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Categories and Group Identities

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Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)

Abstract

This chapter addresses a number of themes associated with categorisation and group identities. Firstly, census practices are considered with respect to the ethnic group categorisation of Black Africans in the 1991, 2001, and 2011 censuses, what we can learn from census practices in other countries, and approaches to categorising Black Africans in future censuses and surveys. The chapter next examines emerging patterns of national identity as an identity dimension added to the census in 2011, including identity and belonging in Britain and transnational identities. Religion, language, and other identity dimensions are then addressed. Finally, a number of overarching themes relating to ethnic group identity are explored: stability and change in ethnic group identity; group membership and fuzzy boundaries with respect to who is Black African; the acceptability of a colour-based term at the intersection of social categorisation and group identification; how Black Africans identify themselves without prompting by a classification; the concepts of ‘Africanness’ versus ‘blackness’ in categories and group identities; and the concealed heterogeneity in the ‘Black African’ collectivity.

Keywords

National Health Service National Identity Asylum Seeker Decennial Census Main Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Services StudiesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of Liverpool in LondonLondonUK

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