Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

Jeffrey Smith

Date of this Version

Summer 7-2020


Ornelas, Eli X. 2020. "The Consequences and Correlates of Racial Identity Discordance: An Explication of the Social Construction of Race." MA Thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Jeffrey Smith. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2020

Copyright 2020 Eli. X Ornelas


The current study analyzes the rates at which different racial groups experience identity discordance, or the phenomenon of one’s self-ascribed racial identity not being commensurate with external perceptions of one’s race. While previous research has documented the possibility of discrepancy between self-ascribed and external classifications of racial identities, few empirical studies have sought to determine which racial groups are most susceptible to experiencing identity discordance or investigated specific mechanisms that may contribute to that discordance. Utilizing the 2006 wave of the Portraits of American Life Study (PALS), the current study investigates the rate of identity discordance for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians using perceived discrimination, geographic region, and race itself as focal predictors. Results indicate that those that identity as non-white and those that experience discrimination are more susceptible to experiencing identity discordance. Geographic region does not predict identity discordance overall, but is differentially important to rates of discordance for those that identify as Hispanic.

Advisor: Jeffrey Smith

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