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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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(p.274) Conclusion
Counting Americans

Paul Schor

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. It argues that while this study takes up the last half-century only marginally, it should be read as an implicit comparison with the present, since reflection on racial and ethnic categories is so much a historical focus of today. In showing that a certain number of attributes of modernity can be traced back through archival evidence, this study tried at once to historicize the categories of today and show the contribution of an approach that, if it takes concepts as the main object of analysis, assumes empiricism as its principle, staying as close as possible to the past meaning of the concepts, when they were clear as well as when they were muddled. It argues in favor of a longue durée approach. It concludes that this history of categories is specifically American.

Keywords:   US census, history, race, racial categories, ethnic categories, racism, longue durée

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