June 13, 2015

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS RACE:

The Growth of 'Multiracial' America (NEIL SHAH, 6/12/15, WSJ)

A few caveats: "Race" is a slippery and vexing intellectual concept, with a troubled history in the U.S. [...]

[P]ew's survey findings suggest U.S. multiracials are becoming more likely to embrace their multiethnic heritage rather than see it as a liability. That could mean even more interracial marriage and childbearing and a more diverse U.S. population.

Multiracial Americans are already growing at a rate three times as fast as the overall U.S. population. The share of marriages between spouses of different races has increased almost fourfold since 1980. The share of multiracial babies has risen from 1% in 1970 to 10% in 2013.

This process may be about to speed up.

If Asians and Hispanics--America's more recent, immigrant-influenced minorities--are most likely to celebrate their mixed heritage, that could mean "multiracial populations will explode even faster than we might have thought," says William Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer whose 2014 book, "Diversity Explosion," details how Hispanics, Asians and multiracial Americans are quickly transforming U.S. society.

Nearly 60% of white-Asian Americans said having a mixed racial background has been an advantage, Pew said. Around one-third of multiracial Hispanics said the same. [...]

As multiracial Americans become more comfortable with their identities--and as their ranks grow--the boundaries of these categories may start to erode. America's melting pot won't just hold different ingredients; it will turn into soup.

"The definition of race and race-related identity in America going forward will be more fluid than we have ever experienced," Mr. Frey says. "The concept of race will be fuzzy and may eventually fade away, despite its importance today."

Posted by at June 13, 2015 5:06 AM
  

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