(This article was originally published at Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)
A few years ago I suggested a research project to study how Americans define themselves in terms of regional identity. For example, if you grew up in South Dakota but live in Washington, D.C., do you you call yourself a midwesterner, a westerner, a southerner, or what? The analogy is to the paper by Michael Hout on “How 4 million Irish immigrants became 40 million Irish Americans.” Contrary to expectations, it wasn’t about prolific breeding, it was about how people of mixed background choose to classify themselves.
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