Measuring ethnicity: challenges and opportunities for survey research
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.
Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume and page numbers
33 , 1332 -1349
Originally [iFirst] 9 Feb. 2010; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*