Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

  • C. Matthew Snipp
  • Tomas Jimenez
  • Linda Burton
  • Hazel Markus
  • Douglas Massey
  • Marybeth Mattingly

Leaders: Linda Burton, Tomás Jiménez, Hazel Markus, Douglas Massey, Marybeth Mattingly, C. Matthew Snipp

The CPI has an extensive research program on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty. The National Poverty Study, for example, is designed to rigorously compare differences across rural black, deindustrialized, reservation, and other “racialized” poverty forms. The CPI also runs a comprehensive program on Hispanic poverty that explores such topics as the “chilling effect” of anti-immigrant laws on program use, the reasons why, contrary to much speculation, the Hispanic poverty rate has not taken off, and the causes of the so-called Hispanic Health Paradox (see, for example, our Pathways Magazine special report on poverty, inequality, and mobility among Hispanics). And one of the CPI’s most distinguished affiliates, Jennifer Eberhardt (who is on the CPI directorate), is carrying out a groundbreaking big-data analysis of policing and race. We list below a sampling of other CPI projects on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty.

Poverty among refugees: The U.S. refugee population faces very high rates of poverty, yet we know very little about the effects of different resettlement programs and approaches. There are efforts afoot to exploit available administrative data and begin to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Arrests, race, and poverty: Why are some arrests resolved informally while others are converted into a criminal record that then has a life-long scarring effect? The process of converting an arrest into a criminal booking may play an important role in generating downstream racial disparities.

Reducing the race gap in test scores: The new Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is a rich resource that is providing the most systematic evidence to date on the capacity of school-district policies to reduce the racial gap in test scores.

Poverty and schooling on reservations: Why are test scores and educational outcomes on Native reservations so low (relative to the national average)? In a new project by the noted ethnographer Martin Sánchez-Jankowski, we’ll be learning more about how traditional and formal education are viewed and the ways in which they might be better integrated. 

Race And Ethnicity - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Residential Segregation is the Linchpin of Racial Stratification Douglas S. Massey

Residential Segregation is the Linchpin of Racial Stratification

Author: Douglas S. Massey
Publisher: City and Community
Date: 03/2016

"White racial attitudes toward black Americans shifted during the Civil Rights Era ... with important consequences for patterns of racial segregation. During the 1980s, principled support for segregation all but disappeared; but despite this retreat from segregationist ideology, whites nonetheless continued to harbor strong anti-black sentiments rooted in negative stereotypes about the low intelligence, lack of motivation, propensity toward criminality, and predatory sexuality of African Americans (Bobo et al. 2012). Even though whites had come to reject segregation in principle, they continued to feel uncomfortable in the presence of many African Americans in practice; and they grew progressively more uncomfortable as black numbers in the social setting rose (Charles 2003)."

Why Border Enforcement Backfired Douglas S. Massey, Karen A. Pren, Jorge Durand

Why Border Enforcement Backfired

Author: Douglas S. Massey, Karen A. Pren, Jorge Durand
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 03/2016

In this article the authors undertake a systematic analysis of why border enforcement backfired as a strategy of immigration control in the United States. They argue theoretically that border enforcement emerged as a policy response to a moral panic about the perceived threat of Latino immigration to the United States propounded by self-interested bureaucrats, politicians, and pundits who sought to mobilize political and material resources for their own benefit. The end result was a self-perpetuating cycle of rising enforcement and increased apprehensions that resulted in the militarization of the border in a way that was disconnected from the actual size of the undocumented flow. Using an instrumental variable approach, the authors show how border militarization affected the behavior of unauthorized migrants and border outcomes to transform undocumented Mexican migration from a circular flow of male workers going to three states into an 11 million person population of settled families living in 50 states.

Reframing Marriage and Marital Delay Among Low-Income Mothers: An Interactionist Perspective Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton

Reframing Marriage and Marital Delay Among Low-Income Mothers: An Interactionist Perspective

Author: Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton
Publisher: Journal of Family Theory and Review
Date: 11/2015

A common assertion in the family science literature is that low-income single mothers are increasingly retreating from marriage but still vaunt it as their ultimate relationship goal. To explain this paradox, scholars frequently cite inadequacies in men's marriageability, financial instability, and conflictual romantic relationships as primary forces in mothers' decisions not to marry. We propose an alternative reasoning for this paradox using symbolic interactionist theory and perspectives on poverty and uncertainty. Specifically, we highlight the contradictions between what women say about their desires to marry and what they actually do when the opportunity presents itself. We use exemplar cases from a longitudinal ethnographic study of low-income rural mothers to demonstrate our reasoning. Implications for future research and theory development are discussed.

Whom Do Immigrants Marry? Emerging Patterns of Intermarriage and Integration in the United States Daniel T. Lichter, Zhenchao Qian, Dmitry Tumin

Whom Do Immigrants Marry? Emerging Patterns of Intermarriage and Integration in the United States

Author: Daniel T. Lichter, Zhenchao Qian, Dmitry Tumin
Publisher: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Date: 11/2015

We document patterns of intermarriage between immigrants and natives during a period of unprecedented growth in the size and diversity of America’s foreign-born population. Roughly one in six U.S. marriages today involve immigrants and a large share includes U.S.-born partners. Ethno-racial background clearly shapes trajectories of immigrant social integration. White immigrants are far more likely than other groups to marry U.S.-born natives, mostly other whites. Black immigrants are much less likely to marry black natives or out-marry with other groups. Intermarriage is also linked with other well-known proxies of social integration—educational attainment, length of time in the country, and naturalization status. Classifying America’s largest immigrant groups (e.g., Chinese and Mexican) into broad panethnic groups (e.g., Asians and Hispanics) hides substantial diversity in the processes of marital assimilation and social integration across national origin groups.

Neighborhood Effects on Use of African-American Vernacular English John R. Rickford, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Ray Yun Gou, Rebecca Greene, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Andres E. Sanchez-Ordoñez, Matthew Sciandra, Ewart Thomas, Jens Ludwig

Neighborhood Effects on Use of African-American Vernacular English

Author: John R. Rickford, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Ray Yun Gou, Rebecca Greene, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Andres E. Sanchez-Ordoñez, Matthew Sciandra, Ewart Thomas, Jens Ludwig
Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Date: 09/2015

African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) is systematic, rooted in history, and important as an identity marker and expressive resource for its speakers. In these respects, it resembles other vernacular or nonstandard varieties, like Cockney or Appalachian English. But like them, AAVE can trigger discrimination in the workplace, housing market, and schools. Understanding what shapes the relative use of AAVE vs. Standard American English (SAE) is important for policy and scientific reasons. This work presents, to our knowledge, the first experimental estimates of the effects of moving into lower-poverty neighborhoods on AAVE use. We use data on non-Hispanic African-American youth (n = 629) from a large-scale, randomized residential mobility experiment called Moving to Opportunity (MTO), which enrolled a sample of mostly minority families originally living in distressed public housing. Audio recordings of the youth were transcribed and coded for the use of five grammatical and five phonological AAVE features to construct a measure of the proportion of possible instances, or tokens, in which speakers use AAVE rather than SAE speech features. Random assignment to receive a housing voucher to move into a lower-poverty area (the intention-to-treat effect) led youth to live in neighborhoods (census tracts) with an 11 percentage point lower poverty rate on average over the next 10–15 y and reduced the share of AAVE tokens by ∼3 percentage points compared with the MTO control group youth. The MTO effect on AAVE use equals approximately half of the difference in AAVE frequency observed between youth whose parents have a high school diploma and those whose parents do not.

race and ethnicity - CPI Affiliates

Noah Lewin-Epstein's picture Noah Lewin-Epstein Professor of Sociology; Dean of the Faculty of Social Science
Tel Aviv University
Noliwe Rooks's picture Noliwe Rooks Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Cornell University
Prudence L. Carter's picture Prudence L. Carter Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Education
UC Berkeley
Stephen Small's picture Stephen Small Associate Professor, African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies
University of California, Berkeley
Suzanne Model's picture Suzanne Model Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology; Research Associate, Center for Research on International Migration, University of California at Irvine
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Race And Ethnicity - Other Research

Title Author Media
New Perspectives on the Declining Significance of Race: A Rejoinder William Julius Wilson

New Perspectives on the Declining Significance of Race: A Rejoinder

Author: William Julius Wilson
Publisher: Ethnic and Racial Studies
Date: 04/2015

In sharp contrast to many earlier studies, the articles in this symposium encompass a careful discussion of the two major underlying themes of my book, The Declining Significance of Race: (1) the effect of fundamental economic and political shifts on the changing relative importance of race and class in black occupational mobility and job placement; and (2) the swing in the concentration of racial conflict from the economic sector to the sociopolitical order. In my rejoinder I reflect on their arguments, including those that relate these themes to more recent developments in American race and ethnic relations featuring other groups, including whites and Latinos.

Dynamics of Urban Neighborhood Reciprocity: Latino Peer Ties, Violence and the Navigation of School Failure and Success Maria G. Rendon

Dynamics of Urban Neighborhood Reciprocity: Latino Peer Ties, Violence and the Navigation of School Failure and Success

Author: Maria G. Rendon
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 04/2015
Deportation Discretion: A Measure of Immigrants’ Context of Reception Juan Manuel Pedroza

Deportation Discretion: A Measure of Immigrants’ Context of Reception

Author: Juan Manuel Pedroza
Publisher:
Date: 03/2015

As deportations from the United States rise to unprecedented levels, a nationwide immigration enforcement program (Secure Communities) identifies noncitizens under arrest in county jails. I directly measure how much local contexts differ from each other by observing how restrictively federal immigration law is enforced at the county level. Examining variation in deportation outcomes begins to address the paucity of clear measures to compare contexts of reception across sub-national settings. I define and analyze deportation discretion (i.e., number of noncitizens not deported out of the pool of noncitizens arrested and booked into local jails) to gain insights into county-level contexts of reception. Among noncitizens identified by Secure Communities, the protective effects of being in a county with Hispanic co-ethnics are highest where the Hispanic share is above the national average (but less than a majority of the county’s population) and where Hispanic immigrant segregation from non-Hispanic, US-born whites is either very low or very high. The Hispanic share of a county appears to have a protective effect even in Republican strongholds. The findings suggest Hispanic-dense counties (measured as the Hispanic share and the spatial distribution of Hispanic immigrants, respectively) possess the level of accumulated social capital and political clout to dull the aims of a pervasive deportation apparatus designed to expel record numbers of noncitizens.

Age at Menarche: 50-year Socioeconomic Trends Among US-born Black and White Women Krieger N, Kiang MV, Kosheleva A, Waterman PD, Chen JT, Beckfield J

Age at Menarche: 50-year Socioeconomic Trends Among US-born Black and White Women

Author: Krieger N, Kiang MV, Kosheleva A, Waterman PD, Chen JT, Beckfield J
Publisher: American Journal of Public Health
Date: 02/2015

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated 50-year US trends in age at menarche by socioeconomic position (SEP) and race/ethnicity because data are scant and contradictory.

METHODS:

We analyzed data by income and education for US-born non-Hispanic Black and White women aged 25 to 74 years in the National Health Examination Survey (NHES) I (1959-1962), National Health Examination and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) I-III (1971-1994), and NHANES 1999-2008.

RESULTS:

In NHES I, average age at menarche among White women in the 20th (lowest) versus 80th (highest) income percentiles was 0.26 years higher (95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.09, 0.61), but by NHANES 2005-2008 it had reversed and was -0.33 years lower (95% CI = -0.54, -0.11); no socioeconomic gradients occurred among Black women. The proportion with onset at younger than 11 years increased only among women with low SEP, among Blacks and Whites (P for trend < .05), and high rates of change occurred solely among Black women (all SEP strata) and low-income White women who underwent menarche before 1960.

CONCLUSIONS:

Trends in US age at menarche vary by SEP and race/ethnicity in ways that pose challenges to several leading clinical, public health, and social explanations for early age at menarche and that underscore why analyses must jointly include data on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic position. Future research is needed to explain these trends.

Race, Self-Selection, and the Job Search Process Devah Pager, David S. Pedulla

Race, Self-Selection, and the Job Search Process

Author: Devah Pager, David S. Pedulla
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 01/2015

While existing research has documented persistent barriers facing African-American job seekers, far less research has questioned how job seekers respond to this reality. Do minorities self-select into particular segments of the labor market to avoid discrimination? Such questions have remained unanswered due to the lack of data available on the positions to which job seekers apply. Drawing on two original data sets with application-specific information, we find little evidence that blacks target or avoid particular job types. Rather, blacks cast a wider net in their search than similarly situated whites, including a greater range of occupational categories and characteristics in their pool of job applications. Additionally, we show that perceptions of discrimination are associated with increased search breadth, suggesting that broad search among African-Americans represents an adaptation to labor market discrimination. Together these findings provide novel evidence on the role of race and self-selection in the job search process.

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