Compare and Contrast Two Accounts of the Role of the Census in Making Up the Uk Population.

Compare and contrast two accounts of the role of the census in making up the UK population.
A census is one of many procedures for gathering and recording information about the members of a given population. Census data is commonly used for research, marketing and planning. The term population means the people who inhabit a territory which is governed by a state. The word state is defined as the political organisation that rules over a given territory and its people. States use techniques like the census to locate and identify the people who inhabit their territories and make them into the population. The two accounts this essay will compare and contrast are the objectivist and constructivist perspectives. Firstly it will give a brief history of the census and then it will discuss the constructivist point of view on the role of the census in making population. Secondly it will discuss the objectivist perspective and compare this with the first account.
A census has been taken every ten years in England and Wales since 1801 with the exception of 1941 as the Second World War was still being fought. The original purpose of the census was for counting people which was not to produce knowledge, but to register people and property, usually for tax and military conscription purposes (Ruppert, et al, 2009, p430).   This is more of an objectivist perspective as it just involves the counting of people and property. The role of the census nowadays is used more for the purpose of governing, distribution of services and individual rights.   In order to manage societies need’s, the government/state creates categories in order locate and identify people inhabiting their territories.
The constructivist approach sees the population as the outcome of the census, rather than something which already exists. In other words, the census creates population by classifying and categorising people. This reflects the change from the original purpose of the census of just counting people to...