The American Census: A Social History, Second Edition, Edition 2

Yale University Press
Free sample

This book is the first social history of the census from its origins to the present and has become the standard history of the population census in the United States. The second edition has been updated to trace census developments since 1980, including the undercount controversies, the arrival of the American Community Survey, and innovations of the digital age. Margo J. Anderson’s scholarly text effectively bridges the fields of history and public policy, demonstrating how the census both reflects the country’s extraordinary demographic character and constitutes an influential tool for policy making. Her book is essential reading for all those who use census data, historical or current, in their studies or work.
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Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
Aug 25, 2015
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9780300216967
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
Social Science / Statistics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since the U.S. Constitution first instructed that a slave be counted as only three-fifths of a person, the census has been caught up in America's racial dilemmas. Today it is torn by controversies over affirmative action, evolving racial identities, and minority undercounts. In Counting on the Census? Peter Skerry confirms the persistence of minority undercounts and insists that racial and ethnic data are critical to the administration of policies affecting minorities. He rejects demands that the census stop collecting such data. But Skerry also rejects the view that the census is a scientific exercise best left to the experts, and argues that it is necessarily and properly a political undertaking. To those advocating statistical adjustment of the census, Skerry insists that the consequences of minority undercounts have been misunderstood and exaggerated, while the risks of adjustment have been overlooked. Scrutinizing the tendency to equate census numbers with political power, Skerry places census controversies in the broader context of contemporary American politics and society. He traces our preoccupation with minority undercounts to the pervasive logic of an administrative politics that emphasizes the formal representation of minority interests over minority political mobilization and participation. Rather than confront the genuine social and political problems of the disadvantaged, political elites turn to adjustment to tweak outcomes at the margin. In such a context, where ordinary Americans already feel bewildered by and excluded from politics, the arcane techniques of adjustment would undermine public confidence in this most fundamental function of government. Finally, in a society where racial and ethnic identities are more fluid than ever, Skerry calls for greater realism about the limited accuracy of census data—and for greater tolerance of the untidy politics that accompanies the diversity we have come to value.
Profound changes have occurred in the demography and sociology of Italian fertility since Napoleonic times. Using the statistical system instituted in 1861 with national unification, Massimo Livi-Bacci provides a systematic and detailed analysis of fertility trends in Italy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He brings to light the main features of the secular decline: its rapid occurrence in the northern and central areas; the widening urban-rural gap; the shaping of social and economic differences; and the late, slow downward trend in the South.

Multivariate statistical analysis enables the author to measure the changing relationship between fertility and social or economic phenomena. Historical evidence illustrates the effect on fertility of mass emigration and Fascist policy as well as of social changes such as those in agrarian structure, mobility, and communications.

An altered attitude toward procreation is evident in some parts of Italy in the early nineteenth century. The decline becomes apparent in certain northern and central regions in the 1870s and 1880s and it appears at the aggregate national level in the 1890s.

Originally published in 1977.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

One of Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Books of 2000 For those interested in understanding the historical and scientific context of the census adjustment controversy, Who Counts? is absolutely essential reading. —Science Ever since the founding fathers authorized a national headcount as the means of apportioning seats in the federal legislature, the decennial census has been a political battleground. Political power, and more recently the allocation of federal resources, depend directly upon who is counted and who is left out. Who Counts? is the story of the lawsuits, congressional hearings, and bureaucratic intrigues surrounding the 1990 census. These controversies formed largely around a single vexing question: should the method of conducting the census be modified in order to rectify the demonstrated undercount of poor urban minorities? But they also stemmed from a more general debate about the methods required to count an ever more diverse and mobile population of over two hundred million. The responses to these questions repeatedly pitted the innovations of statisticians and demographers against objections that their attempts to alter traditional methods may be flawed and even unconstitutional. Who Counts? offers a detailed review of the preparation, implementation, and aftermath of the last three censuses. It recounts the growing criticisms of innaccuracy and undercounting, and the work to develop new enumeration strategies. The party shifts that followed national elections played an increasingly important role in the politization of the census, as the Department of Commerce asserted growing authority over the scientific endeavors of the Census Bureau. At the same time, each decade saw more city and state governments and private groups bringing suit to challenge census methodology and results. Who Counts? tracks the legal course that began in 1988, when a coalition led by New York City first sued to institute new statistical procedures in response to an alleged undercount of urban inhabitants. The challenge of accurately classifying an increasingly mixed population further threatens the legitimacy of the census, and Who Counts? investigates the difficulties of gaining unambiguous measurements of race and ethnicity, and the proposal that the race question be eliminated in favor of ethnic origin. Who Counts? concludes with a discussion of the proposed census design for 2000, as well as the implications of population counts on the composition and size of Congress. This volume reveals in extraordinary detail the interplay of law, politics, and science that propel the ongoing census debate, a debate whose outcome will have a tremendous impact on the distribution of political power and economic resources among the nation's communities. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.
 
Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”
 
For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.
 
Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.
 
Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb
 
“The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ
 
Praise for The Black Swan
 
“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London)
 
“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail
 
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times
 
“The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
 
“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times
 
“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review
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