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Census and Identity


  • Page extent: 222 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.478 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 306.2
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HA179 .C456 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Census--Methodology--Case studies
    • Race--Case studies
    • Ethnicity--Case studies
    • Linguistic demography--Case studies

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521808231 | ISBN-10: 0521808235)

The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Language in National Censuses examines the ways that states have attempted to pigeon-hole the people within their boundaries into racial, ethnic, and language categories. These attempts, whether through American efforts to divide the US population into mutually exclusive racial categories, or through the Soviet system of inscribing nationality categories on internal passports, have important implications not only for people's own identities and life chances, but for national political and social processes as well. The book reviews the history of these categorizing efforts by the state, and offers a theoretical context for examining them, illustrating the case with studies from a range of countries.

• The first in a new series that specifically addresses the needs of the student • Focuses on the charged topic of efforts to categorize individuals into racial and ethnic categories in the national census • Highly integrated volume with extensive introductory chapter that helps define a new field


1. Censuses, identity formation, and the struggle for political power David I. Kertzer and Dominique Arel; 2. Racial categorization in censuses Melissa Nobles; 3. Ethnic categorization in censuses: comparative observations from Israel, Canada, and the United States Calvin Goldscheider; 4. Language categories in censuses: backward- or forward-looking? Dominique Arel; 5. The debate on resisting identity categorization in France Alain Blum; 6. On counting, categorizing, and violence in Burundi and Rwanda Peter Uvin; 7. Identity counts: the Soviet legacy and the census in Uzbekistan David Abramson.


'Apart from being essential for cross-cultural health researchers readers will also find specific chapters on Uzbekistan, Burundi and Rwanda and France as well as comparative material for Europe. I thorough recommend that health service researchers read this book.' International Journal of Social Psychiatry

'… rich materials … a stimulating book …'. International Sociology

'… splendid … Although many have remarked on the relevance of censuses for contemporary minority issues and identity politics, this is the first collaborative volume that addresses the issue comparatively.' Journal of Peace Research


David I. Kertzer, Dominique Arel, Melissa Nobles, Calvin Goldscheider, Alain Blum, Peter Uvin, David Abramson

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