CitationGuluma, Beka & Saperstein, Aliya (2022). Consistent Divisions or Methodological Decisions? Assessing the U.S. Racial Hierarchy Across Outcomes. Race and Social Problems. , PMCID: PMC8792454
AbstractScholars have offered a range of perspectives on the twenty-first century racial landscape with little consensus about either the current state of the U.S. racial hierarchy or its future trajectory. We offer a more comprehensive assessment, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to study racial stratification across a number of socioeconomic outcomes. We pay particular attention to the robustness of results across different categorization schemes that account for self-identification and interviewer classification, as well as racial fluidity. Although we observe that White and Asian Americans generally have the best socioeconomic outcomes, on average, while Black Americans and American Indians have the worst, we also find meaningful differences in patterns of stratification both across outcomes and depending on how race is operationalized. These differences in stratification are reflected in the estimated number of strata as well as the rank order of racial categories. Our results suggest that ongoing debates about the nature of the U.S. racial hierarchy can be partly explained by methodological decisions about which outcomes to study and how best to measure race.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleRace and Social Problems