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Discrimination and migration: race

Migration A–Z


  1. Beth Frankel Merenstein

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm177

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Merenstein, B. F. 2013. Discrimination and migration: race. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The construction of racial categories and the racism existent in the United States are politically, culturally, and socially related to each other. How groups define themselves, and how groups are defined by others, are very much dependent on the way the racial social structure and racial hierarchy are expressed. At one time, our primarily binary construction (white and black) was due to the kind of racism – overt Jim Crow style – in existence. Currently, the way we see ourselves and the way we define others has as much to do with who is in our surrounding environment as with the larger social structure. In this case, consider California and the differences between San Diego and San Francisco. In the former, a large Mexican and Mexican American population will influence the perceptions and relations between different groups. However, in San Francisco, it is the larger Asian and Asian American community that will likely be influencing the social and political climate there. In this way, we can begin to understand the complex and varied ways in which immigration and migration influence both the social construction of race and the corresponding and related dimensions of racism.


  • race;
  • racism;
  • ethnocentrism;
  • identity politics;
  • violence;
  • labor;
  • slavery