Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What Is "Your" Race?The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kenneth Prewitt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157030

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157030.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Classification before Counting: The Statistical Races

Classification before Counting: The Statistical Races

(p.14) Chapter 2 Classification before Counting: The Statistical Races
What Is "Your" Race?

Kenneth Prewitt

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins with framing America's history of measuring races, and how the government decides what those races are. The significance of measuring races lies in how law and policy are not about an abstraction called race, but are about races as they are made intelligible. A German doctor in 1776 divided the human species into five races. Today, nearly two and a half centuries later, these are the same five races into which the U.S. Census divides the American population, making America the only country in the world firmly wedded to an eighteenth-century racial taxonomy. Embedded in this science were theories of a racial hierarchy: there were not just different races but superior and inferior races.

Keywords:   races, human species, U.S. Census, American population, racial taxonomy, racial hierarchy

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.