Who is 'Black African' in Britain? Challenges to official categorisation of the sub-Saharan African origin population.

Aspinall, Peter J. (2011) Who is 'Black African' in Britain? Challenges to official categorisation of the sub-Saharan African origin population. African Identities, 9 (1). pp. 33-48. ISSN 1472-5843. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Debates about how the sub-Saharan African origin population should be categorised in censuses and official data collection in Britain lie at the interface between 'blackness' and 'Africanness'. The continued use of 'Black African', the official label chosen by the Great Britain census agency for inclusion in the 1991 Census ethnic group question, has been questioned in development programmes for the 2011 Census. While the referent 'black' is acceptable to most Black African community members, some constituencies find the term offensive, notably, academic stakeholders and some African community organisations. Others argue, however, that the language of colour is needed to set while privilege against black disadvantage. The term has been further challenged on the grounds of the 'fallacy of homogeneity', as it conceals substantial diversity with respect to countries of origin, language, religion, and migration histories. An inclusive 'Africanness', that is, one that accommodates those who consider themselves African irrespective of ethnic origin, on the other hand, has rarely been used in data collection. At a time when the 'Black African' population has grown by almost 50% in just six years, based on population estimates undertaken by the Office for National Statistics, a number of solutions to address the shortcomings of this category are discussed and a plea is made for more research on how 'Black Africans' describe themselves in their own words, unprompted by the census term.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Black African; black; blackness; Africanness; census; identity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2012 14:03
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 08:03
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/28644 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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