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Racism is a concept that has been all but ignored in the literature on racial and ethnic demography. This is in spite of the fact that racism has become increasingly salient in the context of the dramatic increase in racial and ethnic diversity in the United States. This paper formerly introduces racism into the lexicon of demography. Specifically, there are three objectives of this paper: 1) to critique the manner in which racism has been addressed in the area of racial and ethnic demography; 2) to provide a theoretical framework to facilitate the use of racism as a variable of demographic analysis--the population and structural change thesis; and 3) to provide examples as to how studies in racial and ethnic demography can be enhanced by the inclusion of racism as a variable of explanation. The paper concludes with a call for further research on the role that racism plays in racial and ethnic demography.


An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1998 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco, California. The author wishes to thank Beverlyn Lundy Allen, Glenn Deane, Nancy Denton, Richard Lachman and Stewart Tolnay for their helpful comments. Please direct all correspondence to Hayward Derrick Horton at or Dept. of Sociology, SUNY-Albany, Albany, NY 12222.



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