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Race-shifting in the United States: Latinxs, Skin Tone, and Ethnoracial Alignments

Race-shifting in the United States: Latinxs, Skin Tone, and Ethnoracial Alignments In the study, we engage the question of racial “fluidity” by examining patterns of ethnoracial identification in adolescence and, importantly, shifts in ethnoracial identification between adolescence and adulthood using two waves of data from a nationally representative, longitudinal study of adolescents who were in Grades 7 to 12 during the 1994 to 1995 school year. Our theoretical framework draws from social identity theory and brings together bodies of research in race and immigration to make a case for the importance of phenotype, ancestry, and sociocultural elements as potential mechanisms for patterns among Latinx youth, as shifts in ethnoracial identification are predominantly a Latinx phenomenon. The bulk of the findings suggest that both phenotype and immigration are important factors for ethnoracial self-identification among Latinx youth, as well as shifts in their ethnoracial identification in young adulthood. Given what we know about ethnoracial categorization and ascription, findings suggest that, overall, shifts in ethnoracial identification among Latinx youth are primarily about bringing their self-identification into alignment with how they think they tend to be (and most likely are) perceived by others, which we suggest represents a Sedimentation of the Color Line. We close by discussing the myriad implications of our findings for the U.S. racial order and the ongoing debate about how to “measure” the Latinx population. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Race-shifting in the United States: Latinxs, Skin Tone, and Ethnoracial Alignments

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2022
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/23326492221114813
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the study, we engage the question of racial “fluidity” by examining patterns of ethnoracial identification in adolescence and, importantly, shifts in ethnoracial identification between adolescence and adulthood using two waves of data from a nationally representative, longitudinal study of adolescents who were in Grades 7 to 12 during the 1994 to 1995 school year. Our theoretical framework draws from social identity theory and brings together bodies of research in race and immigration to make a case for the importance of phenotype, ancestry, and sociocultural elements as potential mechanisms for patterns among Latinx youth, as shifts in ethnoracial identification are predominantly a Latinx phenomenon. The bulk of the findings suggest that both phenotype and immigration are important factors for ethnoracial self-identification among Latinx youth, as well as shifts in their ethnoracial identification in young adulthood. Given what we know about ethnoracial categorization and ascription, findings suggest that, overall, shifts in ethnoracial identification among Latinx youth are primarily about bringing their self-identification into alignment with how they think they tend to be (and most likely are) perceived by others, which we suggest represents a Sedimentation of the Color Line. We close by discussing the myriad implications of our findings for the U.S. racial order and the ongoing debate about how to “measure” the Latinx population.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2022

Keywords: skin tone; Latinos; racial identity; change; ethnic minorities

References