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Toward the Social Meaning of the Census to the Inner City Poor: Considerations for the Census Undercount

Elijah Anderson

KEY WORDS: ethnographic interviews, census undercount, privacy, inner city residents, alienation, powerlessness

ABSTRACT

This essay by a noted sociologist examines the social meaning of the census for Black underclass residents of Philadelphia. Based upon ethnographic interviews with poor Blacks, the author assesses motivations and beliefs that give rise to resistance to and fears about being enumerated in the census, including alienation from the larger society, concerns about privacy and control of personal information, ignorance or distrust of the goals of the census, participation in the underground economy, and so on.

CITATION: Elijah Anderson. (1989) Toward the Social Meaning of the Census to the Inner City Poor: Considerations for the Census Undercount. Paper prepared for the U.S. Census Bureau. May 14 1989.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: October 23, 2007
Last revised: October 23, 2007


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or chad.eric.russell@census.gov) |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010