Tuesday, May 24, 2005

UK 2001 Census - on Ethnicity and Religion

It only comes round once a decade, so it's an invaluable marker of how the UK is changing, or, perhaps, of how people in the UK are changing how they define themselves. In one section, Len Cook, the UK's National Statistician, acknowledges that ethnic definitions are by no means static, and:

recognises the substantial complexities surrounding the classification of ethnic identity. The challenge he sees is to balance several different objectives:

- comparability between the Census and other data sources;

- capturing the increasing diversity of ethnicity due to inter-ethnic family formation and migration patterns;

- consistency over time to facilitate analysis of trends and policy impacts over the very long term.

He recognises the tension between the need for continuing work to develop our understanding of the changing nature of ethnicity, and the need to fix the classifications at some point (e.g. at Census time) to enable consistency of reporting and comparability with the Census. These considerations are set within a social and political framework of considerable interest in equal opportunities and in issues of national identity.


The National Statistician also sees a clear need for research to further enhance the National Statistics understanding of and approach to classifying ethnicity and related concepts.

For further information on the research that the Office for National Statistics is conducting, contact Ethnicity&Identity@ONS.gov.uk Link

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Shame in Spain [Observer Sports Monthly]

I've been hanging onto this one for too long - the Observer Sport Monthly's lengthy piece on racism in Spanish football. Link

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sven Lindqvist - Terra Nullius

Despite having small Swedish (and less Norwegian), I gather from this Aftonbladet article that Sven Lindqvist's latest book unearthing the deadly impulses of colonial expansion has come under criticism for his failure to interview Aborigines themselves about the impact of colonisation. No news yet on when an English translation may be issued. Link

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities (Routledge)

Weighing in at just under 5 kilos, the three-volume Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities includes around 600 entries ranging from 1000 to 5000 words, organised by group, nation, topic and individual biography. Worth comparing with Minority Rights Group International's World Directory of Minorities. Link

Friday, May 06, 2005

Keywords for a different kind of globalization

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper recently reviewed Sage India's Keywords series of books, edited by Nadia Tazi. All four volumes - Identity, Truth, Gender and Experience - contain 6 essays pulling together new thinking from around the globe, as the sub-title "Keywords for a Different Kind of Globalization" indicates. Link (to press release in PDF - look for the Keywords link after the jump)

$5000 DNA Sequencing by 2007? [FuturePundit]

Futurepundit reports that Helicos Biosciences will have the first commercial DNA sequencing machines ready for sale by the end of 2006 or early 2007, able to sequence a person's DNA in 3 days, at a cost of US$5000. Link

Spat over NatGeo's Genographic Project [Wired]

Wired reports that the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism has threatened to boycott National Geographic's Genographic Project, over its "unresolved ethical issues". Link
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