Declining Significance of Race?: The Case of Japanese American Marriage Patterns

Hiromi Ono, Washington State University

Japanese Americans are a useful group with which to test the thesis that the significance of race is declining. They are often noted as having earnings similar to non-Hispanic whites, yet have also experienced exclusionary events in the U.S and exhibit a tendency toward racial/ethnic homogamy. I analyze the trends in Japanese Americans’ intermarriage level with non-Hispanic whites and their marriage timing relative to that of non-Hispanic whites using several data sets: the Japanese-American Research Project, the General Social Survey, the Census, and the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study. Of particular interest are their level of intermarriage with non-Hispanic whites and their marriage timing relative to whites (with some focus on German Americans and Italian Americans) before and after historical events such as the World War II internment and redress. Results have implications for the link between exclusionary historical events and the level of integration of a racial/ethnic group.

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Presented in Session 45: Demography of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders