Skip to content
Census and Identity

Census and Identity
The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Language in National Censuses


Part of New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography

David I. Kertzer, Dominique Arel, Melissa Nobles, Calvin Goldscheider, Alain Blum, Peter Uvin, David Abramson
View all contributors
  • Date Published: November 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521004275

£ 25.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521004275
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.366kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Editors

    David I. Kertzer, Brown University, Rhode Island
    David Kertzer is Professor of Social Science, and Professor of Anthropology and History, Brown University. He was National Book Award Finalist for The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and is the author of Politics and Symbols (1996), Sacrificed for Honor (1993), Ritual Politics and Power (1988), Comrades and Christians (1980), and several other books. Among his recent edited books are Anthropological Demography (with Tom Fricke, 1997) and Aging the Past (with Peter Laslett (1995).

    Dominique Arel, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Dominique Arel is Assistant Professor (Research), Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University. He has chapters in Multinational Democracies (Cambridge, 2001) and in other scholarly journals.


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

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.