Sunday, November 23, 2008

Asian overlords? When I analyze ethnic data, I'm usually concerned with whether or not immigrant groups will make a contribution to the country. Uneducated groups like Hispanics are expanding the lower ranks of society and adding to the country's social problems.

But I haven't analyzed power. If immigrant groups are ethnocentric enough, large enough, and smart enough, they can dominate and potentially exploit the rest of us.

Following this line of thinking, I used General Social Survey data to calculate standardized scores for important racial/ethnic groups for the following three factors: 1) degree that people think of ethnicity first when considering social and political issues; 2) mean group IQs; and 3) the size of the ethnic group. I summed the three standardized scores, which gives equal weight to each factor. Here are the summed scores from most powerful to least:

Ethnic power index

Asians 2.07
Non-Jewish whites 1.79
Jews 1.21
Blacks 0.23
Hispanics -0.76
American Indians -1.94

Asians at the top is a big surprise--they don't seem to be a big player currently--but the reasons for the high number are clear: their high IQ and high ethnocentric scores (not as "Asians" but as Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indians, etc). On the one hand, the number exaggerates the situation since this group is made up of many diverse groups. Chinese Americans may identify strongly with their group, but as far as I know, there is no Chinese-Asian Indian organizing. On the other hand, the high number points at least to high potential power, and sticking with the Chinese/Indian example, there are unlimited numbers of potential immigrants from those countries.

Non-Jewish whites have a high number obviously because they are the giant in the bunch. They do not rise to the top because there is very little ethnocentricity among this group. (You can find some among Italian, Irish, and Polish Americans). If whites were as ethnocentric as Asians, their total score would be 4.70.

Jews have a high score because of a very high mean IQ along with moderate ethnocentricity.

The low mean IQs of blacks and Hispanics give them low power scores, and the Latino number is lower because they are less ethnocentric. Their population would have to grow dramatically to make them a real power player.

I included American Indians for contrast. They are way below everyone else because they have low scores on all three dimensions--even ethnocentricity. (Now that I think about it, I should have excluded the whites who say their ethnicity is Native American.) Moral of the story: do not allow yourselves to become like American Indians.

(Question: do you think I should have assumed these factors operate in a multiplicative way?)


  1. Isn't it obviously multiplicative?

    If you have 0 ethnocentrism then you are a 0 ethnocentric threat, regardless of your income. Even if you totally dominate the power structure -- displacing all others -- the only thing you bring to the table is meritorious fulfillment of the duties of these positions of high responsibility, trust and power.

  2. I should add, however, that "ethnocentric" may be an unconscious genetically programmed behavioral phenotype so you'd need to have more objective measures of ethnocentrism than most sociologists would tolerate looking for with their hostility toward sociobiology.

  3. Anonymous6:20 AM

    "Jews have a high score because of a very high mean IQ along with moderate ethnocentricity"

    Moderate? Just "moderate"?

    Moderate. You call Jews moderately ethnocentric.

    Have you ever lived in the NYC area?

  4. Anonymous6:24 AM

    i think theres something wrong with the american indian data your using, is there a number for those that refused to take the survey.

  5. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Coming from Vancouver, BC, I have seen asians in action and have been banging that drum for years. "Yellow Peril" is right!

  6. luis, there may be a great deal of self-deception among Jews. I suspect that the vast majority of Jews tend to see other Jews as more ethnocentric than themselves -- not as a consequence of any "self-hating" prejudice on their part, but as a consequence of their better ability to perceive the effects of others' behaviors.

  7. Since Obama had his aunt living here illegally, others will think they can do the same as the elitist illuminati. So watch the illegals come make themselves right at home.


Study: Does a strong ethnic identity make whites happier?

The General Social Survey asked respondents, "When you think about yourself, how important is your ethnic group membership to your sens...