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September 1996, Vol. 119, No. 9
Ruth B. McKay and Manual de la Puente
"Race" and "ethnic origin" are two of the most emotionally charged and conceptually ambiguous terms in U.S. contemporary social discourse. Surveys with racial and ethnic questions that have been thoroughly researched, sensitively tested, and carefully structured should enable researchers to collect reliable data and make sound conclusions. Thus, a study was conducted on the May 1995 CPS supplement to provide questions that would allow respondents to identify themselves most appropriately by race, ethnic origin, and multiracial groups.
This article describes the development of the Current Population Survey Supplement on Race and Ethnic Origin that could be easily understood and would no longer evoke negative emotional responses. (See the article by Clyde Tucker and Brian Kojetin in this issue for a description of the supplement.)
An interagency team of behavioral scientists representing anthropology, psychology, and sociology was closely involved in the development and testing of the questions for the May 1995 CPS supplement.1 The team continued to be involved during and after collection of the supplement analyzing live and taped interviews, and contributing insights from the analysis to help interpret findings from the statistical analysis of the data.
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1996 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The team consisted of: Adakberto Aguirre (University of California, Riverside); Ade Costa-Cash, Manuel de la Puente, and Eleanor Gerber (Bureau of the Census); Patricia Bell (Oklahoma State University); Lu Ann Moy (General Accounting Office); Ruth McKay (Bureau of Labor Statistics); Jorge Nakamoto (Arguirre International, Inc.); and Jackie Stanley (Department of Agriculture).
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