In an increasingly diverse America, the experience of race and racial discrimination is too often described as if it is the same for all racial and ethnic groups. Utilizing the perspective on ethnic and racial groups developed by Zolberg that stresses their contingent and dynamic nature, we explore ethnic and racial discrimination in depth. Drawing on data from the New York Second Generation Study we describe the experience of prejudice and discrimination among eight groups of young adults-native born whites, native born blacks, native born Puerto Ricans, and second generation Dominicans, South Americans, Chinese, West Indians and Russian Jews. While the experience of racial discrimination is common to many Americans, the nature and severity of that experience varies widely among the increasingly diverse people that are now often lumped together as "minorities" in the popular imagination. African Americans, and those who most often confused with African Americans (such as West Indians and dark-skinned Latinos) have different kinds of experiences than other non white groups. They face more systematic and brighter racial boundaries than do Asians and light-skinned Latinos. This creates more formidable obstacles for those defined as black, as opposed to those who are just "nonwhite" to full incorporation into American society. We propose a typology of types of discrimination that begins to unpack this complex phenomena.


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pp. 101-132
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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