Major and Classification
Leland Saito, Ph.D., Department of Sociology
Marshall: Business Administration
Research Gateway Project
“Perpetuating Segregation Through Racial Norms a Comparative Study on Multiracial Americans and Brazilians”
As the fastest growing population in the United States, the increasing number of multiracial Americans has generated speculations on how their racial ambiguity and interracial upbringing could affect shared perceptions of race, societal norms and conventions. This study aims to understand whether or not the increase in multiracial population is diminishing the salience of race while driving the racial dynamics in the United States to become more similar to highly mixed countries such as Brazil. Through a comparative analysis between multiracial Americans and Brazilian immigrants, this study examined 233 surveys responses with participants 29 different states and 14 in-depth interviews focusing on participant perceptions of racial norms and conventions. Particularly, this study looked at the extent to which racial boundaries influence in perpetuating or changing the dynamics of race. The data collected adds empirical evidence on how the environment and institutions can maintain or transform racial categories and alter the salience of race in one’s life. Examining race through social norms provides future studies a basis for understanding how race develops, becomes internalized, and changes overtime.