What Race Is Lacey? Intersecting Perceptions of Racial Minority Status and Social Class* Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 by the Southwestern Social Science Association Objective: We examine how naïve raters’ perception of first name socioeconomic status (SES) is related to the name's perceived race. Methods: Student volunteers rate the perceived race and SES of first names. We use a logit model to analyze the data. Results: Participants are four times as likely to say a “White” name is Black when they perceive the mother as uneducated, compared to highly educated. While most raters accurately predict a name's race, a substantial minority of college students believe that names given by low-SES White parents are Black names. Conclusion: Examining the presence and mechanisms of bias is a vital step in fair and just decision making. This new study adds to the literature by taking an intersectional experimental approach combining ratings of racial and SES categories in a large sample of names.

published proceedings

  • Social Science Quarterly

altmetric score

  • 3

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Barlow, M Rose||Lahey, Joanna N

publication date

  • November 2018