Ties on the fringes of identity

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29 Scopus citations


I use data on part-American Indian children in the 1990 Census 5% PUMS to assess my hypotheses that thick racial ties within the family constrain racial identification, and that structural aspects of the community (group size, inequality, and racial heterogeneity) affect racial identification when racial ties are thin within the family. American Indians present an interesting case study because their high levels of intermarriage and complex patterns of assimilation/identity retention for generations provide a varied group of people who could potentially identify their race as American Indian. Several hypotheses are supported by the data, signifying that racial identification among people with mixed-heritage is affected by the social world beyond individual psychology and racial ties within the family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-723
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • American Indians
  • Identity
  • Mixed race
  • Multiracial families
  • Racial identity


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