In the 1980 Dominican census, 16 percent of the population were classified as blanco (‘white’), 73 percent were classified as indio (‘indian-colored’), a term used to refer to the phenotype of individuals who match stereotypes of combined African and European ancestry and 11 percent were classified as negro [‘black’] (Haggerty, 1991). These categories are social constructions, rather than objective reflections of phenotypes. The positive social connotations of “whiteness,” for example, lead many Caribbean Hispanics to identify themselves as white for the public record regardless of their precise phenotype (Dominguez, 1978:9). Judgments of color in the Dominican Republic also depend in part upon social attributes of an individual, as they do elsewhere in Latin America. Money, education and power, for example, “whiten” an individual, so that the color attributed to a higher class individual is often lighter than the color that would be attributed to an individual of the same phenotype of a lower class (Rout, 1976:287).
Dominican-American Etbnic/Racial Identities and United States Social Categories
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2006
International Migration Review
Volume 35, Issue 3, pages 677–708, September 2001
How to Cite
Bailey, B. (2001), Dominican-American Etbnic/Racial Identities and United States Social Categories. International Migration Review, 35: 677–708. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2001.tb00036.x
- Issue published online: 23 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 23 FEB 2006
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