Surveying Multiethnic America


Friday, May 11, 2007, 12:00pm

Institute for Quantitative Social Science
CGIS N-050
1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Across a variety of different academic disciplines, scholars are interested in topics related to multiethnic populations, and sample surveys are one of the primary means of studying these populations. Surveys of multiethnic populations face a number of distinctive methodological challenges, including issues related to defining and measuring ethnic identity, and locating, sampling, and communicating with the groups of interest.

This afternoon conference, sponsored by the Harvard Program on Survey Research, was attended by approximately 60 researchers from academia, government, and the commercial research sector. The conference focused on the intersection between methods and substance, and panelists included both experts in survey methodology and academic researchers from a variety of disciplines who presented findings from important studies.

The conference began with Dr. Manuel de la Puente, Assistant Division Chief for Survey Methodology in the Statistical Research Division at the U.S. Census Bureau, providing an overview of issues involved in defining ethnicity, sampling ethnic populations, and developing survey questions for studies conducted in a multi-ethnic environment. In following sessions, researchers from five different survey research projects focusing on multiethnic populations discussed how they confronted the unique methodological challenges in their studies, presented core findings from their surveys, and considered the implications of their approach for their key theoretical and empirical findings.

See also: PSR events