Misclassified and Mistreated?: Racial Misclassification, Racial Discrimination and the Role of Context
Farrell, Allan P
Master of Arts
Race is a dynamic experience as individuals may be perceived as a race they do not identify with. This raises questions about reports of racial discrimination as they often depend on racial identification. Drawing on data from the 2006-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, this study examines the relationship between racial misclassification, when one identifies with a race they are not seen as, and discrimination across different racial groups both at work and when seeking healthcare. The results suggest that the misclassification is associated with the likelihood of perceiving racial discrimination, but this varies by racial group and setting. In the workplace, misclassification increases the odds of discrimination for Whites, but decreases these odds for Blacks and Latino/as. However, in healthcare, racial misclassification increases the likelihood of experiencing discrimination for Latino/as. This study provides evidence discrimination may be more sensitive to the ways someone is “seen” as opposed to identified.