About the Talk
How are White Americans reacting to ongoing diversification? Prior work identifies two sets of reactions: (1) Whites identify more strongly with ingroup members, and (2) they withhold material and symbolic resources from outgroup members. I explore another possibility: Whites may alter the boundary around Whiteness by redefining the criteria for membership. The project uses an original survey experiment to examine how demographic threat affects US Whites' classification of people who are racially ambiguous. The results reveal that Whites are less––not more––likely to classify people who are ambiguously White or Latino as "White" under threat. The results contribute to a growing literature on the racial classification of multiracial and racially ambiguous people that has previously ignored ambiguity around the Latino category; they also speak to an active debate about highly publicized demographic projections and the classification decisions on which they rest.