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Does the British state’s categorisation of 'mixed race' meet public policy needs?

Aspinall, Peter J. (2010) Does the British state’s categorisation of 'mixed race' meet public policy needs? Social Policy and Society, 9 (1). pp. 55-69. ISSN 1474-7464. (doi:10.1017/S1474746409990194) (KAR id:29750)


The England and Wales 2001 Census was the first to include ‘Mixed’ categories which have now been adopted across government. The four ‘cultural background’ options were highly prescriptive, specifying combinations of groups. This paper assesses how satisfactorily these analytical categories captured self-ascribed cultural affiliation based on the criteria of validity, reliability and utility of the data for public services. Finally, the paper asks whether we now need a census question on ethnic origin/ancestry in addition to – or instead of – ethnic group or whether multi-ticking or a focus on family origins might give more useful public policy data and better measure the population's ethnic diversity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S1474746409990194
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Peter Aspinall
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 15:40 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Aspinall, Peter J..

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