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Marissa Thompson (Columbia University) – They have Black in their blood”: Exploring how genetic ancestry tests affect racial appraisals and classifications

March 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Sociology seminar – Thursdays

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm 
Date: 14th March 2024
Place: room 3105

ZOOM LINK: https://zoom.us/j/94347463321?pwd=Z1BoT3ViY1V3TUVzcFQ1azRQckdDZz09

Marissa Thompson (Columbia University) – They have Black in their blood”: Exploring how genetic ancestry tests affect racial appraisals and classifications

Abstract:

How do genetic ancestry tests (GATs) affect how Black Americans decide when others can – or cannot – identify as Black? This study explores the role of GATs in shaping racial appraisal and classification logics. Using a pre-registered nationally representative survey experiment that integrates causal inference with computational text analysis, we disentangle how ancestry (as measured by a GAT) affects how U.S.-born Black Americans draw boundaries around group membership and how these effects vary across setting and prior identification. We find that, though higher levels of Sub-Saharan African ancestry predict higher likelihoods of approval and classification as Black, even individuals with low levels of such ancestry are likely to have their self-identification validated by respondents, consistent with the practice of hypodescent. Furthermore, ancestry treatment effects are primarily mediated by perceptions of the integrity of the individual’s self-identification, suggesting that respondents believe there exists an underlying legitimate and honest way to identify that is partially based on one’s GAT result. However, we also find that the aspects that affect approval and evaluations differ from those that affect classification; the ways that respondents selectively integrate different sources of information, including ancestry, occurs via a dual appraisal and classification process which we term racial contextualism.  

 

https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/8tnrk

 

 

Organizers: Annina Cleasson, Paola Tubaro, Patrick Präg (CREST Sociology unit)

 

Sponsors: CREST