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Book Cover
Author Prewitt, Kenneth.

Title What is your race? : the census and our flawed efforts to classify Americans / Kenneth Prewitt.

Imprint Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2013.


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    305.8 PRE    Available
Description xiii, 271 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-262) and index.
Contents Introduction and overview -- Classification before counting: the statistical races -- The compromise that made the republic and the nation's first statistical race -- Race science captures the prize, the U.S. Census -- How many white races are there? -- Racial justice finds a policy tool -- When you have a hammer: statistical races misused -- Pressures mount -- The problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of the color line as it intersects the nativity line -- Where are we exactly? -- Getting from where we are to where we need to be.
Summary "America is preoccupied with race statistics--perhaps more than any other nation. Do these statistics illuminate social reality and produce coherent social policy, or cloud that reality and confuse social policy? Does America still have a color line? Who is on which side? Does it have a different 'race' line--the nativity line--separating the native born from the foreign born? You might expect to answer these and similar questions with the government's 'statistical races.' Not likely, observes Kenneth Prewitt, who shows why the way we count by race is flawed. Prewitt calls for radical change. The nation needs to move beyond a race classification whose origins are in discredited eighteenth-century race-is-biology science, a classification that once defined Japanese and Chinese as separate races, but now combines them as a statistical 'Asian race.' One that once tried to divide the 'white race' into 'good whites' and 'bad whites, ' and that today cannot distinguish descendants of Africans brought in chains four hundred years ago from children of Ethiopian parents who eagerly immigrated twenty years ago. Contrary to common sense, the classification says there are only two ethnicities in America--Hispanics and non-Hispanics. But if the old classification is cast aside, is there something better? What Is Your Race? clearly lays out the steps that can take the nation from where it is to where it needs to be. It's not an overnight task--particularly the explosive step of dropping today's race question from the census--but Prewitt argues persuasively that radical change is technically and politically achievable, and morally necessary."--Jacket.
Subject Ethnicity -- United States -- Statistics.
United States -- Census -- History.
United States -- Population -- History.
Demography -- United States.
ISBN 9780691173566 (paperback)
0691173567 (paperback)
9780691157030 (hbk. ; alk. paper)
0691157030 (hbk. ; alk. paper)
9781400846795 (electronic bk.)
140084679X (electronic bk.)
Standard No. 40022545262

Available items only