White Categorical Ambiguity: Exclusion of Middle Eastern Americans From the White Racial Category

Kimberly E. Chaney, Diana T. Sanchez, Lina Saud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite legal classification as White, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Americans experience high levels of discrimination, suggesting low social status precludes them from accessing the White racial category. After first demonstrating that the rated Whiteness of MENA Americans influences support for discriminatory policies (Study 1), the present research explores ratings and perceptions of Whiteness of MENA Americans by demonstrating how MENA ethnicities shift racial categorization of prototypically White and racially ambiguous targets (Studies 2–4), and how MENA Americans’ social status influences rated Whiteness (Study 5). As few studies have explored the relative Whiteness of different ethnicities in the United States despite the fluid history of the White racial category, the present studies have implications for the processes that inform White categorization and lay categorizations of MENA Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Keywords

  • Middle Eastern
  • White
  • racial categorization

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