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Ethnic Data Collection: Benefits, Risks, Data Sources and Methods

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter includes an overview of, and a discussion on, the benefits, risks, data sources and methods involved in ethnic data collection for equality and anti-discrimination purposes. It describes the five main benefits of ethnic data collection, namely (1) acquiring information on integration, (2) uncovering discrimination and identifying good practices, (3) awareness-raising, (4) implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies, and (5) supporting discrimination claims in legal proceedings. This is followed by the analysis of the five main risks and fears that may be raised to justified the absence of ethnic data in a given situation. It concerns (1) exposing bad or insufficient government policies, (2) instigating conflict and stigmatisation, (3) misuse of data to discriminate, (4) discriminatory ethnic profiling by public officials, and (5) privacy and data protection violantions. This chapter also identifies the four main data sources which can be used to collected ethnic data and takes a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of (1) official statistics, (2) research data, (3) ethnic monitoring, and (4) complaints data. Furthermore, it addresses the complexities involved in ethnically classifying people for data collection purposes. Lastly, this chapter discusses the benefits and limitations of the four approaches to identifying people ethnically through one or multiple ethnic categories, namely (1) self-identification, (2) proxies for ethnicity, (3) visual observation by a third party, and (4) identification by other members of the group.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jozefien Van Caeneghem
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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