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Who Is Multiracial? Assessing the Complexity of Lived Race

David R. Harris and Jeremiah Joseph Sim
American Sociological Review
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Aug., 2002), pp. 614-627
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088948
Page Count: 14
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Who Is Multiracial? Assessing the Complexity of Lived Race
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Abstract

Patterns of racial classification in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health are examined. The survey's large sample size and multiple indicators of race permit generalizable claims about patterns and processes of social construction in the racial categorization of adolescents. About 12 percent of youth provide inconsistent responses to nearly identical questions about race, context affects one's choice of a single-race identity, and nearly all patterns and processes of racial classification depend on which racial groups are involved. The implications of the findings are discussed for users of data on race in general, and for the new census data in particular.

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