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
The nature and costs of kin support among low-income rural African American mothers Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton

The nature and costs of kin support among low-income rural African American mothers

Author: Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton
Publisher: Women, Gender, and Families of Color
Date: 03/2016

Since Stack’s (1974) landmark ethnography of kin support in a close-knit group of poor black mothers in the Midwest, there has been ample research on social support among low-income black families. While this body of work has largely painted a picture of the cohesive and supportive nature of families in black communities, recent research has highlighted the limited nature of kin support, especially the support available to low-income black mothers. Much of this work, however, has focused primarily on urban black mothers and paid less attention to the conditions that poor rural black mothers face when seeking and giving family support. Using longitudinal ethnographic data from a sample of 16 low-income black mothers in the rural South, we draw on social exchange, negotiated-order, and social capital perspectives to scrutinize the nature and costs of kin support in family networks marked by limited resources, instability, and chronic need. Our findings reveal the centrality of problematic resources and unpredictable family networks as conditions that diminish mothers’ autonomy and compromise important “side bets” as mothers seek out, manage, and repay support. Implications of this study for theories of social support and social capital are also discussed.

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.

race and ethnicity - CPI Affiliates

Victor Nee's picture Victor Nee Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor of Sociology; Director of the Center for the Study of Economy and Society
Cornell University
Al Camarillo's picture Al Camarillo Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor, Emeritus
Stanford University
William T. Bielby Professor of Sociology
University of Illinois-Chicago
Jackelyn Hwang Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University
Anthony Antonio's picture Anthony Antonio Associate Professor of Education; Associate Director, Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research
Stanford University

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Race And Ethnicity - Other Research

Title Author Media
Second-Generation Decline or Advantage? Latino Assimilation in the Aftermath of the Great Recession Van C. Tran, Nicol M. Valdez

Second-Generation Decline or Advantage? Latino Assimilation in the Aftermath of the Great Recession

Author: Van C. Tran, Nicol M. Valdez
Publisher: International Migration Review
Date: 08/2015

This article addresses the debate on second-generation advantage and decline among Latinos by providing a post-recession snapshot based on geocoded data from the Current Population Survey (2008–2012). It reports three findings. First, second-generation Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are at a disadvantage, whereas other Latinos have achieved parity with native majority peers. Second, second-generation Latinos report significant progress compared to their parents and there is no evidence of a second-generation decline. Third, there is no difference in outcomes among second-generation Mexicans by immigrant destination type. Overall, these analyses yield an optimistic assessment of second-generation progress, while noting potential stagnation among third- and higher-generation Mexicans.

Civil Rights Legislation and Legalized Exclusion: Mass Incarceration and the Masking of Inequality Becky Pettit, Bryan L. Sykes

Civil Rights Legislation and Legalized Exclusion: Mass Incarceration and the Masking of Inequality

Author: Becky Pettit, Bryan L. Sykes
Publisher: Sociological Forum
Date: 06/2015

Civil rights legislation in the 1960s promised greater racial equality in a variety of domains including education, economic opportunity, and voting. Yet those same laws were coupled with exclusions from surveys used to gauge their effects thereby affecting both statistical portraits of inequality and our understanding of the impact of civil rights legislation. This article begins with a review of the exclusionary criteria and some tools intended for its evaluation. Civil rights laws were designed at least in part to be assessed through data on the American population collected from samples of individuals living in households, which neglects people who are unstably housed, homeless, or institutionalized. Time series data from surveys of the civilian population and those in prisons and jails show that growth in the American criminal justice system since the early 1970s undermines landmark civil rights acts. As many as 1 in 10 black men age 20–34 are in prison or jail on any given day, and in the post–Great Recession era, young black men who have dropped out of high school are more likely to be incarcerated than working in the paid labor force. Our findings call into question assessments of equal opportunity more than half a century after the enactment of historic legislation meant to redress racial inequities in America.

Negative Acculturation and Nothing More? Cumulative Disadvantage and Mortality during the Immigrant Adaptation Process among Latinos in the United States Fernando Riosmena, Bethany G. Everett, Richard G. Rogers, Jeff A. Dennis

Negative Acculturation and Nothing More? Cumulative Disadvantage and Mortality during the Immigrant Adaptation Process among Latinos in the United States

Author: Fernando Riosmena, Bethany G. Everett, Richard G. Rogers, Jeff A. Dennis
Publisher: International Migration Review
Date: 06/2015

Foreign- and U.S.-born Hispanic health deteriorates with increasing exposure and acculturation to mainstream U.S. society. Because these associations are robust to (static) socioeconomic controls, negative acculturation has become their primary explanation. This overemphasis, however, has neglected important alternative structural explanations. Examining Hispanic mortality using the 1998–2006 U.S. National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality File according to nativity, immigrant adaptation measures, and health behaviors, this study presents indirect but compelling evidence that suggests negative acculturation is not the only or main explanation for this deterioration.

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

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