Fixed not fluid: European identification in the Aotearoa New Zealand census.

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Date: June 2021
From: Journal of Population Research(Vol. 38, Issue 2)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 230 words

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Abstract :

Keywords: Ethnic identification; Ethnic response change; Majority ethnicity; New Zealand; European Abstract Social scientists have long treated ethnicity as socially constructed and historically contingent, rather than fixed at birth and transmitted across generations in a linear fashion. A growing body of work has theorised and examined how individuals construct and express their ethnic identities in a variety of contexts and at different life course stages. Most studies have focused on Indigenous and ethnic minority groups studies focusing on the experience of majority or dominant groups are rare. Utilising a unique longitudinal census dataset that links whole census microdata in successive censuses, this article adds to the literature by empirically measuring the relative fluidity or rigidity of majority European ethnic identification over several decades. Analysing four sets of linked census pairs, we find that European patterns of self-identification diverge significantly from those of MÄori and ethnic minority groups. Individuals who identify solely as European in one census are far less likely to change their ethnic self-identification in the next census. These findings suggest that affiliation to dominant ethnicity operates in ways that are meaningfully different to other ethnic groups, indicating key cross-category differences in how majority ethnicity is socially constructed. Author Affiliation: (1) National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (a) Article History: Registration Date: 04/03/2021 Accepted Date: 04/03/2021 Online Date: 04/23/2021 Byline:

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662216734