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Measuring ethnicity: challenges and opportunities for survey research

Burton, Jonathan, Nandi, Alita and Platt, Lucinda ORCID: 0000-0002-8251-6400 (2010) Measuring ethnicity: challenges and opportunities for survey research. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (8). pp. 1332-1349. ISSN 0141-9870

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01419870903527801


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
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2014 12:22
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 02:57

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