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Fractures in the Color Line

Fractures in the Color Line Studies of social stratification and factors that contribute to inequalities by indices such as race, ethnicity, and gender are core contributions sociologists make to the discipline and to general discourse. The measurement and construction of such indices play a crucial role in the understanding or misunderstanding of inequalities in society. Focusing on within-group heterogeneity of persons of Hispanic origin, the authors examined the percentage of incarceration to demonstrate the varied understandings that arise from the changing definitions and categorizations of racial and ethnic groups in the United States. As social scientists, we often ask the general question of if and how racial and ethnic categorizations affect a specific area; however, we tend to pay less attention to how the exclusion of incarcerated persons from many of the national surveys that inform our areas of study affects the knowledge we produce. This is particularly important because the U.S. incarcerated population consists mostly of persons from marginalized groups. Not taking incarcerated populations into account paints a misleading picture of the United States regarding racial and ethnic inequalities. It is imperative that we recognize the implications of using race and ethnicity in studies such that our findings do not contribute to inaccurate representations of society. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2015
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649215587762
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Studies of social stratification and factors that contribute to inequalities by indices such as race, ethnicity, and gender are core contributions sociologists make to the discipline and to general discourse. The measurement and construction of such indices play a crucial role in the understanding or misunderstanding of inequalities in society. Focusing on within-group heterogeneity of persons of Hispanic origin, the authors examined the percentage of incarceration to demonstrate the varied understandings that arise from the changing definitions and categorizations of racial and ethnic groups in the United States. As social scientists, we often ask the general question of if and how racial and ethnic categorizations affect a specific area; however, we tend to pay less attention to how the exclusion of incarcerated persons from many of the national surveys that inform our areas of study affects the knowledge we produce. This is particularly important because the U.S. incarcerated population consists mostly of persons from marginalized groups. Not taking incarcerated populations into account paints a misleading picture of the United States regarding racial and ethnic inequalities. It is imperative that we recognize the implications of using race and ethnicity in studies such that our findings do not contribute to inaccurate representations of society.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2016

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