‘White Majority’ Essay by Richard Alba Prompts Debate

An essay by Distinguished Professor Richard Alba (Sociology) asserting the inaccuracy of an impending “white minority” has sparked attention at The American Prospect, which published four essays in response.  
 
Alba’s article maintained that U.S. Census projections were misleading because of an incorrect assumption: that children of marriages in which one parent is white and one is nonwhite will identify as nonwhite. 

In addition, the census considered the white “mainstream” as a fixed category even though the conception of whiteness, which has evolved in the past, will likely change again.
 
Reponding to Alba’s article were Kenneth Prewitt, former director of the Census Bureau and now Carnegie Professor of Social Affairs at Columbia University; William Darity Jr., Arts and Sciences Professor of Public Policy at Duke University; Harold Meyerson, the Prospect’s executive editor; and Frank Bean, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. 
 
“Census Bureau misrepresentations are contributing to (though not of themselves causing) the toxic political reactions to rising ethnoracial diversity,” Alba wrote in an in-depth response to the essays. “The binary framing of Census data reports encourages zero-sum thinking, and the distortions in them reinforce the fears of many older white Americans that growing diversity must mean a loss for them and their children.”
 

Submitted on: FEB 19, 2016

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News | Sociology