Dynamic Racial Triangulation: Examining the Racial Order using Two Experiments on Discrimination among Millennials

66 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019

See all articles by S. Michael Gaddis

S. Michael Gaddis

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research

Raj Ghoshal

Goucher College

Date Written: April 13, 2019

Abstract

Millennials are shaping up to be the most racially/ethnically diverse and most educated generation in the history of the U.S., leading many to suggest they are “post-racial.” Yet, racial inequality persists throughout society. Given these facts, what model most accurately depicts the coming racial order of the U.S.? We examine the structure of the racial order in two parts. First, we conduct a correspondence audit by sending over 4,500 emails of inquiry to “roommate wanted” advertisements and measuring response rates to uncover patterns of racial/ethnic and immigrant generational status discrimination. Next, we investigate the mechanisms behind these patterns using a survey experiment. We find consistent discrimination against African Americans, Latinas, and East Asians and some bias against South Asians. Discrimination against Asians is erased and attenuated against Latinas when our immigrant generational signal indicates “Americanization.” Furthermore, we find that while all non-Americanized racial/ethnic minority groups face some level of cultural exclusion, only African Americans also face discrimination due to negative valorization perceptions. Additional evidence suggests that Millennials are prone to social desirability bias. We suggest that rather than conform to any existing racial theory, Millennials enact an emerging racial order rooted in what we call dynamic racial triangulation.

Keywords: race/ethnicity, inequality, racial order, correspondence audit, discrimination

JEL Classification: C93, J60, J70, J71, L85, R20

Suggested Citation

Gaddis, S. Michael and Ghoshal, Raj, Dynamic Racial Triangulation: Examining the Racial Order using Two Experiments on Discrimination among Millennials (April 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3022208

S. Michael Gaddis (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research ( email )

337 Charles E Young Dr E
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Raj Ghoshal

Goucher College ( email )

1021 Dulaney Valley Road
Baltimore, MD 21204-2794
United States

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