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

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David I. Kertzer, Dominique Arel, Dennis P. Hogan
Cambridge University Press, 2002 - Political Science - 210 pages
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.
 

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Contents

Censuses identity formation and the struggle for political power
1
Racial categorization and censuses
43
Ethnic categorizations in censuses comparative observations from Israel Canada and the United States
71
Language categories in censuses backward or forwardlooking?
92
Resistance to identity categorization in France
121
On counting categorizing and violence in Burundi and Rwanda
148
Identity counts the Soviet legacy and the census in Uzbekistan
176
Index
202
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About the author (2002)

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

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