Friday, February 05, 2010

Ethnicity among social scientists

The General Social Survey (GSS) sampled 118 American social scientists (economists, psychologists, sociologists, urban planners, and others). Here are the percentages by ethnicity:

The ratios are the share of all social scientists of a particular ethnicity compared to their share of the total population.  Americans of English, Italian and especially Jewish descent are overrepresented. Those of German, black, and especially Mexican heritage are underrepresented.  (Keep in mind that a GSS sample includes anyone who self-identifes as a social scientist, so it will include a lot of schmucks like me who barely count).


  1. mnuez9:52 PM

    I would guess that (noise accounted for) ratios of physicists would look similar, except for even less blacks

  2. @mnuez said,
    "I would guess that (noise accounted for) ratios of physicists would look similar, except for even less blacks"

    See this post...

    It's about the natural sciences, which includes physics, and it seems to look different than what we see for the social sciences.

    For example, Scottish seem to be the dominants ones there. And Jews are absent.

  3. And should we assume that the schmucks like you who barely count are mostly Jewish?

  4. Anonymous12:36 PM

    It's interesting that Black people are represented at a ratio close to population. I wonder if intelligent Black people are relatively overconcentrated in this profession (assuming fewer Black brights, which makes sense based on SATS and such).

    Possibly this would make sense if we assume that Black people are probably more sensitive and care more about to social problems (because of the association that they affect people who are of their ethnic group/the same class as their ethnic group).

    Maybe the fact that social science is relatively undemanding in terms of mathematics would be important as well, since that's more of a relative weakness compared to verbal. Plus people from relatively wordy/extrovert cultures may be relatively more interested in people.

    Of course, small sample size and all that.


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