Genetic Bio-Ancestry and Social Construction of Racial Classification in Social Surveys in the Contemporary United States.

TitleGenetic Bio-Ancestry and Social Construction of Racial Classification in Social Surveys in the Contemporary United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGuo G, Fu Y, Lee H, Cai T, Mullan Harris K, Li Y
JournalDemography
Date Published2013 Sep 10
Abstract

Self-reported race is generally considered the basis for racial classification in social surveys, including the U.S. census. Drawing on recent advances in human molecular genetics and social science perspectives of socially constructed race, our study takes into account both genetic bio-ancestry and social context in understanding racial classification. This article accomplishes two objectives. First, our research establishes geographic genetic bio-ancestry as a component of racial classification. Second, it shows how social forces trump biology in racial classification and/or how social context interacts with bio-ancestry in shaping racial classification. The findings were replicated in two racially and ethnically diverse data sets: the College Roommate Study (N = 2,065) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 2,281).

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0081359
Alternate JournalDemography