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Census and Identity

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

$37.99 (P)

Part of New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography

David I. Kertzer, Dominique Arel, Melissa Nobles, Calvin Goldscheider, Alain Blum, Peter Uvin, David Abramson
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  • Date Published: January 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521004275

$ 37.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This study 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 U.S. 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, offers a theoretical context for examining them, and illustrates 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The volume...holds together quite well...for a wide variety of audiences, from the advanced undergraduate in a seminar on nationalism to the scholar interested in state and nation building." Perspectives on Politics

    "...highly recommended. Public policy analysts and social scientists will gain most from a careful reading of these essays. But students of history, too, will find this volume rewarding, as virtually every selection is strong on historical background." Journal of American Ethnic History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2002
    • 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

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