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What Is "Your" Race?The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans$
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Kenneth Prewitt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157030

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157030.001.0001

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Getting from Where We Are to Where We Need to Be

Getting from Where We Are to Where We Need to Be

(p.183) Chapter 11 Getting from Where We Are to Where We Need to Be
What Is "Your" Race?

Kenneth Prewitt

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about what to change and how to change it. Politics and policy do not like abrupt change, therefore it becomes necessary to introduce incremental modifications. Racial statistics create as well as reflect realities, therefore use the census to shape selected “realities” critical to effective use of racial statistics in the twenty-first century. Every generation opens up fresh possibilities, therefore it is important to design a strategy that takes advantage of generational turnover. Immigrants are much more likely to see themselves through a national origin lens than a racial lens, therefore add a fuller national origin dimension into America's statistics. Immigrant assimilation was not a major policy issue a half-century ago, therefore a second-generation question should be added to the census.

Keywords:   politics, racial statistics, racial realities, generational turnover, immigrants, census

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