Monday, April 6, 6:00-7:30pm
Taubman Building Room 102, Women and Public Policy Program Cason Conference Room
This session is part of the five-week study group series, How Shifts in Race and Cultural Identity Influence Politics, Policy and Pop Culture, led by Michele Norris. Seminars are for Harvard students only (graduate and undergraduate), and are not-for-credit. Please register below to reserve your space.
Description: This study group will look at the intersection between personal identity and institutional identifiers when it comes to race. In many ways, race is about difference and how those differences are codified through categories, check marks, segmentation and even implicit sorting on a subconscious level. How does this process change in a country with a growing number of blended families, rising levels of adoption and an increase in the number of multiracial individuals? What is the role of cultural experience, ethnic heritage or class in determining identity? How are institutions changing their approach to defining racial identity? Why do institutions collect data on racial identity in the first place? Has the question of identity become so complex that it can no longer be determined by boxes of fixed racial certitude?
- Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Order by David Weinberger, Spring 2015 Joan Shorenstein Fellow
- Standards For The Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity
- Racial Reorganization in the US Census 1850-1030 – Jennifer Hochschild, H.L. Jayne Professor of Government, Professor of African and African American Studies
- Brian Palmer of Slate asks the question — Are there really just five racial groups?
- The Race Card Project on Morning Edition — When you’re mixed race – just one box is not enough
- America’s Changing Color Lines: Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Multiracial Identification. According to the 2000 census (the first time people could check more than one box for race), 1 in 40 people identifies themselves as multiracial, and this figure is estimated to be twice as high for those under the age of 18. By the year 2050, as many as 1 in 5 Americans may claim a multiracial background. There are several important variables that affect the choice of racial identification among children of interracial unions: generational status, bilingualism, proximity to a nonwhite community. Blacks are less likely to report multiracial backgrounds compared with Asians and Latinos.
- Race as a “Bundle of Sticks”: Designs that Estimate Effects of Seemingly Immutable Characteristics. Abstract: Harvard’s Maya Sen and Princeton’s Omar Wasow explain that quantitative researchers often focus on race as a single trait that is fixed and described as an immutable characteristic. Sen and Wasow argue that that researchers should instead look at racial identity as a collection of factors that intersect, collide, or run parallel to each other much like a bundle of sticks. Those characteristics are sometimes rooted at the core put can also be pulled apart and examined individually and include language, geography, education, cultural tastes, body size, athletic prowess, intellect, socioeconomic status, military experience, incarceration, skin tone, disability, wealth or socioeconomic status.
- Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health Later in Life. The picture of health disparities among older Americans is influenced my the methods for collecting information on race and ethnicity. The purpose of this specific chapter in the study is to examine the implications of how the US measures racial and ethnic identity and how that information is used to produce statistics on the health of the elderly. This chapter identifies and examines some of the major problems in the national system of collecting and reporting on health disparities due to inconsistencies in reporting of racial and ethnic information.