What Do We Mean by “Ethnicity” and “Race”? A Consensual Qualitative Research Investigation of Colloquial Understandings

Title

What Do We Mean by “Ethnicity” and “Race”? A Consensual Qualitative Research Investigation of Colloquial Understandings

Identifier

https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030081

Description

Abstract: Lack of clarity and questionable congruence between researcher and participant understandings of ethnicity and race challenge the validity and impact of research utilizing these concepts. We aimed to both elucidate the multiple meanings that research participants in the United States might bring to questions about ethnicity and race and examine their relation to formal conceptualizations of these variables. We used consensual qualitative research-modified analyses to conduct thematic content analysis of 151 responses to open-ended survey questions about meanings of ethnicity and race. Participants included a racially diverse sample of 53 males, 87 females, and 11 unidentified gender with a mean age of 28.71 years. Results indicated that the most frequent colloquial meanings of ethnicity included origin, culture, ancestry, related or similar to race, social similarity, religion, and identity. The most frequent colloquial meanings of race included physical characteristics, ethnicity, origin, social grouping, ancestry, and imposed categorization. Results also illustrated how participants approached defining ethnicity and race. Results support the acknowledged and critiqued colloquial confounding of ethnicity and race and indicate a lack of agreed upon meaning between lay representations/meanings and formal meanings used by social scientists. This incongruence threatens valid operationalizations for research and challenges our ability to use these concepts in interventions to promote social justice and psychological health.

Creator

Curley, Micaela
Mukkamala, Shruti
Suyemoto, Karen L.

Source

Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030081

Publisher

MDPI

Date

2020-08-01

Rights

CC BY

Language

English

Type

Text

Coverage

United States

Social Bookmarking

Comments

Collection

Citation

Curley, Micaela Mukkamala, Shruti Suyemoto, Karen L., “What Do We Mean by “Ethnicity” and “Race”? A Consensual Qualitative Research Investigation of Colloquial Understandings,” Anti-Racism Digital Library, accessed December 2, 2020, https://sacred.omeka.net/items/show/377.