New publication on race and ethnicity in America

February 15, 2017 by Kristie Auman-Bauer

Patterns and trends in racial and ethnic inequality over recent decades is the focus of a new publication published by John Iceland, professor and department head of sociology and criminology and Population Research Institute associate at Penn State.

In "Race and Ethnicity in America", published by University of California Press, Iceland demonstrates how color lines have generally softened when considered over a long period of time in the U.S. but deep-seated inequalities remain. "In general, I found that blacks, American Indians and some groups of Hispanics fare less well than others due to various reasons," said Iceland.

According to the book, the underlying causes of the disadvantages vary, and Iceland points to the legacy of racism and current discrimination, as well as the unfolding process of immigrant incorporation, among others. Throughout the book, Iceland also demonstrates the ways Americans define racial and ethnic groups, along with changing patterns of identification in the U.S. population, and how they influence our understanding of patterns and trends in racial and ethnic inequality.

The book includes chapters on causes of inequality, multiracial populations, of socioeconomic well-being among specific ethnic groups, and international comparisons and policy debates. The last chapter summarizes the main themes of the book and also discusses the trajectory of American color lines.

Iceland's research focuses on social demography, poverty, residential segregation, and immigration; he is the author of three previous on these issues. He also is the vice president-elect of the Population Association of America and co-editor of the journal Demography.

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