Friday, April 08, 2011

Racial identification among whites by ethnic group

MIDUS Study participants (all Americans) were asked how closely do they identify with their race. Answers were scored like this: very closely (4), somewhat closely (3), not very closely (2), not at all (1). I calculated the means for whites by ethnicity:

Mean racial identfication score (sample size = 4,088)

Greek 3.45
Mexican 3.40
Jewish 3.38
Polish 3.32
Dutch 3.29
Hungarian 3.27
Italian 3.26
Russian 3.23
Lebanese 3.20
Swedish 3.20
Irish 3.19

All whites 3.18

English 3.17
German 3.17
Scottish 3.16
French 3.11
Portuguese 3.00
Czech 2.92
Spanish 2.87


Looking at all whites, the typical person is somewhere between identifying somewhat closely and very closely with his race.  The difference between Greek and Spanish Americans is sixth-tenths of a standard deviation--a pretty big gap.

There might be a tendency for the pride among minorities like Greeks, Jews, and Mexicans to spill over into racial identification. Ethnic pride might facilitate racial pride.

20 comments:

IHTG said...

The disparity between Mexicans and Spanish is pretty interesting.

Anonymous said...

Do Mexicans really count as a "white" ethnic group? Interesting data in any case. The Irish and English are statistically equal.

Anonymous said...

"Race" in this case means Mexican, Swedish, Jewish, etc, right?

Ron Guhname said...

No, race means white.

Ron Guhname said...

"Do Mexicans really count as a "white" ethnic group?"

The sample is limited to Mexican Americans who self-identify racially as white.

SFG said...

"Do Mexicans really count as a "white" ethnic group?"

They can. Seen Mexico's upper class lately?

SFG said...

As for the Spanish, white Latin Americans (of whom I know quite a few) tend to downplay their ethnicity due to the stigma. Spaniards are probably aware of the association of Spanish with low-income immigrants and decide to lay low about their heritage.

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Anonymous said...

Jews identify strongly as white? Is that what this data is saying?

IHTG said...

Yes.

SFG said...

"Yes."

N of 1, but I always thought I was white until I got on the Internet, interested in HBD, and discovered I wasn't. I mean, my skin's really pale, right?

Sure I knew Jews were supposed to be liberal, but I thought it was mostly fear of the Christian Right and residual reaction against the Nazis; every group has their neuroses, that kind of thing. God knows the Irish don't like the Brits...

Kevin MacDonald may be right on an empiric level, but if there was a secret clique of Jews plotting to destroy the white race, they left me out of it. Then again, I never went to temple or did anything Jewish, so maybe this is one of those group norms I missed out on.

Anyone else care to comment?

IHTG said...

SFG: Sure, I have an anecdote.
I used to live in the United States, many years ago. One day, I had to fill out a survey at school. I was just a kid, and since Israel was in Asia, I wrote down that I was "Asian".
I told my father about this later on and he was pissed. You are white, he shouted. Note, I am not an Ashkenazi Jew, and my father is a fairly swarthy man.

It's likely that in my case, my dad was afraid that I would alienate myself from the mainstream by putting myself in a non-white category. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of some things that Steve Sailer has written about recently.

SFG said...

"I told my father about this later on and he was pissed. You are white, he shouted. Note, I am not an Ashkenazi Jew, and my father is a fairly swarthy man."

Sephardics are probably more eager to gain status by being classed as 'white', whereas Ashkenazim, already being thought of as 'white', are more eager to gain status by claiming not to be white (or rather, ethnic). A paradox worthy of Chesterton.

I've also noticed Israelis tend to be more conservative--something about defending your country against lots of hostile non-Westerners, I think.

Personally, while I think the whole pro-immigration thing may have made sense in 1939, it's counterproductive for all concerned to swamp the country with Mexicans who don't think they're white (and think Jews are). I think the country's just fine the way it is and I want it to well. I don't expect Abe Foxman to take calls from me anytime soon, though.

Anonymous said...

God knows the Irish don't like the Brits...

The Irish have a good deal more reason to dislike the Brits than the Jews do to dislike the Christian Right.

SFG said...

"The Irish have a good deal more reason to dislike the Brits than the Jews do to dislike the Christian Right."

Eminently true (and one of the reasons the Irish are pro-Palestinian). My point was just that every group has its neuroses, Jews like any other (and likely a bit more than the others--I suspect a lot of Jews with low neuroticism wound up as soap).

SFG said...

Correction: little soap was actually made from concentration camp inmates in WWII. Air pollution?

And, enough about Jews already, this topic is about all types of whites :) Ron, any other way to test the 'clubbability' hypothesis? Likelihood of belonging to volunteer organizations, perhaps?

Walter said...

Mexicans are not white.

The CIA world fact book puts over 90% of Mexicans as: Amerindians and Mestizos.

Probably less than 6% of Mexicans are white.

Walter said...

Also, black admixture is fairly widespread in Mexico.

A good chunk of the population also has negro admixture.

Ron Guhname said...

"Mexicans are not white."

Few Mex-Ams are 100% Euro ancestry. This one-drop stuff needs to be scrapped. At one level, you're white if you say you are.

Walter said...

It's not merely a matter of a "drop" when looking at a mestizo who's at least 50% Amerindian and probably 5% black.