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How Combining Race and Ethnicity Questions Could Make Research Harder

Episode #12
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The Office of Management and Budget announced it would be combining race and ethnicity questions on all Federal forms, but one UNM scholar says the change could impact the ability to research and understand equity issues ranging from poverty to housing discrimination in the U.S. In this episode, Professor of Sociology Nancy López explains intersectionality in research and how the new Federal question format could complicate things in a major way.

Learn more about Professor Nancy López or her work with the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice.

Read more about OMB’s published revisions to Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 from the White House and from the U.S. Census. More information and an example of the proposed question is available in NPR’s story, Next U.S. census will have new boxes for ‘Middle Eastern or North African,’ ‘Latino.

About Our Guest(s)

Nancy López

Nancy López is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and the Director and Co-founder of the Institute for the Study of "Race" & Social Justice at The University of New Mexico. López places "race" in quotes to underscore its nature as a socially constructed category of social status in particular historical contexts, rather than as a reified category that is essential or fixed. López's scholarship, teaching and service is guided by the insights of intersectionality --the importance of examining race, gender, class, ethnicity together--for interrogating inequalities across a variety of social outcomes, including education, health, employment, housing, and developing contextualized solutions that advance social justice.

Her book, “Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education,”explores the race-gender experiences of Dominicans, West Indians, and Haitians to explain why girls are succeeding at higher rates than boys. She has also co-edited the books, “Creating Alternative Discourses in the Education of Latinos and Latinas,” “Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research,” and “QuantCrit: An Antiracist Quantitative Approach to Educational Inquiry.” She is the eldest of five US-born children of Dominican immigrants who never had the privilege of pursuing education beyond the second grade and Spanish is her first language.

Hosted by UCAM’s Carly Bowling

Carly Bowling headshot

Long-time listener, first-time podcaster, Carly Bowling, is a university communication representative in The University of New Mexico’s University Communication and Marketing team (UCAM). She is thrilled to help shed light on the outstanding research work being done at UNM, New Mexico’s only R1 university. In addition to producing IPNRS, she contributes stories and videos to the UNM Newsroom, the University’s official communications platform.

Bowling is a graduate of the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism (’19). Her background includes multimedia journalism, documentary filmmaking, photography and writing. She is passionate about science communication and making academic topics and research accessible and interesting to people from all backgrounds and she hopes you’ll consider subscribing to the show!