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Unformatted text preview: Annu. Rev. Sociol. 2004. 30:22142 doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.30.012703.110519 Copyright c 2004 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved First published online as a Review in Advance on March 5, 2004 A MERICAS C HANGING C OLOR L INES : Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Multiracial Identification Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-5100; email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. Key Words intermarriage, diversity, assimilation, Asians, Latinos, African Americans n Abstract Over the past four decades, immigration has increased the racial and ethnic diversity in the United States. Once a mainly biracial society with a large white majority and relatively small black minorityand an impenetrable color line dividing these groupsthe United States is now a society composed of multiple racial and ethnic groups. Along with increased immigration are rises in the rates of racial/ethnic intermarriage, which in turn have led to a sizeable and growing multiracial population. Currently, 1 in 40 persons identifies himself or herself as multiracial, and this figure could soar to 1 in 5 by the year 2050. Increased racial and ethnic diversity brought about by the new immigration, rising intermarriage, and patterns of multiracial identi- fication may be moving the nation far beyond the traditional and relatively persistent black/white color line. In this chapter, we review the extant theories and recent findings concerning immigration, intermarriage, and multiracial identification, and consider the implications for Americas changing color lines. In particular, we assess whether racial boundaries are fading for all groups or whether Americas newcomers are simply cross- ing over the color line rather than helping to eradicate it. INTRODUCTION By the year 2002, the number of foreign-born people living in the United States exceeded 34.2 million, with the size of the U.S.-born second generation about 31.5 million, so that immigrants and their children accounted for almost 66 million people, or about 23% of the U.S. population (Fix et al. 2003, U.S. Bureau of Census 2002). Unlike the immigrants who arrived at the turn of the twentieth century, todays immigrants are notable because they are mainly non-European. By the 1980s, only 12% of legal immigrants originated in Europe or Canada, whereas nearly 85% reported origins in Asia, Latin America, or the Caribbean (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service 2002, Waldinger & Lee 2001). According 0360-0572/04/0811-0221$14.00 221 A n n u . R e v . S o c i o l . 2 4 . 3 : 2 2 1- 2 4 2 . D o w n l o a d e d f r o m a r j o u r n a l s . a n n u a l r e v i e w s . o r g b y C O R N E L L U N I V E R S I T Y o n 9 / 1 5 / 9 . F o r p e r s o n a l u s e o n l y . 222 LEE BEAN to National Research Council projections, by the year 2050, Americas Latino and Asian populations are expected to triple, constituting about 25% and 8% of the U.S. population, respectively (Smith & Edmonston 1997). Once a largely biracialU....
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