Categorization Census Conversation analysis Ethnic monitoring Ethnicity European Helpline Institutional talk Interaction Official statistics Question design Recipient design Social construction Talk-in-interaction Whiteness
WILKINSON, S., 2011. Constructing ethnicity statistics in talk-in-interaction: producing the 'White European'. Discourse and Society, 22(3), pp.343-361.
This article ‘looks behind’ official statistics, analysing the social context of their production. It uses conversation analysis to examine how an organization’s ethnic monitoring statistics are constructed in and through interactions between callers and volunteers on its telephone helpline. In particular, it examines how the process of self-categorization is shaped by the response categories on the organization’s monitoring form and by the format in which the ethnic monitoring question is asked. These analyses contribute to developing understandings of the social construction of ‘race’/ethnicity and of organizationally generated statistics.