Ethnic group

An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation.[1][2] Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.

Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population, often continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation, adoption and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another (except for ethnic groups emphasizing homogeneity or racial purity as a key membership criterion).

Ethnicity is often used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can also have the connotation of something exotic (cf. "ethnic restaurant", etc.), generally related to cultures of more recent immigrants, who arrived after the dominant population of an area was established.

The largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals (Han Chinese being the largest), while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals (numerous indigenous peoples worldwide). Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group. Conversely, formerly separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity, and may eventually merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis.

Terminology

Nileshwar 22
Ethnic saris in Kerala

The term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos (more precisely, from the adjective ἐθνικός ethnikos,[3] which was loaned into Latin as ethnicus). The inherited English language term for this concept is folk, used alongside the latinate people since the late Middle English period.

In Early Modern English and until the mid-19th century, ethnic was used to mean heathen or pagan (in the sense of disparate "nations" which did not yet participate in the Christian oikumene), as the Septuagint used ta ethne ("the nations") to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews".[4] The Greek term in early antiquity (Homeric Greek) could refer to any large group, a host of men, a band of comrades as well as a swarm or flock of animals. In Classical Greek, the term took on a meaning comparable to the concept now expressed by "ethnic group", mostly translated as "nation, people"; only in Hellenistic Greek did the term tend to become further narrowed to refer to "foreign" or "barbarous" nations in particular (whence the later meaning "heathen, pagan").[5]

In the 19th century, the term came to be used in the sense of "peculiar to a race, people or nation", in a return to the original Greek meaning. The sense of "different cultural groups", and in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s,[6] serving as a replacement of the term race which had earlier taken this sense but was now becoming deprecated due to its association with ideological racism. The abstract ethnicity had been used for "paganism" in the 18th century, but now came to express the meaning of an "ethnic character" (first recorded 1953). The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972.[7] Depending on the context that is used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship (in a sovereign state). The process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis, a term in use in ethnological literature since about 1950.

Depending on which source of group identity is emphasized to define membership, the following types of (often mutually overlapping) groups can be identified:

In many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.

Definitions and conceptual history

Ethnography begins in classical antiquity; after early authors like Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus, Herodotus in c. 480 BC laid the foundation of both historiography and ethnography of the ancient world. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had also developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus (8.144.2) gave a famous account of what defined Greek (Hellenic) ethnic identity in his day, enumerating

  1. shared descent (ὅμαιμον - homaimon, "of the same blood"),[8]
  2. shared language (ὁμόγλωσσον - homoglōsson, "speaking the same language")[9]
  3. shared sanctuaries and sacrifices (Greek: θεῶν ἱδρύματά τε κοινὰ καὶ θυσίαι - theōn hidrumata te koina kai thusiai)[10]
  4. shared customs (Greek: ἤθεα ὁμότροπα - ēthea homotropa, "customs of like fashion").[11][12][13]

Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science, politics, and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science, Politics and Reality : Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethnicity, April 1–3, 1992, Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethnicity, Department of Commerce, Statistics Canada, 1993,[14] a conference organised by Statistics Canada and the United States Census Bureau (April 1–3, 1992).[15] Many social scientists, such as anthropologists Fredrik Barth and Eric Wolf, do not consider ethnic identity to be universal. They regard ethnicity as a product of specific kinds of inter-group interactions, rather than an essential quality inherent to human groups.[16]

According to Thomas Hylland Eriksen, the study of ethnicity was dominated by two distinct debates until recently.

  • One is between "primordialism" and "instrumentalism". In the primordialist view, the participant perceives ethnic ties collectively, as an externally given, even coercive, social bond.[17] The instrumentalist approach, on the other hand, treats ethnicity primarily as an ad-hoc element of a political strategy, used as a resource for interest groups for achieving secondary goals such as, for instance, an increase in wealth, power, or status.[18][19] This debate is still an important point of reference in Political science, although most scholars' approaches fall between the two poles.[20]
  • The second debate is between "constructivism" and "essentialism". Constructivists view national and ethnic identities as the product of historical forces, often recent, even when the identities are presented as old.[21][22] Essentialists view such identities as ontological categories defining social actors, and not the result of social action.[23][24]

According to Eriksen, these debates have been superseded, especially in anthropology, by scholars' attempts to respond to increasingly politicised forms of self-representation by members of different ethnic groups and nations. This is in the context of debates over multiculturalism in countries, such as the United States and Canada, which have large immigrant populations from many different cultures, and post-colonialism in the Caribbean and South Asia.[25]

Max Weber maintained that ethnic groups were künstlich (artificial, i.e. a social construct) because they were based on a subjective belief in shared Gemeinschaft (community). Secondly, this belief in shared Gemeinschaft did not create the group; the group created the belief. Third, group formation resulted from the drive to monopolise power and status. This was contrary to the prevailing naturalist belief of the time, which held that socio-cultural and behavioral differences between peoples stemmed from inherited traits and tendencies derived from common descent, then called "race".[26]

Another influential theoretician of ethnicity was Fredrik Barth, whose "Ethnic Groups and Boundaries" from 1969 has been described as instrumental in spreading the usage of the term in social studies in the 1980s and 1990s.[27] Barth went further than Weber in stressing the constructed nature of ethnicity. To Barth, ethnicity was perpetually negotiated and renegotiated by both external ascription and internal self-identification. Barth's view is that ethnic groups are not discontinuous cultural isolates, or logical a prioris to which people naturally belong. He wanted to part with anthropological notions of cultures as bounded entities, and ethnicity as primordialist bonds, replacing it with a focus on the interface between groups. "Ethnic Groups and Boundaries", therefore, is a focus on the interconnectedness of ethnic identities. Barth writes: "... categorical ethnic distinctions do not depend on an absence of mobility, contact and information, but do entail social processes of exclusion and incorporation whereby discrete categories are maintained despite changing participation and membership in the course of individual life histories."

In 1978, anthropologist Ronald Cohen claimed that the identification of "ethnic groups" in the usage of social scientists often reflected inaccurate labels more than indigenous realities:

... the named ethnic identities we accept, often unthinkingly, as basic givens in the literature are often arbitrarily, or even worse inaccurately, imposed.[27]

In this way, he pointed to the fact that identification of an ethnic group by outsiders, e.g. anthropologists, may not coincide with the self-identification of the members of that group. He also described that in the first decades of usage, the term ethnicity had often been used in lieu of older terms such as "cultural" or "tribal" when referring to smaller groups with shared cultural systems and shared heritage, but that "ethnicity" had the added value of being able to describe the commonalities between systems of group identity in both tribal and modern societies. Cohen also suggested that claims concerning "ethnic" identity (like earlier claims concerning "tribal" identity) are often colonialist practices and effects of the relations between colonized peoples and nation-states.[27]

According to Paul James, formations of identity were often changed and distorted by colonization, but identities are not made out of nothing:

[C]ategorizations about identity, even when codified and hardened into clear typologies by processes of colonization, state formation or general modernizing processes, are always full of tensions and contradictions. Sometimes these contradictions are destructive, but they can also be creative and positive.[28]

Social scientists have thus focused on how, when, and why different markers of ethnic identity become salient. Thus, anthropologist Joan Vincent observed that ethnic boundaries often have a mercurial character.[29] Ronald Cohen concluded that ethnicity is "a series of nesting dichotomizations of inclusiveness and exclusiveness".[27] He agrees with Joan Vincent's observation that (in Cohen's paraphrase) "Ethnicity ... can be narrowed or broadened in boundary terms in relation to the specific needs of political mobilization.[27] This may be why descent is sometimes a marker of ethnicity, and sometimes not: which diacritic of ethnicity is salient depends on whether people are scaling ethnic boundaries up or down, and whether they are scaling them up or down depends generally on the political situation.

Approaches to understanding ethnicity

Different approaches to understanding ethnicity have been used by different social scientists when trying to understand the nature of ethnicity as a factor in human life and society. As Jonathan M. Hall observes, World War II was a turning point in the ethnic studies. The consequences of Nazi racism discouraged essentianlist interpretations of ethnic groups and race. Ethnic groups came to be defined as social rather than as biological entities. Their coherence was attributed to shared myths, descent, kinship, a common place of origin, language, religion, customs and national character. So, ethnic groups are conceived as mutable rather than stable, constructed in discursive practices rather than written in the genes.[30]

Examples of various approaches are: primordialism, essentialism, perennialism, constructivism, modernism and instrumentalism.

  • "Primordialism", holds that ethnicity has existed at all times of human history and that modern ethnic groups have historical continuity into the far past. For them, the idea of ethnicity is closely linked to the idea of nations and is rooted in the pre-Weber understanding of humanity as being divided into primordially existing groups rooted by kinship and biological heritage.
    • "Essentialist primordialism" further holds that ethnicity is an a priori fact of human existence, that ethnicity precedes any human social interaction and that it is basically unchanged by it. This theory sees ethnic groups as natural, not just as historical. It also has problems dealing with the consequences of intermarriage, migration and colonization for the composition of modern day multi-ethnic societies.[31]
    • "Kinship primordialism" holds that ethnic communities are extensions of kinship units, basically being derived by kinship or clan ties where the choices of cultural signs (language, religion, traditions) are made exactly to show this biological affinity. In this way, the myths of common biological ancestry that are a defining feature of ethnic communities are to be understood as representing actual biological history. A problem with this view on ethnicity is that it is more often than not the case that mythic origins of specific ethnic groups directly contradict the known biological history of an ethnic community.[31]
    • "Geertz's primordialism", notably espoused by anthropologist Clifford Geertz, argues that humans in general attribute an overwhelming power to primordial human "givens" such as blood ties, language, territory, and cultural differences. In Geertz' opinion, ethnicity is not in itself primordial but humans perceive it as such because it is embedded in their experience of the world.[31]
  • "Perennialism", an approach that is primarily concerned with nationhood but tends to see nations and ethnic communities as basically the same phenomenon, holds that the nation, as a type of social and political organisation, is of an immemorial or "perennial" character.[32] Smith (1999) distinguishes two variants: "continuous perennialism", which claims that particular nations have existed for very long spans of time, and "recurrent perennialism", which focuses on the emergence, dissolution and reappearance of nations as a recurring aspect of human history.[33]
    • "Perpetual perennialism" holds that specific ethnic groups have existed continuously throughout history.
    • "Situational perennialism" holds that nations and ethnic groups emerge, change and vanish through the course of history. This view holds that the concept of ethnicity is basically a tool used by political groups to manipulate resources such as wealth, power, territory or status in their particular groups' interests. Accordingly, ethnicity emerges when it is relevant as means of furthering emergent collective interests and changes according to political changes in the society. Examples of a perennialist interpretation of ethnicity are also found in Barth, and Seidner who see ethnicity as ever-changing boundaries between groups of people established through ongoing social negotiation and interaction.
    • "Instrumentalist perennialism", while seeing ethnicity primarily as a versatile tool that identified different ethnics groups and limits through time, explains ethnicity as a mechanism of social stratification, meaning that ethnicity is the basis for a hierarchical arrangement of individuals. According to Donald Noel, a sociologist who developed a theory on the origin of ethnic stratification, ethnic stratification is a "system of stratification wherein some relatively fixed group membership (e.g., race, religion, or nationality) is utilized as a major criterion for assigning social positions".[34] Ethnic stratification is one of many different types of social stratification, including stratification based on socio-economic status, race, or gender. According to Donald Noel, ethnic stratification will emerge only when specific ethnic groups are brought into contact with one another, and only when those groups are characterized by a high degree of ethnocentrism, competition, and differential power. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own culture, and to downgrade all other groups outside one's own culture. Some sociologists, such as Lawrence Bobo and Vincent Hutchings, say the origin of ethnic stratification lies in individual dispositions of ethnic prejudice, which relates to the theory of ethnocentrism.[35] Continuing with Noel's theory, some degree of differential power must be present for the emergence of ethnic stratification. In other words, an inequality of power among ethnic groups means "they are of such unequal power that one is able to impose its will upon another".[34] In addition to differential power, a degree of competition structured along ethnic lines is a prerequisite to ethnic stratification as well. The different ethnic groups must be competing for some common goal, such as power or influence, or a material interest, such as wealth or territory. Lawrence Bobo and Vincent Hutchings propose that competition is driven by self-interest and hostility, and results in inevitable stratification and conflict.[35]
  • "Constructivism" sees both primordialist and perennialist views as basically flawed,[35] and rejects the notion of ethnicity as a basic human condition. It holds that ethnic groups are only products of human social interaction, maintained only in so far as they are maintained as valid social constructs in societies.
    • "Modernist constructivism" correlates the emergence of ethnicity with the movement towards nation states beginning in the early modern period.[36] Proponents of this theory, such as Eric Hobsbawm, argue that ethnicity and notions of ethnic pride, such as nationalism, are purely modern inventions, appearing only in the modern period of world history. They hold that prior to this, ethnic homogeneity was not considered an ideal or necessary factor in the forging of large-scale societies.

Ethnicity is an important means by which people may identify with a larger group. Many social scientists, such as anthropologists Fredrik Barth and Eric Wolf, do not consider ethnic identity to be universal. They regard ethnicity as a product of specific kinds of inter-group interactions, rather than an essential quality inherent to human groups.[16] Processes that result in the emergence of such identification are called ethnogenesis. Members of an ethnic group, on the whole, claim cultural continuities over time, although historians and cultural anthropologists have documented that many of the values, practices, and norms that imply continuity with the past are of relatively recent invention.[37]

Ethnic groups differ from other social groups, such as subcultures, interest groups or social classes, because they emerge and change over historical periods (centuries) in a process known as ethnogenesis, a period of several generations of endogamy resulting in common ancestry (which is then sometimes cast in terms of a mythological narrative of a founding figure); ethnic identity is reinforced by reference to "boundary markers" - characteristics said to be unique to the group which set it apart from other groups.[38][39][40][41][42]

Ethnicity theory

Ethnicity theory says that race is a social category and is but one of several factors in determining ethnicity. Some other criteria include: "religion, language, 'customs,' nationality, and political identification".[43] This theory was put forth by sociologist Robert E. Park in the 1920s. It is based on the notion of “culture”.

This theory was preceded by over a century where biological essentialism was the dominant paradigm on race. Biological essentialism is the belief that white European races are biologically superior and other non-white races are inherently inferior. This view arose as a way to justify slavery of Africans and genocide of the Native Americans in a society which was supposedly founded on freedom for all. This was a notion that developed slowly and came to be a preoccupation of scientists, theologians, and the public. Religious institutions asked questions about whether there had been multiple genesis's (polygenesis) and whether God had created lesser races of men. Many of the foremost scientists of the time took up idea of racial difference. They would inadvertently find that white Europeans were superior. One method that was used was the measurement of cranial capacity.[44]

Ethnicity theory was based on the assimilation model. Park outlined his four steps to assimilation: contact, conflict, accommodation, and assimilation. Instead of explaining the marginalized status of people of color in the United States with an inherent biological inferiority, he instead said that it was a failure to assimilate into American culture that held people back. They could be equal as long as they dropped their culture which was deficient compared to white culture.

Michael Omi and Howard Winant's theory of racial formation directly confronts both ethnicity theory's premises and practices. They argue in Racial Formation in the United States that ethnicity theory was exclusively based on the immigration patterns of a white ethnic population and did not account for the unique experiences of non-whites in this country.[45] While this theory identities different stages in an immigration process – contact, conflict, struggle, and as the last and best response, assimilation – it did so only for white ethnic communities.[45] The ethnicity paradigm neglects the ways that race can complicate a community's interactions with basic social and political structures, especially upon contact.

And assimilation – shedding the particular qualities of a native culture for the purpose of blending in with a host culture – did not work for some groups as a response to racism and discrimination as it did for others.[45] Moreover, once the legal barriers to achieving equality had been dismantled, the problem of racism became the sole responsibility of already disadvantaged communities.[46] It was assumed that if a Black or Latino community was not 'making it' by the standards that had been set by white ethnics, it was because that community did not hold the right values or beliefs. Or they must be stubbornly resisting dominant norms because they did not want to fit in. Omi and Winant's critique of ethnicity theory explains how looking towards a cultural defect for the source of inequality ignores the "concrete sociopolitical dynamics within which racial phenomena operate in the U.S."[47] In other words, buying into this approach effectively strips us of our ability to critically examine the more structural components of racism and encourages, instead, a “benign neglect” of social inequality.[47]

Ethnicity and nationality

In some cases, especially involving transnational migration, or colonial expansion, ethnicity is linked to nationality. Anthropologists and historians, following the modernist understanding of ethnicity as proposed by Ernest Gellner[48] and Benedict Anderson[49] see nations and nationalism as developing with the rise of the modern state system in the 17th century. They culminated in the rise of "nation-states" in which the presumptive boundaries of the nation coincided (or ideally coincided) with state boundaries. Thus, in the West, the notion of ethnicity, like race and nation, developed in the context of European colonial expansion, when mercantilism and capitalism were promoting global movements of populations at the same time that state boundaries were being more clearly and rigidly defined.

In the 19th century, modern states generally sought legitimacy through their claim to represent "nations." Nation-states, however, invariably include populations that have been excluded from national life for one reason or another. Members of excluded groups, consequently, will either demand inclusion on the basis of equality, or seek autonomy, sometimes even to the extent of complete political separation in their own nation-state.[50] Under these conditions – when people moved from one state to another,[51] or one state conquered or colonized peoples beyond its national boundaries – ethnic groups were formed by people who identified with one nation, but lived in another state.

Multi-ethnic states can be the result of two opposite events, either the recent creation of state borders at variance with traditional tribal territories, or the recent immigration of ethnic minorities into a former nation state. Examples for the first case are found throughout Africa, where countries created during decolonisation inherited arbitrary colonial borders, but also in European countries such as Belgium or United Kingdom. Examples for the second case are countries such as Germany or the Netherlands, which were relatively ethnically homogeneous when they attained statehood but have received significant immigration during the second half of the 20th century. States such as the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland comprised distinct ethnic groups from their formation and have likewise experienced substantial immigration, resulting in what has been termed "multicultural" societies especially in large cities.

The states of the New World were multi-ethnic from the onset, as they were formed as colonies imposed on existing indigenous populations.

In recent decades feminist scholars (most notably Nira Yuval-Davis)[52] have drawn attention to the fundamental ways in which women participate in the creation and reproduction of ethnic and national categories. Though these categories are usually discussed as belonging to the public, political sphere, they are upheld within the private, family sphere to a great extent.[53] It is here that women act not just as biological reproducers but also as 'cultural carriers', transmitting knowledge and enforcing behaviours that belong to a specific collectivity.[54] Women also often play a significant symbolic role in conceptions of nation or ethnicity, for example in the notion that 'women and children' constitute the kernel of a nation which must be defended in times of conflict, or in iconic figures such as Britannia or Marianne.

Ethnicity and race

Asiatiska folk, Nordisk familjebok
The racial diversity of Asia's ethnic groups, Nordisk familjebok (1904)

Race and ethnicity are considered as related concepts. Ethnicity is used as a matter of cultural identity of a group, often based on shared ancestry, language and cultural traditions, while race is applied as a pseudoscientific grouping, based on physical similarities within groups. Race is a more controversial subject than ethnicity, due to common political use of the term. It is assumed that, based on power relations, there exist "racialized ethnicities" and "ethnicized races". Ramón Grosfoguel (University of California, Berkeley) argues that 'racial/ethnic identity' is one concept and that concepts of race and ethnicity cannot be used as separate and autonomous categories.[55]

Before Weber (1864-1920), race and ethnicity were primarily seen as two aspects of the same thing. Around 1900 and before, the essentialist primordialist understanding of ethnicity predominated: cultural differences between peoples were seen as being the result of inherited traits and tendencies.[56] With Weber's introduction of the idea of ethnicity as a social construct, race and ethnicity became more divided from each other.

In 1950 the UNESCO statement, "The Race Question", signed by some of the internationally renowned scholars of the time (including Ashley Montagu, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gunnar Myrdal, Julian Huxley, etc.), stated:

"National, religious, geographic, linguistic and cultural groups do not necessarily coincide with racial groups: and the cultural traits of such groups have no demonstrated genetic connection with racial traits. Because serious errors of this kind are habitually committed when the term 'race' is used in popular parlance, it would be better when speaking of human races to drop the term 'race' altogether and speak of 'ethnic groups'."[57]

In 1982 anthropologist David Craig Griffith summed up forty years of ethnographic research, arguing that racial and ethnic categories are symbolic markers for different ways that people from different parts of the world have been incorporated into a global economy:

The opposing interests that divide the working classes are further reinforced through appeals to "racial" and "ethnic" distinctions. Such appeals serve to allocate different categories of workers to rungs on the scale of labor markets, relegating stigmatized populations to the lower levels and insulating the higher echelons from competition from below. Capitalism did not create all the distinctions of ethnicity and race that function to set off categories of workers from one another. It is, nevertheless, the process of labor mobilization under capitalism that imparts to these distinctions their effective values.[58]

According to Wolf, racial categories were constructed and incorporated during the period of European mercantile expansion, and ethnic groupings during the period of capitalist expansion.[59]

Writing in 1977 about the usage of the term "ethnic" in the ordinary language of Great Britain and the United States, Wallman noted that

The term 'ethnic' popularly connotes '[race]' in Britain, only less precisely, and with a lighter value load. In North America, by contrast, '[race]' most commonly means color, and 'ethnics' are the descendants of relatively recent immigrants from non-English-speaking countries. '[Ethnic]' is not a noun in Britain. In effect there are no 'ethnics'; there are only 'ethnic relations'.[60]

In the U.S., the OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the US Census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference".[61]

Ethno-national conflict

Sometimes ethnic groups are subject to prejudicial attitudes and actions by the state or its constituents. In the 20th century, people began to argue that conflicts among ethnic groups or between members of an ethnic group and the state can and should be resolved in one of two ways. Some, like Jürgen Habermas and Bruce Barry, have argued that the legitimacy of modern states must be based on a notion of political rights of autonomous individual subjects. According to this view, the state should not acknowledge ethnic, national or racial identity but rather instead enforce political and legal equality of all individuals. Others, like Charles Taylor and Will Kymlicka, argue that the notion of the autonomous individual is itself a cultural construct. According to this view, states must recognize ethnic identity and develop processes through which the particular needs of ethnic groups can be accommodated within the boundaries of the nation-state.

The 19th century saw the development of the political ideology of ethnic nationalism, when the concept of race was tied to nationalism, first by German theorists including Johann Gottfried von Herder. Instances of societies focusing on ethnic ties, arguably to the exclusion of history or historical context, have resulted in the justification of nationalist goals. Two periods frequently cited as examples of this are the 19th century consolidation and expansion of the German Empire and the 20th century Nazi Germany. Each promoted the pan-ethnic idea that these governments were only acquiring lands that had always been inhabited by ethnic Germans. The history of late-comers to the nation-state model, such as those arising in the Near East and south-eastern Europe out of the dissolution of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, as well as those arising out of the former USSR, is marked by inter-ethnic conflicts. Such conflicts usually occur within multi-ethnic states, as opposed to between them, as in other regions of the world. Thus, the conflicts are often misleadingly labelled and characterized as civil wars when they are inter-ethnic conflicts in a multi-ethnic state.

Ethnic groups by continent

Africa

Ethnic groups in Africa number in the hundreds, each generally having its own language (or dialect of a language) and culture.

Many ethnic groups and nations of Africa qualify, although some groups are of a size larger than a tribal society. These mostly originate with the Sahelian kingdoms of the medieval period, such as that of the Akan, deriving from Bonoman (11th century) then the Kingdom of Ashanti (17th century).[62]

Asia

Assyriankhigga
The Assyrians are the indigenous peoples of Northern Iraq.

There is an abundance of ethnic groups throughout Asia, with adaptations to the climate zones of Asia, which can be Arctic, subarctic, temperate, subtropical or tropical. The ethnic groups have adapted to mountains, deserts, grasslands, and forests.

On the coasts of Asia, the ethnic groups have adopted various methods of harvest and transport. Some groups are primarily hunter-gatherers, some practice transhumance (nomadic lifestyle), others have been agrarian/rural for millennia and others becoming industrial/urban. Some groups/countries of Asia are completely urban (Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore). The colonization of Asia was largely ended in the 20th century, with national drives for independence and self-determination across the continent.

Europe

Olentzero, Beasain
The Basque people constitute an indigenous ethnic minority in both France and Spain.
Irish dancers in team costume, Davis Academy, USA
The Irish are an ethnic group indigenous to Ireland who total 70-80 million worldwide.[63]

Europe has a large number of ethnic groups; Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87 distinct "peoples of Europe", of which 33 form the majority population in at least one sovereign state, while the remaining 54 constitute ethnic minorities within every state they inhabit (although they may form local regional majorities within a sub-national entity). The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.[64]

A number of European countries, including France,[65] and Switzerland do not collect information on the ethnicity of their resident population.

Russia has over 185 recognized ethnic groups besides the 80% ethnic Russian majority. The largest group are the Tatars 3.8%. Many of the smaller groups are found in the Asian part of Russia (see Indigenous peoples of Siberia).

An example of a largely nomadic ethnic group in Europe is the Roma, pejoratively known as Gypsies. They originated from India and speak the Romani language.

Oceania

Australasia

See also

References

  1. ^ "ethnicity: definition of ethnicity". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  2. ^ People, James; Bailey, Garrick (2010). Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (9th ed.). Wadsworth Cengage learning. p. 389. In essence, an ethnic group is a named social category of people based on perceptions of shared social experience or one's ancestors' experiences. Members of the ethnic group see themselves as sharing cultural traditions and history that distinguish them from other groups. Ethnic group identity has a strong psychological or emotional component that divides the people of the world into opposing categories of “us” and “them.” In contrast to social stratification, which divides and unifies people along a series of horizontal axes on the basis of socioeconomic factors, ethnic identities divide and unify people along a series of vertical axes. Thus, ethnic groups, at least theoretically, cut across socioeconomic class differences, drawing members from all strata of the population.
  3. ^ ἐθνικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  4. ^ ThiE. Tonkin, M. McDonald and M. Chapman, History and Ethnicity (London 1989), pp. 11–17 (quoted in J. Hutchinson & A.D. Smith (eds.), Oxford readers: Ethnicity (Oxford 1996), pp. 18–24)
  5. ^ ἔθνος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Second edition, online version as of 2008-01-12, "ethnic, a. and n.". Cites Sir Daniel Wilson, The archæology and prehistoric annals of Scotland 1851 (1863) and Huxley & Haddon (1935), We Europeans, pp. 136,181
  7. ^ Cohen, Ronald. (1978) "Ethnicity: Problem and Focus in Anthropology", Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 1978. 7:379-403; Glazer, Nathan and Daniel P. Moynihan (1975) Ethnicity – Theory and Experience, Cambridge, Massachusetts Harvard University Press. The modern usage definition of the Oxford English Dictionary is:

    a[djective]

    ...
    2.a. Pertaining to race; peculiar to a race or nation; ethnological. Also, pertaining to or having common racial, cultural, religious, or linguistic characteristics, esp. designating a racial or other group within a larger system; hence (U.S. colloq.), foreign, exotic.
    b ethnic minority (group), a group of people differentiated from the rest of the community by racial origins or cultural background, and usu. claiming or enjoying official recognition of their group identity. Also attrib.

    n[oun]

    ...
    3 A member of an ethnic group or minority. Equatorians

    (Oxford English Dictionary Second edition, online version as of 2008-01-12, s.v. "ethnic, a. and n.")

  8. ^ ὅμαιμος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  9. ^ ὁμόγλωσσος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  10. ^ I. Polinskaya, "Shared sanctuaries and the gods of others: On the meaning Of 'common' in Herodotus 8.144", in: R. Rosen & I. Sluiter (eds.), Valuing others in Classical Antiquity (LEiden: Brill, 2010), 43-70.
  11. ^ ὁμότροπος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus)
  12. ^ Herodotus, 8.144.2: "The kinship of all Greeks in blood and speech, and the shrines of gods and the sacrifices that we have in common, and the likeness of our way of life."
  13. ^ Athena S. Leoussi, Steven Grosby, Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, Edinburgh University Press, 2006, p. 115
  14. ^ "Challenges of measuring an ethnic world". Publications.gc.ca. The Government of Canada. April 1, 1992. Ethnicity is a fundamental factor in human life: it is a phenomenon inherent in human experience
  15. ^ Statistics Canada
  16. ^ a b Fredrik Barth, ed. 1969 Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Cultural Difference; Eric Wolf 1982 Europe and the People Without History p. 381
  17. ^ Geertz, Clifford, ed. (1967) Old Societies and New States: The Quest for Modernity in Africa and Asia. New York: The Free Press.
  18. ^ Cohen, Abner (1969) Custom and Politics in Urban Africa: A Study of Hausa Migrants in a Yoruba Town. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  19. ^ Abner Cohen (1974) Two-Dimensional Man: An essay on power and symbolism in complex society. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  20. ^ J. Hutchinson & A.D. Smith (eds.), Oxford readers: Ethnicity (Oxford 1996), "Introduction", 8-9
  21. ^ Gellner, Ernest (1983) Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Blackwell.
  22. ^ Ernest Gellner (1997) Nationalism. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  23. ^ Smith, Anthony D. (1986) The Ethnic Origins of Nations. Oxford: Blackwell.
  24. ^ Anthony Smith (1991) National Identity. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
  25. ^ T.H. Eriksen "Ethnic identity, national identity and intergroup conflict: The significance of personal experiences" in Ashmore, Jussim, Wilder (eds.): Social identity, intergroup conflict, and conflict reduction, pp. 42–70. Oxford: Oxford University Press'. 2001
  26. ^ Banton, Michael. (2007) "Weber on Ethnic Communities: A critique", Nations and Nationalism 13 (1), 2007, 19–35.
  27. ^ a b c d e Ronald Cohen 1978 "Ethnicity: Problem and Focus in Anthropology", Annual Review of Anthropology 7: 383-384 Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
  28. ^ James, Paul (2015). "Despite the Terrors of Typologies: The Importance of Understanding Categories of Difference and Identity". Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 17 (2): 174–195.
  29. ^ Joan Vincent 1974, "The Structure of Ethnicity" in Human Organization 33(4): 375-379
  30. ^ David Konstan, "Defining Ancient Greek Ethnicity", Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, vol. 6, 1 (1997), pp. 97–98. Overview of J.M. Hall's book "Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity", Cambridge University Press, 1997
  31. ^ a b c (Smith 1999, p. 13)
  32. ^ Smith (1998), 159.
  33. ^ Smith (1999), 5.
  34. ^ a b Noel, Donald L. (1968). "A Theory of the Origin of Ethnic Stratification". Social Problems. 16 (2): 157–172. doi:10.1525/sp.1968.16.2.03a00030.
  35. ^ a b c Bobo, Lawrence; Hutchings, Vincent L. (1996). "Perceptions of Racial Group Competition: Extending Blumer's Theory of Group Position to a Multiracial Social Context". American Sociological Review. American Sociological Association. 61 (6): 951–972. doi:10.2307/2096302. JSTOR 2096302.
  36. ^ (Smith 1999, pp. 4–7)
  37. ^ Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983), The Invention of Tradition, Sider 1993 Lumbee Indian Histories.
  38. ^ Camoroff, John L. and Jean Camoroff 2009: Ethnicity Inc.. Chicago: Chicago Press.
  39. ^ The Invention of Tradition, Sider 1993 Lumbee Indian Histories
  40. ^ O'Neil, Dennis. "Nature of Ethnicity". Palomar College. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  41. ^ Seidner,(1982), Ethnicity, Language, and Power from a Psycholinguistic Perspective, pp. 2–3
  42. ^ Smith 1987 pp. 21–22
  43. ^ Omi & Winant 1986, p. 15
  44. ^ Omi & Winant 1986, p. 58
  45. ^ a b c Omi & Winant 1986, p. 17
  46. ^ Omi & Winant 1986, p. 19
  47. ^ a b Omi & Winant 1986, p. 21
  48. ^ Gellner 2006 Nations and Nationalism Blackwell Publishing
  49. ^ Anderson 2006 Imagined Communities Version
  50. ^ Walter Pohl, "Conceptions of Ethnicity in Early Medieval Studies", Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, ed. Lester K. Little and Barbara H. Rosenwein, (Blackwell), 1998, pp 13–24, notes that historians have projected the 19th-century conceptions of the nation-state backwards in time, employing biological metaphors of birth and growth: "that the peoples in the Migration Period had little to do with those heroic (or sometimes brutish) clichés is now generally accepted among historians," he remarked. Early medieval peoples were far less homogeneous than often thought, and Pohl follows Reinhard Wenskus, Stammesbildung und Verfassung. (Cologne and Graz) 1961, whose researches into the "ethnogenesis" of the German peoples convinced him that the idea of common origin, as expressed by Isidore of Seville Gens est multitudo ab uno principio orta ("a people is a multitude stemming from one origin") which continues in the original Etymologiae IX.2.i) "sive ab alia natione secundum propriam collectionem distincta ("or distinguished from another people by its proper ties") was a myth.
  51. ^ Aihway Ong 1996 "Cultural Citizenship in the Making" in Current Anthropology 37(5)
  52. ^ Nira Yuval-Davis, "Gender & Nation" (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 1997)
  53. ^ Nira Yuval-Davis, "Gender & Nation" (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 1997) pp. 12-13
  54. ^ Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis "Woman–Nation–State" (London: Macmillan, 1989), p. 9
  55. ^ Grosfoguel, Ramán (September 2004). "Race and Ethnicity or Racialized Ethnicities? Identities within Global Coloniality". Ethnicities. 315-336. 4 (3): 315. doi:10.1177/1468796804045237. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  56. ^ Banton, Michael. (2007) "Weber on Ethnic Communities: A critique", Nations and Nationalism 13 (1), 2007, 19–35.
  57. ^ A. Metraux (1950) "United nations Economic and Security Council Statement by Experts on Problems of Race", American Anthropologist 53(1): 142-145)
  58. ^ Griffith, David Craig, Jones's minimal: low-wage labor in the United States, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1993, p.222
  59. ^ Eric Wolf, 1982, Europe and the People Without History, Berkeley: University of California Press. 380-381
  60. ^ Wallman, S. "Ethnicity research in Britain", Current Anthropology, v. 18, n. 3, 1977, pp. 531–532.
  61. ^ "A Brief History of the OMB Directive 15". American Anthropological Association. 1997. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  62. ^ Cohen, Robin (1995). The Cambridge Survey of World Migration. Cambridge University Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-521-44405-5. Wickens, Gerald E; Lowe, Pat (2008). The Baobabs: Pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia. Springer Science+Business Media. 2008. p. 360. ISBN 978-1-4020-6431-9.
  63. ^ "The Scottish Diaspora and Diaspora Strategy: Insights and Lessons from Ireland". www2.gov.scot. 29 May 2009.
  64. ^ Christoph Pan, Beate Sibylle Pfeil,Minderheitenrechte in Europa. Handbuch der europäischen Volksgruppen (2002)., English translation 2004.
  65. ^ (in French) article 8 de la loi Informatique et libertés, 1978: "Il est interdit de collecter ou de traiter des données à caractère personnel qui font apparaître, directement ou indirectement, les origines raciales ou ethniques, les opinions politiques, philosophiques ou religieuses ou l'appartenance syndicale des personnes, ou qui sont relatives à la santé ou à la vie sexuelle de celles-ci."

Further reading

  • Abizadeh, Arash, "Ethnicity, Race, and a Possible Humanity" World Order, 33.1 (2001): 23-34. (Article that explores the social construction of ethnicity and race.)
  • Barth, Fredrik (ed). Ethnic groups and boundaries. The social organization of culture difference, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1969
  • Beard, David and Kenneth Gloag. 2005. Musicology, The Key Concepts. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Billinger, Michael S. (2007), "Another Look at Ethnicity as a Biological Concept: Moving Anthropology Beyond the Race Concept", Critique of Anthropology 27,1:5–35.
  • Craig, Gary, et al., eds. Understanding 'race'and ethnicity: theory, history, policy, practice (Policy Press, 2012)
  • Danver, Steven L. Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues (2012)
  • Eriksen, Thomas Hylland (1993) Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives, London: Pluto Press
  • Eysenck, H.J., Race, Education and Intelligence (London: Temple Smith, 1971) (ISBN 0-85117-009-9)
  • Healey, Joseph F., and Eileen O'Brien. Race, ethnicity, gender, and class: The sociology of group conflict and change (Sage Publications, 2014)
  • Hartmann, Douglas. "Notes on Midnight Basketball and the Cultural Politics of Recreation, Race and At-Risk Urban Youth", Journal of Sport and Social Issues. 25 (2001): 339-366.
  • Hasmath, R. ed. 2011. Managing Ethnic Diversity: Meanings and Practices from an International Perspective. Burlington, VT and Surrey, UK: Ashgate.
  • Hobsbawm, Eric, and Terence Ranger, editors, The Invention of Tradition. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
  • Hutcheon, Linda (1998). "Crypto-Ethnicity" (PDF). PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. 113 (1): 28–51.
  • Kappeler, Andreas. The Russian empire: A multi-ethnic history (Routledge, 2014)
  • Levinson, David, Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, Greenwood Publishing Group (1998), ISBN 978-1-57356-019-1.
  • Magocsi, Paul Robert, ed. Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples (1999)
  • Merriam, A.P. 1959. "African Music", in R. Bascom and, M.J. Herskovits (eds), Continuity and Change in African Cultures, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Morales-Díaz, Enrique; Gabriel Aquino; & Michael Sletcher, "Ethnicity", in Michael Sletcher, ed., New England, (Westport, CT, 2004).
  • Omi, Michael; Winant, Howard (1986). Racial Formation in the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Inc.
  • Seeger, A. 1987. Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Seidner, Stanley S. Ethnicity, Language, and Power from a Psycholinguistic Perspective. (Bruxelles: Centre de recherche sur le pluralinguisme1982).
  • Sider, Gerald, Lumbee Indian Histories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  • Smith, Anthony D. (1987). "The Ethnic Origins of Nations". Blackwell.
  • Smith, Anthony D. (1998). Nationalism and modernism. A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism. London; New York: Routledge.
  • Smith, Anthony D. (1999). "Myths and memories of the Nation". Oxford University Press.
  • Thernstrom, Stephan A. ed. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1981)
  • ^ U.S. Census Bureau State & County QuickFacts: Race.

External links

Afar people

The Afar (Afar: Qafár), also known as the Danakil, Adali and Odali, are an ethnic Cushitic peoples inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They primarily live in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, although some also inhabit the southern point of Eritrea. Afars speak the Afar language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family.

Aymara people

The Aymara or Aimara (Aymara: aymara listen ) people are an indigenous nation in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 1 million live in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. Their ancestors lived in the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca in the late 15th or early 16th century, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century. With the Spanish American Wars of Independence (1810–25), the Aymaras became subjects of the new nations of Bolivia and Peru. After the War of the Pacific (1879–83), Chile acquired territory occupied by the Aymaras.

Danes

Danes (Danish: danskere) are a Scandinavian, North Germanic related ethnic group, and a modern nation of people who are identified with the country of Denmark. This connection may be ancestral, legal, historical, or cultural.

Generally "ethnic Danes" consider themselves nationals and utilize the descriptor "ethnicities" for more recent immigrant groups, sometimes referred to as "New Danes" Danish national and ethnic identity is a concept based on "Danishness", that is founded on principles formed through historical cultural connections instead of racial or genetic ancestry.

Dutch people

Dutch people (Dutch: Nederlanders) or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place.

The Dutch have left behind a substantial legacy despite the limited size of their country. The Dutch people are generally seen as the pioneers of capitalism, and their emphasis on a modern economy, secularism, and a free market ultimately had a huge influence on the great powers of the West, especially the British Empire, its Thirteen Colonies, and ultimately the United States.The traditional arts and culture of the Dutch encompasses various forms of traditional music, dances, architectural styles and clothing, some of which are globally recognizable. Internationally, Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh are held in high regard. The dominant religion of the Dutch was Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant), although in modern times the majority are no longer religious. Significant percentages of the Dutch are adherents of humanism, agnosticism, atheism or individual spirituality.

Indo-Aryan peoples

Indo-Aryan peoples are a diverse Indo-European-speaking ethnolinguistic group of speakers of Indo-Aryan languages. There are over one billion native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, most of them native to the Indian subcontinent and presently found all across South Asia, where they form the majority.

Irish Catholics

Irish Catholics are an ethnoreligious group native to Ireland that are both Catholic and Irish. Irish Catholics have a large diaspora, which includes more than 10 million Americans.

Khmer people

Khmer people (; Khmer: ខ្មែរ, Khmer pronunciation: [kʰmaːe], Northern Khmer pronunciation: [kʰmɛr]) are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia, accounting for over 97% of the country's 15.9 million people. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Austroasiatic language family found in parts of Southeast Asia (including Vietnam and Laos), parts of central, eastern, and north eastern India, parts of Bangladesh in South Asia, in parts of Southern China and numerous islands in the Indian Ocean.

The majority of the Khmer are followers of the Khmer style of Buddhism, a highly syncretic version that blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, and veneration of the dead. Significant populations of Khmers reside in adjacent areas of Thailand (Northern Khmer) and the Mekong Delta region of neighboring Vietnam (Khmer Krom), while there are over one million Khmers in the Cambodian diaspora living mainly in France, the United States, and Australia.

Macedonians (ethnic group)

The Macedonians (Macedonian: Македонци, translit. Makedonci), also known as Macedonian Slavs, Slavic Macedonians, or Slavo-Macedonians, are a South Slavic ethnic group native to the region of Macedonia. They speak the Macedonian language, a South Slavic language. About two thirds of all ethnic Macedonians live in North Macedonia and there are also communities in a number of other countries.

Maltese people

The Maltese (Maltese: Maltin, Italian: Maltesi) are a nation and an ethnic group indigenous to Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Included within the ethnic group defined by the Maltese people are the Gozitans (Maltese: Għawdxin, Italian: Gozzitani) who inhabit Malta's sister island, Gozo.

Minhas

Minhas or Manhas is a clan found among Jatts and Rajputs of the Indian subcontinent.

Notable people with this surname, who may or may not have a connection to the clan, include:

Bagicha Singh Minhas, Indian economist

Dolly Minhas, Indian actor and model

Manjit Minhas, Canadian entrepreneur and television personality

Masud Minhas, Indian field hockey player

Mithun Manhas, Indian first-class cricketer representing Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir

Mushtaq Minhas, politician and former Pakistani television journalist

Rashid Minhas, Pakistan Air Force officer

Sangat Singh Minhas, Indian Sikh soldier

Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Indian politician and member of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council.

Norwegians

Norwegians (Norwegian: nordmenn) are a North Germanic ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.

Ossetians

The Ossetians or Ossetes (; Ossetian: ир, ирæттæ, ir, irættæ; дигорæ, дигорæнттæ, digoræ, digorænttæ) are an Iranic speaking North Caucasian ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the ethnolinguistic region known as Ossetia.

They speak Ossetic, an Eastern Iranian (Alanic) language of the Indo-European languages family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. The Ossetian language is neither closely related to nor mutually intelligible with any other language of the family today. Ossetic, a remnant of the Scytho-Sarmatian dialect group which was once spoken across the Pontic–Caspian Steppe, is one of the few Iranian languages inside Europe.The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia, and South Ossetia, a de facto independent state with partial recognition, closely integrated in Russia and claimed by Georgia. Their closest relatives, the Jász, live in the Jászság region within the north-western part of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County in Hungary.

Ossetians are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christian, with sizable minorities professing Uatsdin or Islam.

Pashtuns

The Pashtuns (, or ; Pashto: پښتانه‎ Pax̌tānə; singular masculine: پښتون Pax̌tūn, feminine: پښتنه Pax̌tana; also Pukhtuns), historically known as ethnic Afghans (Persian: افغان‎, Afğān) and Pathans (Hindustani: پٹھان, पठान, Paṭhān), are an Iranian ethnic group who mainly live in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They speak the Pashto language and adhere to Pashtunwali, which is a traditional set of ethics guiding individual and communal conduct. The ethnogenesis of the Pashtun ethnic group is unclear but historians have come across references to various ancient peoples called Pakthas (Pactyans) between the 2nd and the 1st millennium BC, who may be their early ancestors. Their history is mostly spread amongst the present-day countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, centred on their traditional seat of power in that region.

Globally, the Pashtuns are estimated to number around 50 million, but an accurate count remains elusive due to the lack of an official census in Afghanistan since 1979. The majority of the Pashtuns live in the region regarded as Pashtunistan, which has been split between the two countries since the British-imposed Durand Line border was formed. There are also significant Pashtun diaspora communities in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, in particular in the cities of Karachi and Lahore. A recent Pashtun diaspora has also developed in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, primarily in the United Arab Emirates. The Pashtuns are a significant minority group in Pakistan, where they constitute the second-largest ethnic group or about 15% of the population. As the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan (anywhere between 42 and 60 percent of the population), Pashtuns have been the dominant ethno-linguistic group for over 300 years. During the Delhi Sultanate era, the 15th–16th century Lodi dynasty briefly replaced the preexisting rulers in North India until Babur completely deposed the Lodi dynasty. Other Pashtuns fought the Safavids and Mughals before obtaining an independent state in the early 18th century, which began with a successful revolution by Mirwais Hotak followed by conquests of Ahmad Shah Durrani. The Barakzai dynasty played a vital role during the Great Game from the 19th century to the 20th century as they were caught between the imperialist designs of the British and Russian empires.

The Pashtuns are the world's largest segmentary lineage ethnic group. Estimates of the number of Pashtun tribes and clans range from about 350 to over 400. There have been many notable Pashtun people throughout history: Ahmad Shah Durrani is regarded as the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan, while Bacha Khan was a Pashtun independence activist against the rule of the British Raj. Some others include Malala Yousafzai, Shah Rukh Khan, Zarine Khan, Imran Khan, Farhad Darya, Abdul Ahad Mohmand, Naghma, Ahmad Zahir, Zakir Husain, Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani and Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Russians

Russians (Russian: русские, russkiye) are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Eastern Europe. The majority of Russians inhabit the nation state of Russia, while notable minorities exist in other former Soviet states such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic states. A large Russian diaspora also exists all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada.

The Russians share many cultural traits with other East Slavic ethnic groups, specifically Belarusians and Ukrainians. They are predominantly Orthodox Christians by religion. The Russian language is official in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and also spoken as a secondary language in many former Soviet states.

Sherpa people

Sherpa is one of the major ethnic groups native to the most mountainous regions of Nepal, as well as certain areas of China, Bhutan, India, and the Himalayas. The term sherpa or sherwa derives from the Sherpa language words Shar ("east") and Wa ("people"), which refer to their geographical origin in Tibet.

Most Sherpa people live in the eastern regions of Nepal; however, some live farther west in the Rolwaling Valley and in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu. Tengboche is the oldest Sherpa village in Nepal. Sherpa people also live in China, Bhutan, and the Indian states of Sikkim and the northern portion of West Bengal, specifically the district of Darjeeling. The Sherpa language belongs to the south branch of the Tibeto-Burman languages, and it is a mixed Eastern Tibet (Khamba) and central Tibetan dialects. However, this language is separate from Lhasa Tibetan and unintelligible to Lhasa speakers.The number of Sherpas migrating to Western countries has significantly increased in recent years, especially to the United States. New York City has the largest Sherpa community in the United States, with a population of approximately 3,000. The 2001 Nepal census recorded 154,622 Sherpas within its borders. Some members of the Sherpa population are known for their skills in mountaineering.

Telugu people

The Telugu people or Telugu vaaru, are a Dravidian ethnic group who speak Telugu as their native language and/or trace their ancestry to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. There is also a large significant Telugu population in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Telugu language is the third-most spoken language in India and the fourth most in the Indian subcontinent, following Hindi, Bengali and Marathi.

Thai people

Thai people or Thais (Thai: ชาวไทย), also known as Siamese (Thai: ไทยสยาม), refer both to citizens of Thailand as a whole and to its main ethnic group, a Tai ethnic group primarily inhabiting Central Thailand (Siamese proper). Part of the larger Tai ethno-linguistic group native to Southeast Asia as well as southern China and Northeast India, Thais speak the Central Thai language, which is classified as part of the Tai–Kadai family of languages. The majority of Thais are followers of Theravada Buddhism.

As a result of government policy during the 1930s and 1940s encouraging the assimilation of all the various ethno-linguistic groups in the country into the dominant Thai language and culture, the term Thai people has come to refer to the population of Thailand in general. This includes other subgroups of the Tai ethno-linguistic group, such as the northern Thai people (Lanna) and the Isan-Lao people, as well as non-Tai groups, the largest of which is that of the ethnic Chinese.

Tutsi

The Tutsi (; Rwanda-Rundi pronunciation: [tūtsī]), or Abatutsi, are a social class or ethnic group of the African Great Lakes region. Historically, they were often referred to as the Watutsi, Watusi, Wahuma, Wahima or the Wahinda. The Tutsi form a subgroup of the Banyarwanda and the Barundi peoples, who reside primarily in Rwanda and Burundi, but with significant populations also found in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. They speak Rwanda-Rundi, a group of Bantu languages.

Tutsis are the second largest population division among the three largest groups in Rwanda and Burundi; the other two being the Hutu (largest) and the Twa (smallest). Small numbers of Hema, Kiga and Furiiru people also live near the Tutsi in Rwanda. The Northern Tutsi who reside in Rwanda are called Ruguru (Banyaruguru), while southern Tutsi that live in Burundi are known as Hima, the Tutsis who resides in Masisi which is in Kivu and they are known as Banyamasisi and the Tutsi that inhabit the Kivu plateau in the Congo go by Banyamulenge.

Umrani

The Umrani are an eastern Baloch tribe of and famous cast of Balochistan, Pakistan.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.