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Measuring ethnicity: challenges and opportunities for survey research

Burton, Jonathan and Nandi, Alita and Platt, Lucinda (2010) 'Measuring ethnicity: challenges and opportunities for survey research.' Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (8). 1332 - 1349. ISSN 0141-9870

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Abstract

Measuring ethnic identity in social surveys has traditionally been problematic, often using a single question and allowing the respondent to choose one category from a pre-defined list. In this paper we discuss the rationale for and limitations of measuring a complex and multi-dimensional concept with a simple, uni-dimensional question. We propose that operationalizing ethnicity as multi-dimensional requires multiple questions to capture the complexity of the concept. Giving researchers a number of different measures enables them to focus on the dimensions of interest to them, and has the potential to open up the rich resources of theoretically robust survey research to researchers from a range of disciplines concerned with questions of ethnic identification.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethnic identity, ethnicity, ethnic groups, survey data, census, categories
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2013 15:46
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2019 19:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7138

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