Kukutai, T. & Didham, R. (2012). Re-making the majority? Ethnic New Zealanders in the 2006 census. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35 (8), 1427-1446.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5862
The national census is often seen as a site of struggle for minorities seeking recognition and equality. Much less is known about the conditions under which ethnic majorities are galvanized to stake identity claims in the census. This article examines recent trends in New Zealand where an increasing number of people from the dominant New Zealand European group are redefining themselves as ethnic New Zealanders. Drawing from the literature on ethnic boundaries, we theorize the factors underlying the surge in New Zealander identification, and present census data to demonstrate its selective appeal. We also review patterns of national naming in North America and Australia to show that the New Zealander phenomenon reflects a broader shift by settler state majorities to reimagine their identities. The implications for ethnic counting in other contexts are briefly considered.
Taylor & Francis