigration, institutional assimilation among Asian Americans, and public sociology through his Asian-Nation.org website.

Carolyn A. Liebler is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research on indigenous populations, racial identity and the measurement of race has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Social Science Research, and Social Science Quarterly.

Monique E. Marsh is a Graduate Student of Sociology at Temple University. Her research focuses on racial inequality and identification, and has recently been presented at the Eastern Sociological Society Annual Conference and at the National Science Foundation’s GLASS AGEP Research Conference.

Paul Spickard teaches history and Asian American studies at UC Santa Barbara. The author of fourteen books, including Almost All Aliens: Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity. He is currently studying race in Hawaii and in Germany.

George A. Yancey is a Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas. His work has focused on interracial families and multiracial churches. His latest book is Interracial Families: Current Concepts and Controversies.

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