The U.S. census sees Middle Eastern and North African people as white. Many don’t

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-02-21 17:59Z by Steven

The U.S. census sees Middle Eastern and North African people as white. Many don’t

National Public Radio

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Federal government standards require the U.S. census to count people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa as white. But a new study finds many people of MENA descent do not see themselves as white, and neither do many white people.
OsakaWayne Studios/Getty Images

There’s a reality about race in the U.S. that has confounded many people of Middle Eastern or North African descent.

The federal government officially categorizes people with origins in Lebanon, Iran, Egypt and other countries in the MENA region as white.

But that racial identity has not matched the discrimination in housing, at work and through other parts of daily life that many say they have faced.

Younger people of MENA descent have “had a plethora of different experiences that made them feel that some of their experiences were actually closer to communities of color in the U.S.,” says Neda Maghbouleh, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, who has conducted research on the topic.

The paradox has been hard to show through data…

Read the entire article here.

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Assimilating to a White Identity: The Case of Arab Americans

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-03-11 03:46Z by Steven

Assimilating to a White Identity: The Case of Arab Americans

International Migration Review
Volume 41, Issue 4, December 2007
pages 860–879
DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2007.00103.x

Kristine J. Ajrouch
, Adjunct Associate Research Professor in the Life Course Development Program
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan

Amaney Jamal, Associate Professor of Politics
Princeton University

Racial identity is one of the primary means by which immigrants assimilate to the United States. Drawing from the tenets of segmented assimilation, this study examines how the ethnic traits of immigrant status, national origin, religious affiliation, and Arab Americaness contribute to the announcement of a white racial identity using a regionally representative sample of Arab Americans. Results illustrate that those who were Lebanese/Syrian or Christian, and those who felt that the term “Arab American” does not describe them, were more likely to identify as white. In addition, among those who affirmed that the pan-ethnic term “Arab American” does describe them, results illustrated that strongly held feelings about being Arab American and associated actions were also linked with a higher likelihood of identifying as white. Findings point to different patterns of assimilation among Arab Americans. Some segments of Arab Americans appear to report both strong ethnic and white identities, while others report a strong white identity, yet distance themselves from the pan-ethnic “Arab American” label.

Read or purchase the article here.

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