What's behind a racial category? Uncovering heterogeneity among asian americans through a data-driven typology

Lucas G. Drouhot, Filiz Garip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite emphasis on the importance of intragroup heterogeneity in much theoretically inclined migration and race scholarship, quantitative research routinely relies on split sample approaches in which ethnoracial groups are the categories of analysis. This cumulatively contributes to the reification of groups under study when research findings are assessed and groups compared side by side. In this paper, we ask: How are Asian Americans internally differentiated, and how does this heterogeneity matter for broader patterns of immigrant inclusion? Using latent class analysis, we produce a typology at the intersection of class, gender, regional location, and immigrant generation, pointing to vulnerable, ordinary, hyper-selected, rooted, and achieving Asian Americans. These subgroups reveal differentiation in the experience of race and suggest that racialization and inclusion dynamics are jointly occurring social forces among Asian Americans. Our approach offers a blueprint for inductive analyses of immigrant-origin groups emphasizing heterogeneity and reflexivity vis-à-vis racial and national-origin categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-45
Number of pages24
JournalRSF
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • Asian Americans
  • Assimilation
  • Heterogeneity
  • Latent class analysis
  • Race

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