In recent years, researchers have increasingly noted the malleability of racial boundaries across time, context, and life course. Although this research has advanced our knowledge of the maintenance and perceptions of racial groups, it has introduced a new question: If we are attempting to best capture the actual variation in racial inequality, how should we operationalize race? Using the 2006 wave of the Portraits of American Life Study, a national-level, in-home survey with extensive race measures and oversamples of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, the authors identify five ways that race can be and to varying degrees is operationalized: census, combined race/ethnic, pentagon, triracial, and skin tone measures. Using the Vuong non-nested model tests, the authors compare the effectiveness of these five measurements in predicting three measures of social inequality: household income, education, and self-rated health. The authors find that overall, Hollinger’s ethnoracial pentagon is best able to capture existing inequality. Thus, for scholars attempting to understand variation in contemporary racial inequality, this research suggests that scholars should use five monoracial categories: White, Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian.

We investigate the relationship between stereotypes of immigrants and assessments of the impact of immigration on U.S. society. Our analysis exploits a split-ballot survey of registered voters in Ohio, who were asked to evaluate both the characteristics of one of four randomly assigned immigrant groups and perceived impacts of immigration. We find that associations between impact assessments and stereotypes of Middle Eastern, Asian, and European immigrants are weak and fully attenuated by control covariates. By contrast, this relationship for Latin American immigrants is strong and robust to controls, particularly in the areas of unemployment, schools, and crime. Our findings suggest that public views of the impacts of immigration are strongly connected to beliefs about the traits of Latin American immigrants in particular.

Book Reviews:

Howell, Junia “In Lady Liberty’s Shadow: The Politics of Race and Immigration in New Jersey,” by Robyn Magalit Rodriguez (Rutgers University Press, 2017). Ethnic and Racial Studies. DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2018.1499950

Throughout June 2018, images and audio recordings of crying immigrant children separated from their parents and locked in chained cages at the United States–Mexico border spread across global news circuits and social media platforms, reinvigorating debates over U.S. immigration policy. In compliance with the U.S. Justice Department's new “zero tolerance” policy, federal authorities were detaining individuals who lacked documentation and separating them from their children. Within a month, the number of migrant children housed in large warehouse facilities rose dramatically, sparking widespread criticism and questions regarding human rights violations. Struck by the apparent heartlessness of the administration's actions, many in the US public wondered how a “nation of immigrants” could enforce such inhumane policies. Simultaneously, others sighed in relief that the federal government was curtailing undocumented migration and wondered why it had taken this long. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez's insights in her book, In Lady Liberty's Shadow: The Politics of Race and Immigration in New Jersey, provide an essential context for this contemporary debate.


Following a surge of burglaries in January and February 2014 on the 4500th block of Perry Street, the community mobilized and created an initiative called C.S.I.: ‘H.O.O.D (Community Safety Initiative: Helping Our Own Development). This report summarizes the crime states over the last several years. Additionally, the initiative conducted a randomize in-person survey of residents. The results of this survey are presented in this report and suggest residents are most concerned with the failing infrastructure and prostitution rates. However, community residents see building community as central to address these issues.


Houston’s population grew substantially between 1990 and 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, the Houston metropolitan area added more people (over 1.2 million) than any other metropolitan area in the United States. Analyzing the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses, the Houston region has grown dramatically more racially/ethnically diverse over the past 20 years, such that every racial/ethnic group is now a demographic minority. As of 2010, Houston metropolitan area is the most racially/ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the nation, narrowly surpassing the New York metropolitan area. The analysis also finds that (1) the City of Houston is substantially more segregated than other areas of the region, (2) African American-Latino segregation in the region has declined most rapidly, (3) African Americans are most segregated where they represent the largest absolute and relative numbers, (4) the smaller the percentage Anglo in an area, the greater their segregation from other groups, and (5) Asians live closest to Anglos, and continue to be significantly segregated from African Americans and Latinos. Harnessing the region’s burgeoning racial/ethnic diversity is a central challenge for the Houston region.


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