Census categories for mixed race and mixed ethnicity: impacts on data collection and analysis in the US, UK and NZ

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Oceania, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-03-01 03:23Z by Steven

Census categories for mixed race and mixed ethnicity: impacts on data collection and analysis in the US, UK and NZ

Public Health
Published online: 2015-02-25
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2014.12.017

S. A. Valles, Assistant Professor
Lyman Briggs College and Department of Philosophy
Michigan State University

R. S. Bhopal, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health;Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

P. J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Public Health
Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS)
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Highlights

  • The census mixed race/ethnicity classification systems in the US, UK and NZ are reviewed.
  • These systems have limited success for monitoring mixed populations’ health.
  • Obstacles to successful use are data input problems and data output problems.
  • Data input problems include recording practices and fluidity of self-identification.
  • Data output problems include data ‘prioritization’ and non-publication of data.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixed Race Identities: Written by Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2015-01-24 02:49Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities: Written by Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song

The Kelvingrove Review
Issue 13: Dialogue Across Decades (2014-05-27)
5 pages

Mengxi Pang
Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Aspinall, Peter J. and Miri Song, Mixed Race Identities (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 218 pp.

As the fastest growing population in Britain, the mixed race group has received increasing attention from academics in social sciences disciplines. The book Mixed Race Identities is one of the latest sociological contributions to mixed race studies, engaging in the ongoing debate on ‘race’, ethnicity and identities. This book succeeds in bringing attention to the British context of mixed race studies, a field that has been long dominated by research in the US. The two authors, Peter Aspinall and Miri Song, are leading researchers of mixed race studies in the UK, who published extensively on identities and identity politics of mixed race populations. Based on their ESRC-funded project ‘The ethnic options of mixed race people in Britain’, this book presents the analytical results derived from questionnaire surveys and follow-up, in-depth interviews with over three hundred mixed race participants from higher education institutions in England. The results depict the unique identity dilemmas faced by mixed race youths. Findings specifically identify how different types of mixed race people understand and articulate their identifications, and eventually question the salience of ‘race’ in shaping individuals’ lived experiences…

Read the entire review here.

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Social representations of ‘mixed-race’ in early twenty-first-century Britain: content, limitations, and counter-narratives

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2015-01-23 21:24Z by Steven

Social representations of ‘mixed-race’ in early twenty-first-century Britain: content, limitations, and counter-narratives

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online: 2015-01-23
19 pages
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.992924

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Public Health
Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS)
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Over the last two decades, lay and professional interest in Britain’s ‘mixed-race’ population has markedly increased, following dramatic growth in mixing and mixedness. As is often the case with new phenomena, agencies in the sphere of popular culture have stepped in to offer the wider public interpretative representations of this ‘new’ group. Drawing on challenging concepts, like demographic growth rates and projections, the family ‘norm’, the ostensible benefits of heterozygosity, and the drawbacks of claimed ‘in-betweenness’, they have offered us a picture of the ‘mixed-race’ population that is sometimes at variance with lived experiences or the harder image of statistical reality. Social representation theory is used to explore the limitations of these representations and to offer a number of counter-narratives that are grounded in the evidence base.

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The collection of race-based data in the USA: a call for radical change

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-08-27 20:27Z by Steven

The collection of race-based data in the USA: a call for radical change

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 10, 2014
Special Issue: Ethnic and Racial Studies Review
pages 1839-1846
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2014.932407

Peter Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Two important new books by Greg Carter and Kenneth Prewitt provide detailed historical perspectives on how understandings of race and race categories have evolved since the founding of the republic. Prewitt focuses on an analysis of racial classification in the US census – the so-called ‘statistical races’ –and its changing role in US policy, culminating in recommendations for radical change. Carter takes as his theme population mixing across the races, offering a positive, even celebratory, but little known account of the moments and movements that have praised mixing. As pressures mount on the ‘statistical races’ in the late twentieth century, Prewitt uses the political space opened up by these debates to offer fundamental changes to US methods of ethno-racial data collection, including the removal of these questions from the census. The jury is in recess for further deliberations.

Read the review of both books here.

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‘Mixed race’, ‘mixed origins’ or what? Generic terminology for the multiple racial/ethnic group population

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-03-11 21:46Z by Steven

‘Mixed race’, ‘mixed origins’ or what? Generic terminology for the multiple racial/ethnic group population

Anthropology Today
Volume 25, Issue 2 (April 2009)
pages 3-8
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8322.2009.00653.x

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

A broad range of terms have been proposed and debated for the ‘mixed race’ population. Dissatisfaction with ‘mixed race’, the term most widely used but contested on the grounds that it references the now discredited concept of ‘race’, has led to the search for an alternative. In 1994 the Royal Anthropological Institute advocated ‘mixed origins’; despite subsequent further efforts, this alternative has gained little momentum. ‘Mixed race’ now competes with terms such as ‘mixed heritage’, ‘dual heritage’, and ‘mixed parentage’ amongst data users.  However, research indicates that the term of choice of most respondents in general population and student samples of this population group is ‘mixed race’, other terms – including ‘mixed origins’ – attracting little support.  Given its dominance, it is premature to argue that the term ‘mixed race’ should be replaced by candidates that are not self-descriptors.

Read the entire article here.

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Concepts, terminology, and classifications for the ‘mixed’ ethnic or racial group

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-03-11 21:39Z by Steven

Concepts, terminology, and classifications for the ‘mixed’ ethnic or racial group

Journal of Epidemiolgy and Community Health
Volume 64, Issue 6 (2010)
Pages 557-560
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2009.088294

Peter J. Aspinall, Reader in Population Health
Centre for Health Services Studies
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Background: The way to categorise people born of inter-ethnic and racial unions – the ‘mixed’ group – remains unclear and requires new insights, given the increasing size and complexity of the group and its emerging health profile.

Methods: A mixed methods research study focussing on ethnic options of young ‘mixed race’ people (n=326) recruited in colleges and universities investigated respondents’ preferences with respect to concepts, terminology, and classifications.

Results: The overwhelming generic term of choice was ‘mixed race’, widely interpreted by respondents to include mixed minority groups. Respondents were able to assign themselves in a valid way to a 12-category extended 2001 England and Wales Census classification for ‘mixed’, which collapses into five main groupings and also maps back to the census categories. Amongst options tested for census purposes, multi-ticking performed poorly and is not recommended.

Conclusions: A more finely granulated classification for ‘mixed’ is feasible where needed but this requires more extensive testing before it can be judged preferable to a ‘tick one or more’ option that has been shown to have poor reproducibility in validation surveys.

Read or purchase the entire article here.

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Transcending blackness: from the new millennium mulatta to the exceptional multiracial [Aspinal Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-10-15 02:23Z by Steven

Transcending blackness: from the new millennium mulatta to the exceptional multiracial [Aspinal Review]

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 5, 2014
pages 850-851
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2013.831934

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

Transcending blackness: from the new millennium mulatta to the exceptional multiracial, by Ralina L. Joseph. Durham and London. Duke University Press. 2013.
xx+ 226 pp., (paperback). ISBN 978-0-8223-5292-1

This book is concerned with representations of mixed-race African American women, notably, the two categories into which fall the mainstream images of mixed-race blackness: the new millennium mulatta. exceedingly tragic, always divided, alone, and uncomfortable, and the exceptional multiracial, unifying, strikingly successful post-racial ideal. The analysed texts which form the main body of the book belong to the 1998-2008 era (following the debates about capture of the multiracial population in the 2000 US Census), a period during which representations crystallized into this two-sided stereotype. Both are rooted in a condemnation of blackness which is either implicit as where blackness is stigmatized through the presentation of tragic mulatta inevitability or explicit, where discarding the burden of blackness means arriving at a safely post-racial state. Both representations take place in the context of gendered and sexualized as well as racialized performances.

An in-depth approach is adopted in which four representative works are examined with regard to the textual nuances that construct the two stereotypes. Part 1 explores the new millennium mulatlas: the bad race girl’ in Jennifer Beals’s portrayal of Bette Porter on the cable television drama The L Word (2004-2008), in which Bette is mired in the tragic misfortune and destiny of the mulatta: and the ‘sad race girl’ in Danzy Senna’s novel ‘Caucasia‘ (1998), which investigates how Senna reinterprets the tragic mulatta heroine in her production of a new millennium mulatta representation. Race and gender arc the drivers that torture the protagonists who are unable to achieve the states of post-race and post-feminism. In part II, ‘The Exceptional Multiracial’. Joseph interrogates representations that develop the character of the racial-transforming mixed-race title character in Alison Swan’s independent film ‘Mixing Nia‘ (1998) and the racial-switching mixed-race contestant in an episode of Tyra Banks’s reality television show ‘America’s Next Top Model‘ (2005). These representations portray blackness as an irrelevant entity for the multiracial, something that can and should be transcended through racialized performances. Blackness, the cause of sadness and pain for the multiracial African American, must be erased or surpassed in order to reach a state of health or success.

These particular works were chosen by Joseph as they were ‘representations of this particular time period and particular subgenre of multiracial African American representations’ and are not isolated representations of mixed-race African Americans but representative texts. Indeed, she contends that contemporary black-white representations do not go beyond this binary, the idea that blackness is a deficit that black and multiracial people must overcome…

Read or purchase the review here.

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The Social Evolution of the Term “Half-Caste” in Britain: The Paradox of its Use as Both Derogatory Racial Category and Self-Descriptor

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-09-03 04:48Z by Steven

The Social Evolution of the Term “Half-Caste” in Britain: The Paradox of its Use as Both Derogatory Racial Category and Self-Descriptor

Journal of Historical Sociology
Volume 26, Issue 4 (December 2013)
pages 503–526
DOI: 10.1111/johs.12033

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

The term “half-caste” had its origins in nineteenth century British colonial administrations, emerging in the twentieth century as the quotidian label for those whose ancestry comprised multiple ethnic/racial groups, usually encompassing “White”. From the 1920s–1960s the term was used in Britain as a derogatory racial category associated with the moral condemnation of “miscegenation”. Yet today the label continues to be used as a self-descriptor and even survives in some official contexts. This paradox – of both derogatory racial category and self descriptor – is explored in the context of the term’s social evolution, drawing upon the theoretical constructs of the internal-external dialectic of identification and labelling theory.

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The operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems: issues of validity and utility

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2013-04-18 00:51Z by Steven

The operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems: issues of validity and utility

Health Informatics Journal
Volume 11, Number 4 (December 2005)
pages 259-274
DOI: 10.1177/1460458205055688

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

This article looks at the operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems, notably the main bibliographical databases of MEDLINE and EMBASE. In particular, an attempt is made to assess recent changes, including the impact of the 2004 major changes to the MeSH headings for race and ethnic groups, and the introduction of ‘Continental Population Groups’. The underlying conceptual basis of the typologies, their relevance for capturing specific population groups, and their overall usefulness in appraising the literature on ethnic/racial disparities in health are examined. The bibliographical database thesauri reveal the pervasiveness of the notion of the biological basis of health differences by race/ethnicity as well as continuing use of antiquated racial terminology. Their system-oriented terminology is likely to limit the effectiveness of retrieval by users who may lack knowledge of their hierarchical structures.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Mixed Race Identities

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-03-26 03:54Z by Steven

Mixed Race Identities

Palgrave Macmillan
2013-08-02
224 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780230275041

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, UK

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent, UK

In recent years, Britain has witnessed a significant growth in the ‘mixed race’ population. However, we still know remarkably little about this diverse population. How do young mixed race people think about and experience their multiracial status? What kinds of ethnic options do mixed race people possess, and how may these options vary across different types of ‘mixes’? How important are their ethnic and racial identities, in relation to other bases of identification and belonging? This book investigates the ethnic and racial options exercised by young mixed race people in higher education in Britain, and it is the first to explore the identifications and experiences of various types of mixed race individuals. It reveals the diverse ways in which these young people identify and experience their mixed status, the complex and contingent nature of such identities, and the rise of other identity strands, such as religion, which are now challenging race and ethnicity as a dominant identity.

Contents

  1. Exploring ‘Mixed Race’ in Britain
  2. Racial Identification: Multiplicity and Fluidity
  3. Differential Ethnic Options?
  4. Does Racial Mismatch in Identification Matter?
  5. Are Mixed Race People Racially Disadvantaged?
  6. How Central is ‘Race’ to Mixed Race People?
  7. Rethinking Ethnic and Racial Classifications
  8. Conclusion: What is the Future of ‘Mixed Race’ Britain?
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