Ethnic Classification in Global Perspective: A Cross-National Survey of the 2000 Census Round

Ethnic Classification in Global Perspective: A Cross-National Survey of the 2000 Census Round Academic interest in official systems of racial and ethnic classification has grown in recent years, but most research on such census categories has been limited to small case studies or regional surveys. In contrast, this article analyzes a uniquely global data set compiled by the United Nations Statistical Division to survey the approaches to ethnic enumeration taken in 141 countries. The motives for this analysis combine theoretical, applied, and policy objectives. I find that 63% of the national censuses studied incorporate some form of ethnic enumeration, but their question and answer formats vary along several dimensions that betray diverse conceptualizations of ethnicity (for example, as “race” or “nationality”). Moreover, these formats follow notably regional patterns. Nonetheless, the variety of approaches can be grouped into a basic taxonomy of ethnic classification approaches, suggesting greater commonality in worldwide manifestations of the ethnicity concept than some have recognized. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Ethnic Classification in Global Perspective: A Cross-National Survey of the 2000 Census Round

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-007-9062-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Academic interest in official systems of racial and ethnic classification has grown in recent years, but most research on such census categories has been limited to small case studies or regional surveys. In contrast, this article analyzes a uniquely global data set compiled by the United Nations Statistical Division to survey the approaches to ethnic enumeration taken in 141 countries. The motives for this analysis combine theoretical, applied, and policy objectives. I find that 63% of the national censuses studied incorporate some form of ethnic enumeration, but their question and answer formats vary along several dimensions that betray diverse conceptualizations of ethnicity (for example, as “race” or “nationality”). Moreover, these formats follow notably regional patterns. Nonetheless, the variety of approaches can be grouped into a basic taxonomy of ethnic classification approaches, suggesting greater commonality in worldwide manifestations of the ethnicity concept than some have recognized.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 6, 2008

References

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