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Why Applications Take So Much Time

30 March, 2010

And I though Americans were uptight about political correctness.  I came across a section of my application to St Andrews, which I had found as ridiculous and hilarious then as I do now.  Applicants can choose from a generous 28 options of ethnicity!

I’ve never had to ponder my ethnicity so thoroughly.  Am I ‘Other White’ or ‘Other White Background’?  After much deliberating and consultations from the family, I finally decided on the latter.

I am confused about a few things:

-What is the difference between ‘Other White’ and ‘Other White Background’

-If they offer the options of ‘Black English’, ‘Black Welsh’, and ‘Black Scottish’, why is ‘Black Irish’ not an option?

-What if you’re Scottish and Caucasian (as is 98% of the population*)?  Do you choose White British or Scottish?  I suppose to answer that, we must delve into issues of National identity.  But must we do that in an application?

Compare with choices of ethnicity in American standardized testing:  Caucasian, African American, Asian American, American Indian, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Other Hispanic, Multiracial, Other and Prefer not to Say. Perhaps limited, especially compared to the U.K. application, but I don’t want to re-evaluate my racial (and national) identity when taking a standardized test or applying to University.

*According to the 2001 Census

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John gerbner permalink
    1 April, 2010 2:03 am

    do you know the expression “black irish”? they probably do not include it because it has two meanings, african irish or irish with black hair, like the Regans. that is the old meaning of “black Irish”.

  2. 1 April, 2010 5:47 pm

    I did not know this! You’re a wealth of information, Mr. Gerbner.

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