Intertwining the History and Biography of Race in America: American Indians, Whites, Blacks, and Multiracials in the 21st Century

Carolyn A Liebler, Meghan Zacher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Liebler and Zacher examine the relationship between a mixed-heritage persons answer to the census race and ancestry questions on the one hand, and characteristics of their local area on the other. Employing what C. Wright Mills (1959) called a sociological imagination they explore how certain historical factors have contributed to the personal biographies of mixed-heritage people in the United States. They use publicly available census and ACS microdata and multinomial logistic regression to predict the race/ancestry response of people with mixed white-American Indian heritage and of people with mixed black-American Indian heritage. They have found that measures of the history of the area are powerful predictors of the ways in which people report their multiracial heritage, as are measures of the contemporary racial context of the area. These results highlight the previously under-recognized relationship between a persons own racial identity and the history of the area in which they live.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2010

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