15. New STS Perspectives on the Census, State Statistics, and Ethnoracial Classification
Michael Zanger-Tishler; Sigal Nagar-Ron, Sapir Academic College;
The inclusion of racial categories in national censuses and statistics continues to be contested across the world. For example, debates over adding a Middle East and North Africa category to the United States census, adding more detailed information on third generation immigrants in Israel, and collecting racial and ethnic statistics in France continue to dominate academic and journalistic discourse. At the same time, new perspectives on racial categorization in national statistics continue to emerge in STS and related fields, adding to the complexity and nuance about whether and how these statistical categories matter. For instance, scholars continue to debate if these categories affect the way that citizens see themselves and organize social movements and if so, how.
We propose an open panel around new STS perspectives and empirical research on topics relating to the census, national statistics, racial categorization, and work related to how these types of categories and statistics help impede or aid in the organization of social movements advocating for the rights and welfare of ethnoracial minorities. Connecting to this year's 4S theme, we aim to explore whether these statistics can play a role in organizing colonized peoples against histories of oppression, or whether they are hopelessly implicated in the power structures of the state and serve instead to entrench the very forces they are aiming to contest.