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Counting AmericansHow the US Census Classified the Nation$
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Paul Schor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917853.001.0001

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The Fortunes of Census Classifications (1940–2000)

(p.269) Epilogue
Counting Americans

Paul Schor

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews developments from 1940 to 2000. Among these is the increased awareness of the census. On the one hand, the Census Bureau itself published for every census an administrative history (called Procedural History) of the census; on the other hand, sociology and political science adopted the goal and, since the 1960s, have focused considerable attention on categories of race and ethnicity, especially the so-called “ethnoracial pentagon”—the five major categories defined by the federal administration as those which government agencies should utilize. In 1980, the creation of an “Ancestry” category reflected the evolution toward more open questions, giving more room for the perceptions that people had of themselves. The 2000 census, after long negotiations, approved the recognition of multiracial families by offering, for the first time, the possibility of checking off more than one race on the schedule.

Keywords:   US census, administrative history, Census Bureau, race, multiracial families

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