Book Search:  

 

 
Google full text of our books:

bookjacket

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

Hardcover | 2013 | $29.95 / £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691157030
288 pp. | 6 x 9 | 5 line illus. 3 tables. | SHOPPING CART

eBook | ISBN: 9781400846795 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Introduction[PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:
 

America is preoccupied with race statistics--perhaps more than any other nation. Do these statistics illuminate social reality and produce coherent social policy, or cloud that reality and confuse social policy? Does America still have a color line? Who is on which side? Does it have a different "race" line--the nativity line--separating the native born from the foreign born? You might expect to answer these and similar questions with the government's "statistical races." Not likely, observes Kenneth Prewitt, who shows why the way we count by race is flawed.

Prewitt calls for radical change. The nation needs to move beyond a race classification whose origins are in discredited eighteenth-century race-is-biology science, a classification that once defined Japanese and Chinese as separate races, but now combines them as a statistical "Asian race." One that once tried to divide the "white race" into "good whites" and "bad whites," and that today cannot distinguish descendants of Africans brought in chains four hundred years ago from children of Ethiopian parents who eagerly immigrated twenty years ago. Contrary to common sense, the classification says there are only two ethnicities in America--Hispanics and non-Hispanics. But if the old classification is cast aside, is there something better?

What Is Your Race? clearly lays out the steps that can take the nation from where it is to where it needs to be. It's not an overnight task--particularly the explosive step of dropping today's race question from the census--but Prewitt argues persuasively that radical change is technically and politically achievable, and morally necessary.

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs at Columbia University. His books include The Hard Count: The Political and Social Challenges of Census Mobilization. He served as director of the U.S. Census Bureau from 1998 to 2001.

Review:

"In one of the best discussions of the social construction of race and the U.S. Census Bureau's role in that social construction that this reviewer has seen, Prewitt goes way beyond the typical discussion by demonstrating the policy implications of the social construction and shifting definitions of race. . . . This detailed history and policy analysis is an absolute requirement for race scholars and policy analysts alike."--J. Hattery, Choice

Endorsement:

"Race may be socially constructed, but alleles are not. The question is not if biology matters, but how does it--and will it--matter? How will biology be called upon to define or confine us in the twenty-first century? Kenneth Prewitt forcefully urges caution in the recuperation of biology, especially when biology is called upon to justify genomic medicine's uncontested adoption of a census taxonomy that is itself based on eighteenth-century pseudoscience. He also effectively deconstructs the pretense by census takers that this taxonomy itself is firmly anchored in science. In one of the most original aspects of this important new book, Prewitt shows in fine historical detail that 'social science and social policy share a common starting point'--ultimately, in American slavery and Jim Crow racial relations. Prewitt's analysis, even when I disagree with him, is timely, thoughtful, eloquent, and learned, and we would all do well to heed his warnings."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

"This is the best book ever written about the federal census of the United States."--David A. Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley

More Endorsements

Table of Contents

Subject Area:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kno eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • Shopping Cart:

    • For hardcover/paperback orders:

      For hardcover/paperback orders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

      Hardcover: $29.95 ISBN: 9780691157030

      For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

      Hardcover: £19.95 ISBN: 9780691157030

      Add to shopping cart

      Prices subject to change without notice

      File created: 9/23/2014

    Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Videos/Audios
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Subjects
    Series
    Catalogs
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Textbooks
    Media/Reviewers
    Class Use
    Rights/Permissions
    Ordering
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Links
    F.A.Q.
    PUP Home


    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Science and International Relations
    More Choices
    Email:
    Country:
    Name: