Sociology

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    The Bangladeshi diaspora in the United States: History and portrait
    (MDPI, 2023) Akhter, Morsheda; Yang, Philip Q.
    Despite the rapid growth of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the USA, knowledge about this new diasporic community remains very limited. This study argues and demonstrates that the Bangladeshi diaspora in the USA is a fast-growing and sizable diasporic community that requires systematic research and better understanding. It delineates the history of the Bangladeshi diaspora to the USA in four periods and documents the phenomenal growth of the Bangladeshi diasporic community in the USA since 1981, using data from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). By taking into account the legal Bangladeshi immigration as well as the emigration and mortality rates of immigrants and undocumented Bangladeshi immigration, it estimates the current size of the Bangladeshi diasporic community in the USA at about 500,000 instead of a range of low-to-mid 200,000s normally cited. Additionally, using the pooled samples of the 2001–2019 American Community Surveys (ACS) and other ACS data, as well as the DHS data, this paper provides a demographic and socioeconomic portrait of the Bangladeshi diasporic community in the USA. The findings are generalizable to the population and fill some important gaps in the literature.
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    Recent trends in American attitudes toward the level of immigration
    (Association For Ethnic Studies, 2019) Yang, Philip Q.; Mena, Marco
    In the current immigration debate, although illegal immigration is at the center of the controversy, legal immigration is also gaining attention. However, there is a lack of analysis of how American attitudes toward the level of legal immigration have changed in the recent years of the twenty-first century. This study investigates recent trends in American attitudes toward the level of immigration to the United States using data from General Social Surveys 2004–2014. Bivariate analysis indicates that, contrary to popular expectations, American attitudes toward support for an increased level of immigration had actually become somewhat more positive from 2004 to 2014. The results of multiple regression analysis show that, controlling for other variables, American attitudes toward support for an increased level of immigration have remained more positive since 2010. This article explores plausible explanations for the more positive trends.
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    Trends in black-white church integration
    (Association For Ethnic Studies, 2009) Yang, Philip Q.; Smith, Starlita
    Historically, the separation of blacks and whites in churches was well known (Gilbreath 1995; Schaefer 2005). Even in 1968, about four years after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still said that “eleven o'clock on Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week” (Gilbreath 1995:1). His reference was to the entrenched practice of black and white Americans who worshiped separately in segregated congregations even though as Christians, their faith was supposed to bring them together to love each other as brothers and sisters. King's statement was not just a casual observation. One of the few places that civil rights workers failed to integrate was churches. Black ministers and their allies were at the forefront of the church integration movement, but their stiffest opposition often came from white ministers. The irony is that belonging to the same denomination could not prevent the racial separation of their congregations. In 1964, when a group of black women civil rights activists went to a white church in St. Augustine, Florida to attend a Sunday service, the women were met by a phalanx of white people with their arms linked to keep the activists out (Bryce 2004). King's classic “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was a response to white ministers who criticized him and the civil rights movement after a major civil rights demonstration (King [2002]).
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    Social distances of whites to racial or ethnic minorities
    (Association For Ethnic Studies, 2011) Michalikova, Nina; Yang, Philip Q.
    Prior research on social distance between racial or ethnic groups in the United States has focused mainly on attitudes of white Americans toward African Americans. Extending previous research, this study analyzes social distances of whites to racial or ethnic minority groups by investigating how whites feel about blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. The main hypothesis is that whites feel coolest toward blacks, warmest toward Asians, and somewhat in between toward Hispanics. The 2002 General Social Survey and ordinary least squares regression are used to test the hypothesis. The results indicate that contrary to our hypothesis, whites feel coolest toward Asians, warmest toward Hispanics, and somewhat in between toward blacks. Nativity, religious similarity/dissimilarity, racial hierarchy and tension, proximity of the country of origin, and group diversity may offer plausible explanations for the unexpected result. This study also examines which types of whites are more likely to maintain a greater or smaller social distance with the three minority groups. Implications of the findings for race and ethnic relations today are addressed.
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    Location choice patterns of computer use in the United States
    (Institute of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan Normal University, 2009) Yi, Zhixian; Yang, Philip Q.
    There is little research on the patterns of computer use outside home or work. This study examines who is more or less likely to use a computer at a location other than work or home by using the 2002–2004 General Social Survey data and logistic regression analysis. Demographic variables (such as age, race, marital status, and region), socioeconomic status (such as education and family income), self employment, and satisfaction with financial situation are significant predictors of computer use at locations other than home or work; but occupation and gender make no difference. The findings will help institutions to provide computer infrastructure support and services for customers in public places, and especially help schools and libraries to improve computer labs and services.
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    Are older people really happier than younger people?
    (Georgia Sociological Association, 2021) Yang, Philip Q.; Leone, Erica
    In recent years, many media reports have claimed that older people are happier than younger people. We question the total validity of this claim. Analyzing data from General Social Surveys 1972-2016, this study reveals that the happiness of older adults depends on their health status and economic status, and it also detects a significant J-shaped relationship between age and happiness over a lifetime. Additionally, we find significant differences in happiness across generations and over time. Our findings challenge the popular claim in the media reports and the U-shaped and inverted U-shaped patterns detected in the academic literature and provide a more complete picture of the relationship between age and happiness.
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    Patterns of interracial and interethnic marriages among foreign-born Asians in the United States
    (MDPI, 2018) Yang, Philip Q.; Bohm-Jordan, Maggie
    This study examines the patterns of interracial marriage and interethnic marriage among foreign-born Asians in the United States, using pooled data from the 2008–2012 American Community Surveys. Results show that the most dominant pattern of marriage among foreign-born Asians was still intra-ethnic marriage and that interracial marriage, especially with whites, rather than interethnic marriage among Asians, remained the dominant pattern of intermarriages. Out of all foreign-born Asian marriages, inter-Asian marriages stayed at only about 3%. Among all foreign-born Asian groups, Japanese were most likely to marry interracially and interethnically, while Asian Indians had the lowest rates of interracial marriage and interethnic marriage. Foreign-born Asian women were more likely to interracially marry, especially with whites, than foreign-born Asian men, but they were not much different from foreign-born Asian men in terms of their interethnic marriage rate. The findings have significant implications for intermarriage research, assimilation, and Asian American panethnicity.
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    Explaining personal and public pro-environmental behaviors
    (MDPI, 2023) Yang, Philip Q.; Wilson, Michaela LaNay
    A global crisis generated by human-made climate change has added urgency to the need to fully understand human pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) that may help slow down the crisis. Factors influencing personal and public PEBs may or may not be the same. Only a few studies have empirically investigated the determinants of personal and public PEBs simultaneously, but they contain major limitations with mixed results. This study develops a conceptual model for explaining both personal and public PEBs that incorporate demographic, socioeconomic, political, and attitudinal variables, and their direct and indirect effects. Using the latest available data from the 2010 General Social Survey and structural equation modeling (SEM), we tested the determinants of both personal and public PEBs in the United States. The results reveal that environmental concerns, education, and political orientation demonstrate similar significant impacts on both personal and public PEBs, but income, gender, race, urban/rural residency, region, and party affiliation have differential effects on these behaviors. Age, cohort, and religion have no significant effect on both types of behaviors. Our results confirm some existing findings; however, they challenge the findings of much of the literature.
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    Trends in attitudes of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics toward intermarriage in the twenty-first century
    (MDPI, 2021) Yang, Philip Q.; Prost, Jonbita
    No study has simultaneously compared attitudes of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics toward intermarriage over time. This study offers a comparative analysis of the changes in attitudes of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics toward intermarriage with different racial or ethnic groups in the twenty-first century, using nationally representative samples from General Social Surveys 2000–2018. Our trend analyses reveal that whites’ support for intermarriage with minorities has generally increased, albeit at a relatively lower level; blacks’ support for intermarriage with Asians, Hispanics, and whites has been quite stable at a relatively high level; Asians’ and Hispanics’ support for intermarriage with other minorities has generally shown an upswing trend with some minor fluctuations, but their support for intermarriage with whites has gone in the opposite direction with oscillations. The results of our generalized linear ordinal logistic regression models show that either including or excluding control variables, whites’ attitudes have become generally more supportive of intermarriage with minorities, blacks’ support for intermarriage has displayed an undulated pattern, and Asians’ and Hispanics’ support for intermarriage reveal diverse patterns depending on the group to intermarry with. The findings indicate a general trend of narrowing intergroup social distances as well as some increases in social distance between certain groups in the United States in the twenty-first century.
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    The “Becoming White Thesis” revisited
    (Georgia Sociological Association, 2016) Yang, Philip Q.; Koshy, Kavitha
    The claim that some non-Anglo-Saxon European immigrant groups such as the Irish, Italians, and Jews became white in historical America has largely been taken for granted these days, but we see a need for a qualified rectification of this thesis. Did these non-Anglo-Saxon European immigrant groups really become white? We argue that the answer to this question depends on how “becoming white” is defined. We have found no evidence to support the “becoming white thesis” in terms of change in the official racial classification of these groups in the record of social institutions such as U.S. censuses, naturalization laws, and court cases. Changes in the meaning of race in U.S. racial and ethnic lexicon explain why there is a discourse on how these non-Anglo-Saxon European groups changed their “races” to white. If “becoming white” did happen to these groups, its real meaning was a change in their social status from a minority group to part of the majority group rather than in racial classification. Evidence lends credence to this argument. Our findings help settle a debate about if some non-Anglo-Saxon European immigrant groups became white and have implications for race relations today and its pedagogy.
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    Trends in whites’ perceived black-white residential integration, 1972-2008
    (Georgia Sociological Association, 2012) Yang, Philip Q.; Koshy, Kavitha
    Trends and patterns in black-white residential segregation or integration in the United States have been studied extensively at an aggregate level (e.g., census tract or block-group) using census and survey data. This study examines trends in whites' perceived black-white residential integration using individual-level data from the 1972-2008 General Social Surveys. Our bivariate and logistic regression analyses show that, at the national level, the rate and likelihood of whites’ self-reports of sharing the same residential neighborhood with blacks had continuously increased from 1972 to 2008. Our regional analyses further confirm that the rates of whites’ self-reports of living with blacks in the same residential neighborhood had risen in the same period uniformly across regions with the South making the greatest strides and that, controlling for other variables, the likelihood of whites' perceived black-white residential integration had increased dramatically in the South since the late 1980s and relatively slowly in other regions. We also identify the profile of whites who are more or less likely to report living with blacks in the same neighborhood. The implications of the findings are addressed.
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    Transnationalism and genealogy: An introduction
    (MDPI, 2019) Yang, Philip Q.
    Transnationalism and genealogy is an emerging subfield of genealogy. The field has witnessed a significant growth in the last two to three decades, especially in the areas of transnationalism and family arrangements, transnational marriage, transnational adoption, transnational parenting, and transnational care for elderly parents. However, large gaps remain, especially with regard to the impact of transnationalism on lineage. Articles in this Special Issue fill some of the gaps. Additional research is called for.
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    Changes in American attitudes toward immigrant-native job competition
    (Madridge, 2017) Yang, Philip Q.
    It is often perceived that the American public has been concerned about immigrantnative job competition for at least the last two to three decades. Less is known about the changing attitudes of Americans in this regard. This paper examines changes in American attitudes toward competition of immigrants with the native-born and changes in the determinants of such attitudes, using data from General Social Surveys 1996, 2004, and 2014. It is found that the percentage of Americans who rejected the statement that “Immigrants take jobs away from people who were born in America” had actually increased from 28.4% in 1996 to 34.6% in 2004 and to 42.8% in 2014. Results of multiple regression reveal that nativity, education, race, and region were consistent predictors of attitudes toward immigrant-native job competition across the three points in time, but subjective class standing and political party affiliation were significant predictors only in 2004 but not in the other years. The implications of findings are discussed.
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    Health insurance coverage before and after the Affordable Care Act in the USA
    (MDPI, 2021) Patrick, Jesse; Yang, Philip Q.
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the crossroads. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACA in order to make rational decisions about the ongoing healthcare reform, but existing research into its effect on health insurance status in the United States is insufficient and descriptive. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2009 to 2015, this study examines changes in health insurance status and its determinants before the ACA in 2009, during its partial implementation in 2010–2013, and after its full implementation in 2014 and 2015. The results of trend analysis indicate a significant increase in national health insurance rate from 82.2% in 2009 to 89.4% in 2015. Logistic regression analyses confirm the similar impact of age, gender, race, marital status, nativity, citizenship, education, and poverty on health insurance status before and after the ACA. Despite similar effects across years, controlling for other variables, youth aged 26 or below, the foreign-born, Asians, and other races had a greater probability of gaining health insurance after the ACA than before the ACA; however, the odds of obtaining health insurance for Hispanics and the impoverished rose slightly during the partial implementation of the ACA, but somewhat declined after the full implementation of the ACA starting in 2014. These findings should be taken into account by the U.S. Government in deciding the fate of the ACA.
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    Support for health insurance coverage for legal abortion in the United States
    (MDPI, 2021) Henderson, Charley; Yang, Philip Q.
    The use of health insurance to cover legal abortion is a controversial issue on which Americans are sharply divided. Currently, there is a lack of research on this issue as data became available only recently. Using data from the newly released General Social Survey in 2018, this study examines who is more or less likely to support health insurance coverage for legal abortion. The results show that the support and opposition were about evenly divided. The findings from the logistic regression analysis reveal that, holding other variables constant, Democrats, liberals, urban residents, the more educated, and the older were more likely to support health insurance coverage for legal abortion while women, Southerners, Christians, the currently married, and those with more children were less likely to favor it, compared to their respective counterparts. Additionally, the effect of education was stronger for liberals than for non-liberals. Race, family income, and full-time work status make no difference in the outcome. The findings have significant implications for research and practices in health insurance coverage for legal abortion.
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    Trust in doctors: Are African Americans less likely to trust their doctors than white Americans?
    (Sage, 2012) Guiffey, Thomas; Yang, Philip Q.
    Prior research yields mixed results about black–white difference in trust in their doctors, and existing studies are often based on nonrepresentative, local, or cross-sectional samples. Using data from the 1998, 2002, and 2006 General Social Surveys—nationally representative samples—and ordinary least squares regression, this study reexamines this issue. It was expected that blacks are less likely to trust their doctors than whites either before or after controlling for other predictors of trust and that there was no significant change in this relationship over the time period under study. The results indicate that blacks were less likely to trust their doctors than whites only in 2002, but not in 1998 and 2006. This finding suggests that, even with the same source of data, empirical support for the claim about the less trust of blacks in doctors than whites is less robust than conventional belief, and it calls for additional, careful reexamination.
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    How does race moderate the effect of religion dimensions on attitudes toward the death penalty?
    (MDPI, 2022) Sabriseilabi, Soheil; Williams, James; Sadri, Mahmoud
    We examined the moderating role of race on the relationship between religion and death penalty attitudes in the United States. We operationalized religion by distinguishing four dimensions: religiosity, spirituality, afterlife beliefs, and denomination. Using 2018 General Social Survey data from 1054 adults, collected by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, we show that the impact of each dimension of religion varies across racial groups. Logistic Regression results showed that the likelihood of support for the death penalty was associated with religiosity, spirituality, belief in hell, being female, and being liberal. Adding race as an interaction term moderated the associations of religiosity and spirituality.
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    Skin deep: Enhanced variable may help explain racial disparities in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
    (Springer, 2017-06) Lo, Celia C.; Lara, Joanna; Cheng, Tyrone C.
    Introduction: The study refined definitions of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes (Pre-/T2D) via its four-category outcome variable. Respondents were identified as Pre-/T2D on the basis of (a) doctor’s diagnosis only (i.e., managed Pre-/T2D); (b) biomarker only (i.e., undiagnosed Pre-/T2D); or (c) both diagnosis and biomarker (i.e., unmanaged Pre-/T2D). The reference was Pre-/T2D not indicated. We linked the outcome to social structural and social support factors, health care-related factors, mental disorder, and lifestyle variables, for each racial/ethnic group.
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    How student satisfaction factors affect perceived learning
    (Indiana University's Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), 2010-01) Lo, Celia C.
    Data from students in two sections of a general education course offered at a research university in spring 2009 were used to explore whether student satisfaction factors are associated with perceived learning as rated by students. A list of 22 elements in the learning environment was explored. The 22 were used in creating 3 satisfaction factors related to the roles of student, instructor, and policy. The study showed all of these satisfaction factors to be associated with higher rates of perceived learning, measured via students’ expectations of academic success. The findings’ implications for practice are briefly discussed.