This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Diversity Paradox

The Diversity Paradox is the title of a recently published book by Jennifer Lee and Frank Bean of UC-Irvine. At this summer's annual meeting of the American Sociological Association it received the Otis Dudley Duncan award from the Population Section. The awarding committee praised the book in these terms:
"The Diversity Paradox" uses census, survey, and in-depth interview data to examine patterns of intermarriage and multiracial identification among Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.  Lee and Bean analyze where the color line, and the economic and social advantage it demarcates, is drawn today and on what side of it members of these groups fall.  They show that Asians and Latinos with mixed racial ancestry are not constrained by strict racial categories in several geographic areas of the United States.  Racial status often shifts according to situation, with individuals choosing to identify along ethnic lines or as white, and their decisions are rarely questioned by others.  Asians and Latinos also intermarry with whites at moderate to high rates, which is viewed as part of the process of becoming American. African Americans, in contrast, intermarry at significantly lower rates than Asians or Latinos.  Multiracial blacks often choose not to identify as such and are typically perceived by others as being black only, underscoring the stigma still attached to being African American and the entrenchment of the one-drop rule.  Jennifer Lee and Frank Bean conclude that many Asians and Latinos, on the other hand, are relatively successful at disengaging their national origins from the concept of race. Their book will change the way we view immigration, the second generation, race and racial politics.
Thus, we see the conjunction of race, ethnicity, assimilation, self-identification, and intermarriage. A good read...

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