Chapter

Racial/Colour Categorization in US and Brazilian Censuses

Melissa Nobles

in Categories and Contexts

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270576
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600883 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199270570.003.0006

Series: International Studies in Demography

Racial/Colour Categorization in US and Brazilian Censuses

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Provides an abbreviated history of racial categorization in American and Brazilian censuses from each country's first census in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up through the 2000 census. It argues against the view that census bureaux are disconnected from larger political developments or that racial data are innocuous demographic data. For most of their countries’ histories, state officials, (social) scientists, and politicians tightly controlled American and Brazilian census‐taking and the social categories deployed. Over the past thirty years in the US and the past twenty years in Brazil, groups within civil society have organized and lobbied to have methods of categorization altered. Categorization is now a ‘bottom up’ process and not only a ‘top down’ process.

Keywords: Brazil; census; race; racial science; social movements; US

Chapter.  8990 words. 

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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