The conceptualisation and categorisation of mixed race/ethnicity in Britain and North America: Identity options and the role of the state.

Aspinall, Peter J. (2003) The conceptualisation and categorisation of mixed race/ethnicity in Britain and North America: Identity options and the role of the state. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27 (3). pp. 269-296. ISSN 0147-1767 . (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Estimates of around 1.7-2.4% of the population in the USA, 2% in Canada, and 0.6% in Britain now self-identify as mixed race. Inter-ethnic unions comprise around 2.7% of all unions in the USA and 1.3% in Britain and are increasing. The impact of these changes on the ethnic/racial diversity of Britain and North America and the demand from persons of mixed race to describe their 'full' identity requires a response from government and Census agencies that classify the population by race/ethnicity. Most current terminology to describe the mixed face population is contested and there is limited agreement on how it should be included in classifications. Research studies show that the self-understandings of persons of mixed race may incorporate a range of identities, some biracial and others a single group like 'black', although the options available in the USA may still be limited by the legacy of the hypodescent policy. The solutions offered by classifications in the 2000/2001 round of censuses include a subdivided 'mixed' category in England and Wales and provision to select one or more categories in the USA. This marks an end to the official conceptualisation of 'pure' races that has been so pervasive in the past and, for the first time, offers mixed race identity options to those of mixed heritage. Classifications need to satisfactorily allow for hybridised identities representing allegiances to multiple groups as opposed to a method that implies an outcome from two putatively 'pure' categories, the latter being the method chosen in the England and Wales Census. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: race, ethnicity, britain, north america
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2008 18:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 08:10
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/5134 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
ORCiD (Aspinall, Peter J.):
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