General Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

Why on online surveys does it ask continuously if I'm Hispanic or of Mexican descent?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7951 points ) April 22nd, 2010

Why does that even matter? It’s an online survey.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

chels's avatar

Because it’s a survey.
All things are taken into consideration, including race.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@chels : well, yes, but it has its own section.

Are you of Hispanic/Mexican descent?
1. Yes
2. No
3. Maybe

chels's avatar

@troubleinharlem That’s what surveys do.

Sarcasm's avatar

They want to see what effect peoples’ race has on their answers.
That’s what surveys do.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Sarcasm, @chels

Yes, but why didn’t it ask me if I was white in its own section, or Native American? Why did it single out hispanics?

chels's avatar

@troubleinharlem Sometimes surveys do that. That’s why they’re surveys. Maybe being hispanic has some kind of relevance to the survey in one way or another.

troubleinharlem's avatar

I just thought it was weird that hispanics were singled out… and I wanted to know if it was because they were… hispanic. =/

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

1) If so they would probably offer you a Spanish version of the survey
2) Maybe they would offer you different services & products !

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly : Wow… I feel stupid now. Of course, it’d be #1. xD

bob_'s avatar

@troubleinharlem Or, 3) They are only interested in Hispanics. Some surveys ask a question like that (e.g., “Are you a U.S. citizen?”), that if you answer “no”, the survey ends there.

Sarcasm's avatar

They ask if you’re of hispanic descent separately from all other races because for whatever reason, they consider it to be in some different category.

wundayatta's avatar

First of all, this is about ethnicity and not race. Hispanic descent is possible for people of all races. Second, this is mainly about the Census. Hispanicity is a question that is asked on the Census. If you ask it on an online survey, it makes it easier to compare responses to other groups. It also makes it possible to compare the percent Hispanics answering the survey to the percent Hispanics in the general population.

We are interested in Hispanicity because Hispanics represent a significant part of the population. They may behave differently than people of other ethnicities. They may also require different services or have different needs. Businesses and governments want to know these things so they can do a better job.

Snarp's avatar

Because you can be white and Hispanic at the same time. Someone whose family comes from Spain and who has no Native American ancestry at all, but who nevertheless comes from Mexico, or more likely Uruguay, may consider themselves both white and Hispanic. And they would be right. They could also still be treated as a minority in the U.S.

Grisaille's avatar

Just cross it off and put “sometimes”.

Fly's avatar

Surveys often focus on a single demographic, such as Hispanics/Mexicans.

Zaku's avatar

I suspect it’s a trap survey from Gormland Security. ;-P

Trillian's avatar

Deomgraphics, my friend. Demographics.

Ludy's avatar

We’re that important! they give us our own option, to distinguish ourselves from the rest

Kayak8's avatar

The US Government has standardized the questions about race used on most surveys. The difference with “Hispanic” per the government is that it denotes ethnicity.

So the survey will ask if you are:
White/European
Black/African American
Native American/Pacific Islander
Etc

Then Hispanic (yes/no) is a second question. This is because you can be Hispanic and White, Hispanic and Black, etc.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Because Hispanic is considered a culture and not a race. There are blacks, whites and people of Asian and indigenous American (and by American I mean North, Central and South) descent who were born and raised in the Spanish-speaking cultures of the Americas, which (most of ) the US and Canada are not.

Peru, for instance, had President Fujimori (before he was busted for corruption), whose distant ancestors were from Japan, but he was Peruvian-born and raised. So in that sense, he’s Hispanic.

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