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ethnicity


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#1    me-wonders

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

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World English Dictionary ethnic or ethnical (ˈɛθnɪk) Posted Imageadj 1. relating to or characteristic of a human group having racial, religious, linguistic, and certain other traits in common 2. relating to the classification of mankind into groups, esp on the basis of racial characteristics 3. denoting or deriving from the cultural traditions of a group of people: the ethnic dances of Slovakia 4. characteristic of another culture: the ethnic look ; ethnic food n 5. chiefly ( US ), ( Austral ) a member of an ethnic group, esp a minority group [C14 (in the senses: heathen, Gentile): from Late Latin ethnicus, from Greek ethnikos, from ethnos race] usage Referring to a person as an ethnic is broadly acceptable in the US, Australia and Canada, but could well cause offence in the UK and elsewhere


Are genetic studies supporting or destroying our perception of ethnicity?

I am light skinned and one of my great grand children is dark skinned.  What is his ethnicity or race?

If a child has Mexican parents but grew up in the US states, what is this child's ethnicity?

What makes a person a citizen of a country, and what prevents a person from a citizen?

How does a person become a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist?

How does a person become a motor cycle mechanic, or a plumber or a bio scientist or a banker?  How different are professions from ethnicity?

Are we nuts?


#2    Hasina

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:04 PM

Let's get crackin', I think we're all nuts.

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#3    OverSword

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

Are you asking this out of concern that your great grandchild won't identify with the lighter side of it's heritage?


#4    redhen

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 07 December 2012 - 05:25 PM, said:

Are genetic studies supporting or destroying our perception of ethnicity?

Are you sure this is the right forum? Shouldn't it belong to a science sub-forum? Anyways, physical anthropology and genetic research has become more exacting as are most sciences. Forensic anthropologists routinely are called to discern race in criminal cases. Note that many of these cases only involve dentition or skeletal remains so skin colour is irrelevant. Skin colour is the least informative clue in discerning race.

Again, I don't think this is a philosophical or psychological question thus this thread should be moved to a science forum where we could discuss haplogroups and current research.


#5    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

Ethnicity has to do with identifying with a certain ethnic group. For example, my friends heritage is Mexican and Italian, however, he was born and raised in the United States and identifies as an American, not Mexican or Italian. Ethnicity can be based on heritage or on another common trait that is shared with a group of people.
Race does not exist. At all. It's unscientific and is just a out dated Victorian era ideal.

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#6    me-wonders

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:49 AM

View PostImaginarynumber1, on 07 December 2012 - 11:46 PM, said:

Ethnicity has to do with identifying with a certain ethnic group. For example, my friends heritage is Mexican and Italian, however, he was born and raised in the United States and identifies as an American, not Mexican or Italian. Ethnicity can be based on heritage or on another common trait that is shared with a group of people.
Race does not exist. At all. It's unscientific and is just a out dated Victorian era ideal.

My great grandson is dark skinned.  This happened because my granddaughter felt rejected by White class mates.  We knew native American blood runs in the family line, but it never occurred to me she was a person of color, until this became an issue in school.  Because it did become an issue, she gravitates to Mexicans and Black people.  Is it clear this is not just an individual choice, but the result of being perceived as a person of color although her family is White skinned?  Consciousness of race may be an outdated idea, but we treat people differently, depending on how we perceive their position in society as one of us or not one of us.  

A friend of mine gave birth to a dark skinned child many years ago, and his race was recorded as Black.  She objected to this, because she is White and this is her son.  By what arbitrary authority does someone have the right to label the race of a child, depending on the color of a child's skin?  Yet we do this, and regardless of the race of the parents, the child is labeled by the color of his/her skin.  

This is a philosophical and a social issue, because it is about how live together and how we treat each other, and how we justify what we do.  

Is your friend accepted as a US citizen?  Being mindful that Mexico and all of south America are American.   Does this person face challenges based on physical traits?  What of the children with Mexican parents who are not accepted as US citizens?  Recently a young man drove away from police, because his family is illegal immigrants, and he was afraid of what would happen to his family if he engaged with the police.   The police followed and this lead to the young man driving fast and hitting someone with his car.  He is now in jail waiting trail for man slaughter.  This is a tragedy and my question is not a scientific one.  It is a social one.


#7    me-wonders

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:59 AM

View PostOverSword, on 07 December 2012 - 06:09 PM, said:

Are you asking this out of concern that your great grandchild won't identify with the lighter side of it's heritage?

I may have answered your question in the post above?  My granddaughter identifies with her White family and with being a person of color.  I have no fear regarding this matter, except for concern about how they will be treated.   We still live with prejudice, and will genetic research make this more of a problem or less of a problem.  Personally I do not think we are being logical about race.   We should at least use terms for mixed races.  This is slowly beginning to happen, and we need to work on this.

Also, I feel strongly that when a child is raised in the US and this is the only culture the child has experienced, this child should be considered a citizen.  I think denying these young people citizenship is a terrible thing.  On the other hand accepting people as citizens when they are not part of this culture doesn't make much sense either.  I think we should do more to teach our culture to those who want to be part of it.   The priority purpose of public education was prepare our young for citizenship.  We stopped doing this when we began preparing everyone for a technological society with unknown values, and left moral training to the church.  This technological education is not a complete education and is lacking in a serious way.

Edited by me-wonders, 08 December 2012 - 05:10 AM.


#8    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:06 AM

View Postme-wonders, on 08 December 2012 - 04:49 AM, said:

My great grandson is dark skinned.  This happened because my granddaughter felt rejected by White class mates.  We knew native American blood runs in the family line, but it never occurred to me she was a person of color, until this became an issue in school.  Because it did become an issue, she gravitates to Mexicans and Black people.  Is it clear this is not just an individual choice, but the result of being perceived as a person of color although her family is White skinned?  Consciousness of race may be an outdated idea, but we treat people differently, depending on how we perceive their position in society as one of us or not one of us.  

A friend of mine gave birth to a dark skinned child many years ago, and his race was recorded as Black.  She objected to this, because she is White and this is her son.  By what arbitrary authority does someone have the right to label the race of a child, depending on the color of a child's skin?  Yet we do this, and regardless of the race of the parents, the child is labeled by the color of his/her skin.  

This is a philosophical and a social issue, because it is about how live together and how we treat each other, and how we justify what we do.  

Is your friend accepted as a US citizen?  Being mindful that Mexico and all of south America are American.   Does this person face challenges based on physical traits?  What of the children with Mexican parents who are not accepted as US citizens?  Recently a young man drove away from police, because his family is illegal immigrants, and he was afraid of what would happen to his family if he engaged with the police.   The police followed and this lead to the young man driving fast and hitting someone with his car.  He is now in jail waiting trail for man slaughter.  This is a tragedy and my question is not a scientific one.  It is a social one.

There is a social stigma in the US with being anything other than white. It's ingrained in our puritanical culture, and it's wrong. Sadly, nothing short of a massive cultural change will do anything. Thankfully, most of these idiotic ideas are falling away generation after generation.

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#9    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:03 AM

View PostImaginarynumber1, on 08 December 2012 - 05:06 AM, said:

There is a social stigma in the US with being anything other than white. It's ingrained in our puritanical culture, and it's wrong. Sadly, nothing short of a massive cultural change will do anything. Thankfully, most of these idiotic ideas are falling away generation after generation.
Very slowly depending on what state you live in

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#10    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:04 AM

View PostR4z3rsPar4d0x, on 08 December 2012 - 06:03 AM, said:

Very slowly depending on what state you live in

Or not at all in rural southern areas.

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#11    redhen

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

View Postme-wonders, on 08 December 2012 - 04:49 AM, said:

By what arbitrary authority does someone have the right to label the race of a child, depending on the color of a child's skin?

By Acts of Parliament and Acts of Congress. In the U.S.A. you need to prove a 50% "blood quantum" to establish Native ancestry, in Canada it's 25%. Again, skin colour has nothing to do with.

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This is a philosophical and a social issue, because it is about how live together and how we treat each other, and how we justify what we do.  

You don't fight racism by denying the existence of race.

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Is your friend accepted as a US citizen?  Being mindful that Mexico and all of south America are American.   Does this person face challenges based on physical traits?  What of the children with Mexican parents who are not accepted as US citizens?  Recently a young man drove away from police, because his family is illegal immigrants, and he was afraid of what would happen to his family if he engaged with the police.   The police followed and this lead to the young man driving fast and hitting someone with his car.  He is now in jail waiting trail for man slaughter.  This is a tragedy and my question is not a scientific one.  It is a social one.

Yes, it's a tragedy that so many illegal immigrants are desperate to flee from their dysfunctional countries to the U.S.A. such that it endangers their children and undermines their future. This is indeed a social issue, it is however not a philosophical or psychological debate. I maintain that this thread is in the wrong forum.


#12    redhen

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

To the original question who or what determines race?, this is not a psychological or philosophical question, it's a scientific one. Here's an answer from a forensic anthropologist who routinely discerns race in courts of law.

"The bony traits of the nose, mouth, femur, and cranium are just as revealing to a good osteologist as skin color, hair form, nose form, and lips to the perceptive observer of living humanity. I have been able to prove to myself over the years, in actual legal cases, that I am more accurate at assessing race from skeletal remains than from looking at living people standing before me. So those of us in forensic anthropology know that the skeleton reflects race, whether "real" or not, just as well if not better than superficial soft tissue does. The idea that race is "only skin deep" is simply not true, as any experienced forensic anthropologist will affirm."  (emphasis mine)

http://www.cabrillo....smith/gill.html

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, please explain what branch of philosophy or psychology determines race differences?


#13    Jessica Christ

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

Ethnicity has to do with food, music, speech, and costume.

Racial perceptions exist even if race does not exist as a biological concept.

Genetic studies cannot destroy ethnicity.

Ethnicity takes more than two parents to instill but a whole community.

If your parents are immigrants, but you are not, your ethnicity will be of those who you grow up around more than your parents even if it is not as clear cut as that.

If your parents are immigrants, but you are not, your ethnicity might be the same as your parents if you are in a community of immigrants who can reinforce that ethnicity.

As far as what scientists believe, Dr. Gill, as quoted by redhen, is in the minority within his field. Most believe race is a social construct.

Edited by I believe you, 08 December 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#14    redhen

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

View PostI believe you, on 08 December 2012 - 04:03 PM, said:

Ethnicity has to do with food, music, speech, and costume.

Ok, I'm not going to play equivocation all day, but from your working definition of ethnicity, what you really mean is culture. Thank you for your elucidation.

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As far as what scientists believe, Dr. Gill, as quoted by redhen, is in the minority within his field. Most believe race is a social construct.

Not so. From the same article; "Slightly over half of all biological/physical anthropologists today believe in the traditional view that human races are biologically valid and real. Furthermore, they tend to see nothing wrong in defining and naming the different populations of Homo sapiens"


#15    me-wonders

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

View Postredhen, on 08 December 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

By Acts of Parliament and Acts of Congress. In the U.S.A. you need to prove a 50% "blood quantum" to establish Native ancestry, in Canada it's 25%. Again, skin colour has nothing to do with.



You don't fight racism by denying the existence of race.



Yes, it's a tragedy that so many illegal immigrants are desperate to flee from their dysfunctional countries to the U.S.A. such that it endangers their children and undermines their future. This is indeed a social issue, it is however not a philosophical or psychological debate. I maintain that this thread is in the wrong forum.

Hum I thought questions of logic were philosophical in nature?   And if a child is 3/4 White and 1/4 Black, what is the logic of determining the child's race is Black.  The formula for determining if a child is a native American is better than that.

How well diverse people get along is sociology, politics, philosophical and psychological isn't it?   How does it feel to be Black living under White domination, and what of the morals of this domination?  How we justify these things is not pure science.   And the discrimination is not one sided.  I attended a meeting of Black people with another White friend, and I assure you, no one in the room accepted as Black people, as they discussed things like how to announce a celebration with free food, without attracting White people.  How to increase the number of Black bankers who would favor loans for Black people.  I was blown away by the prejudice and discrimination in that room,  and being told a park where I rarely see a Black person and has a cabin of the first White man who settled here, is the Black people's park.  Really, when did that happen?  This was going on at school that announced this to be a zone free of discrimination.   What I am questioning is not if the dark shinned people in my family will reject their whiteness, but how are we going to get along a society that is deeply troubled by racism.  I have had to deal with the hatred of Black and do not live in denial of it, and am aware of the prejudice that has caused this problem.  How do we united diverse people and live in harmony?

What is that makes a person one of us?   If this is the only culture a person has known, might this make the person one of us?   If we can not see this with Mexicans, how about Africans?   How well would a person of African decent who grew up in the US, do in the African country of his parents?   Humans become what they learn to become, and when someone learns to be one of us, I say this person is one of us.   The other side of this, my son married a woman with 4 children.  I began by treating them just like my other grandchildren, but they are not like my other grandchildren, and they accept me as my son's mother, but not as a grandmother they are bonded with.   They are different in ways, I do not feel comfortable with them.  However, my son had a daughter with this woman, and I care for her one or two days a week, and we are bonded.  I really think this discussion needs to be a broad one, questioning human nature and morals and even social expectations.  Even when we are all White or are all Black, there is diversity and questions of how we come to feel comfortable with each other and live in harmony.

Yes, you do fight racism by denying race.  We are suppose to live in a democracy, and the best way to fight racism is to teach for democracy.

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"Democracy is a way of life and social organization which above all others is sensitive to the dignity and worth of the individual human personality, affirming the fundamental moral and political equality of all men and recognizing no barriers of race, religion, or circumstance."  General Report of the Seminar on "What is Democracy"  Congress on Education for Democracy, August 1939
  This comes from the Democracy Series text books, and it was education like this, that was dominate as we mobilized for the second war against NAZI Germany.  This education lead Black people to expect a very different reality when they signed up to fight in the second world war.  It goes with what political leaders were saying this time.

"If we want freedom we must extend it to everyone, whether rich or poor, whether they agree with us or not, no matter what their race or the color of their skin."  Wendell Willkie  said in the late 1930 tys.   You see, as the world began aware of the racism in Germany and the direction that nation was going, we had political leaders and education speaking out against racism, as part of the mobilization for war.   This ended the passive Black response to segregation and discrimination.   This is logic, it is a philosophy, a culture, politics.   Just as slavery is about logic, philosophy, culture and politics.





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