Olivia Hu, PhD Candidate in Sociology, published her first publication in Ethnic and Racial Studies Journal, titled, "Linking Race and Genes: Racial Conceptualization among Genetic Ancestry Test-Takers"
Abstract: The genomic revolution is highly relevant to scholarship on racial conceptualization. As genomic research has increasingly focused on small amounts of variation between ancestral groups, it may promote beliefs in racial essentialism. Genetic ancestry tests (GATs) are one of the primary ways the consequences of the genomic revolution are communicated to laypersons, necessitating a better understanding of how test-takers conceptualize race. We analyze 108 in-depth interviews with U.S. and Canadian test-takers to examine how they conceptualize the relationship between race and genes and how they believe GATs influenced their race concepts. We present a typology of racial conceptualization that moves beyond a dichotomy and toward a continuum between social constructivism and genetic essentialism. We also find that test-takers believe GATs reinforce their pre-existing race concepts, regardless of what those were. Our results support an emerging view that people selectively interpret genetic information to confirm rather than transform their race concepts.
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Citation: Hu, Olivia Y., Xiang Lu, and Wendy D. Roth. 2023. “Linking Race and Genes: Racial Conceptualization among Genetic Ancestry Test-Takers.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2023.2224871.