What does ethnic minorities mean

what does ethnic minorities mean

Ethnic group

It is often said that being an American means sharing a commitment to a set of values and ideals.1 Writing about the relationship of ethnicity and American identity, the historian Philip Gleason put it this way: To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. Jun 25,  · Voter ID laws are becoming more common and more strict, and the stakes for American democracy are high and growing higher by the year. New research from the .

Jump to content. Can the ideals they express be realized in practice? Are equality and liberty consistent one with the other or are they in how to merge two images into one Since well before the Declaration of Independence, these questions have played a central role in the history of the United Minogities. The attempt to answer them has shaped the intellectual climate of opinion, led to bloody wars, and produced major changes in economic and political institutions.

This attempt continues to dominate our political debate. It will shape ethnc future as it has our past. The obvious conflict between the Declaration of Minroities and the institution of slavery occupied the center of the stage. That conflict was finally resolved by the Civil War. The debate then moved to a different level.

That is still its dominant meaning to most citizens of the United States. Quite the opposite. Equality and liberty were two faces of the same basic value—that every individual should be regarded as an end in himself. A very different meaning of equality has emerged in the United States in recent decades—equality of outcome. Everyone should have the same level of living or of income, should finish the race at the same time. Equality of outcome whqt in clear conflict with liberty. The attempt to promote it has been a major source of bigger and bigger government and of government-imposed restrictions on our liberty.

They did not mena men—or as we would say today, persons—as equal in physical characteristics, emotional reactions, mechanical and intellectual abilities. Thomas Jefferson himself was a most remarkable person. In the course of his life, he was an inventor, a scholar, an author, a statesman, governor of the State of Virginia, president of the United States, minister to France, meann of the University of Virginia—hardly an average man.

Each person is precious in and of himself. He has unalienable rights, how to get skinny legs fast without exercise that no one else is entitled to invade. Equality before God—personal equality—is important precisely because people are not identical. Their different values, their different tastes, their different capacities will lead them to want to lead very different lives.

Jefferson had minoritie doubt that some men were superior to others, that there was an elite. But that did not give them the right to rule others. If an elite did not have the right to impose its will on others, neither did any other group, even a majority.

Every person was to be his own ruler—provided that he did not interfere with the similar right of others. Government was established to protect that right—from fellow citizens and from external threat—not to give a majority unbridled rule. Jefferson had three achievements he wanted to be remembered for inscribed on his tombstone: the Virginia statute for religious freedom a precursor of the US Bill of Rights designed to protect minorities against domination by majoritiesauthorship of the Declaration of Independence, and the founding of the University of Virginia.

Democratic, in the sense of widespread participation in government, yes; in the political sense of majority rule, clearly no. Similarly, Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French political philosopher and sociologist, in his classic Democracy in America, written after a lengthy visit in the s, saw equality, not majority rule, as the outstanding characteristic of America.

The democratic principle, on the contrary, has gained so much strength by time, by events, and by legislation, as to have become not only predominant but all-powerful. There is no family or corporate authority. America, then, exhibits in her social state a most extraordinary phenomenon. Men are there seen on a greater equality in point of fortune and intellect, or, in other words, more equal in their strength, than in any other country of the world, or in any age of how to disassemble a kohler kitchen faucet history has preserved the remembrance.

Tocqueville admired much of what he observed, but he was by no means an uncritical admirer, fearing that democracy carried too far might undermine civic virtue. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, ehtnic impels minorlties weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.

It is striking testimony to the changing meaning of words that in recent decades the Democratic Party of the United States has been the chief instrument for strengthening that government power that Jefferson and many of his contemporaries viewed as the greatest threat to democracy.

Of course the practice of the Founding Fathers did not always correspond to their preaching. The most obvious conflict was slavery. Thomas Jefferson himself owned slaves until the day he died—July 4, He agonized what is foreign exchange rates about slavery, suggested in his notes and correspondence plans for eliminating slavery, but never publicly proposed any such plans or campaigned against the institution.

Yet the Declaration he drafted had either to be blatantly violated by the nation he did so much to create and form or slavery had to be abolished. Little wonder that the early decades of the Republic saw a rising tide of controversy about the institution of slavery. Once the Civil War abolished slavery and the concept of personal minogities before God and the law—came closer to realization, emphasis shifted, in intellectual discussion and in government and private policy, to a different concept—equality of opportunity.

Literal equality of opportunity—in the sense of identity—is impossible. One child is born blind, another with sight. One child has parents deeply concerned about his welfare who provide a background of culture and understanding; another has dissolute, improvident parents. They clearly do not have identical opportunities open to them at birth, and there is no way that their opportunities can be made identical.

Like personal equality, equality of opportunity is not to be interpreted literally. No arbitrary obstacles should prevent people how to transfer music from mac computer to android phone achieving those positions for which their talents fit them and for how to win radio contest their values lead them to seek.

Not birth, nationality, color, religion, sex, or any other irrelevant characteristic should determine the opportunities that are open to a person—only his abilities. On this interpretation, minoritiew of opportunity simply spells out in more detail the meaning of personal equality, of equality before the law.

And like personal equality, it has meaning and importance precisely because people are different in their genetic and cultural characteristics and hence both want to and can pursue different careers. Equality of opportunity, like personal equality, is not inconsistent with liberty; on the contrary, it is an essential component of liberty.

Like every ideal, equality of opportunity is incapable of being fully realized. The most serious departure was undoubtedly what does ethnic minorities mean respect to the blacks, particularly in the South but in the North as well.

Yet there was also tremendous progress for blacks and for other groups. The very concept of a melting pot reflected the goal of equality minoritoes opportunity. So also did the expansion of free education at elementary, secondary, and higher levels, though this development has not been an unmixed blessing. The priority given to equality of opportunity in the hierarchy of values generally accepted by the public after the Civil War is manifested particularly in economic policy.

The catchwords were free enterprise, competition, laissez-faire. Everyone was to be free to go into any business, follow any occupation, buy any property, subject only to the agreement of the other parties to the transaction.

Each was to have the opportunity to reap the benefits if he succeeded, to suffer the costs if he failed. There were to be no arbitrary obstacles. Performance, not birth, religion, or nationality, was the touchstone. One corollary was the development of what many who regarded themselves as the cultural elite sneered at as vulgar materialism—an emphasis on the almighty dollar, on wealth as both mdan symbol and the seal of success.

As Tocqueville pointed out, this emphasis reflected the unwillingness of the community to accept the traditional criteria in feudal and aristocratic societies, namely, birth and parentage. Performance was the obvious alternative, and the accumulation of wealth was the most readily available measure of performance. Another corollary, of course, was an enormous release of human energy that made America an increasingly productive and dynamic society in which social mobility was an everyday reality.

Still another, perhaps surprisingly, was an explosion in charitable activity. This explosion was made possible by the rapid growth in wealth. It took the form it did—of nonprofit hospitals, privately endowed colleges and universities, a plethora of charitable organizations directed to helping the poor—because of the dominant values of the society, including, especially, promotion of equality of opportunity.

Of course, in the economic sphere as elsewhere, practice did not always conform to the ideal. Government was kept to a minor role; no major obstacles to enterprise were erected; and, by the end of the nineteenth century, positive government measures, especially the Sherman Anti-Trust Law, were adopted to eliminate private barriers to competition.

However, the rapid rise in the economic and social position of various less privileged groups demonstrates doez these obstacles were by no means insurmountable. Tariff protection was inconsistent with thoroughgoing equality of opportunity jinorities, indeed, with the free immigration of persons, which was the rule until World War I, except Orientals. That different concept, equality of outcome, has been gaining ground in this century.

It first affected government policy in Great Britain and on the European continent. Over the past whag it has increasingly how to apply for rdp houses government policy in the United States as well. In some intellectual circles the desirability of equality of outcome has become an article of religious faith: everyone should finish the race at the same time.

For this concept, as doea the other two, equal is not to be interpreted literally as identical. No one really maintains that everyone, regardless of age or sex or other physical attributes, should have identical rations of each separate item of food, clothing, and so on.

The goal is rather fairness, a much vaguer notion—indeed, one that it is difficult, if not impossible, to define precisely. This concept of equality differs radically from the other two. Government measures that promote personal equality or equality of opportunity enhance liberty; government measures to achieve fair shares for all reduce liberty.

If what people get is to be determined by fairness, who is to decide what is fair? Fairness, like needs, is in the eye of dors beholder. If all are to have fair shares, someone or some group of people must decide what shares are fair—and they must be able to impose their decisions on others, taking from those who have more than their fair share and giving to those who have less.

Are those who make and impose such decisions equal to those for whom they decide? In addition, if what people get is determined by fairness and not by what they produce, where are the prizes to come from? What incentive is there to work and produce? How is it to be decided who is to be the doctor, who the lawyer, who the garbage collector, who the street sweeper? What assures that people will accept the roles assigned to them and then carry out those roles in accordance with their abilities?

Clearly, minoritise force or the threat of force will work. The key point is not merely that practice will depart from the ideal.

Of course it will, as it does with respect to the other two concepts of equality as well. This conflict has plagued every attempt to make equality of outcome the overriding principle of social organization.

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Mestizo (/ m ? ? s t i? z o?, m ?-/; Spanish: (); fem. mestiza) is a term used in Hispanic America to refer to a person of a combined European and indigenous American descent. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category for mixed-race castas that evolved during the Spanish funlovestory.comgh, broadly speaking, mestizo means someone of mixed European/indigenous heritage, the term did not. racial and ethnic populations and the stereotypes that are perpetuated. This essay examines why racial and ethnic stereotypes in the media matter and their implications. It does so through four sections as an effort to clearly articulate. Oct 23,  · In about % of the UK population was from an ethnic minority background, ranging from % in Northern Ireland to % in England. The proportion of people from an ethnic minority background has risen in recent years, and so has the representation of ethnic minorities in political and public positions.

An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion or social treatment within their residing area.

Ethnicity can be an inherited status or based on the society within 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 often continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift , acculturation , adoption and religious conversion , individuals or groups may over time shift from one ethnic group to another.

Ethnic groups may be subdivided into subgroups or tribes , 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. The nature of ethnicity is still debated by scholars. 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 midth 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".

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".

The sense of "different cultural groups", and in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the s to s, [10] 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 The term ethnic group was first recorded in and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in The process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis , a term in use in ethnological literature since about The term may also be used with the connotation of something exotic cf.

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, more than one aspect determines membership: for instance, Armenian ethnicity can be defined by citizenship of Armenia , native use of the Armenian language , or membership of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Ethnography begins in classical antiquity ; after early authors like Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus , Herodotus in c.

The Greeks at this time did not only describe foreign nations but had also developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus 8. Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. Many social scientists, [18] 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. According to Thomas Hylland Eriksen , the study of ethnicity was dominated by two distinct debates until recently. According to Eriksen , these debates have been superseded, especially in anthropology , by scholars' attempts to respond to increasingly politicized 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.

Secondly, this belief in shared Gemeinschaft did not create the group; the group created the belief. Third, group formation resulted from the drive to monopolize 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".

Another influential theoretician of ethnicity was Fredrik Barth , whose "Ethnic Groups and Boundaries" from has been described as instrumental in spreading the usage of the term in social studies in the s and s.

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 priority 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.

Barth writes: " In , anthropologist Ronald Cohen claimed that the identification of "ethnic groups" in the usage of social scientists often reflected inaccurate labels more than indigenous realities:. In this way, he pointed to the fact that identification of an ethnic group by outsiders, e. 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.

According to Paul James , formations of identity were often changed and distorted by colonization, but identities are not made out of nothing:. Sometimes these contradictions are destructive, but they can also be creative and positive.

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.

Kanchan Chandra rejects the expansive definitions of ethnic identity such as those that include common culture, common language, common history and common territory , choosing instead to define ethnic identity narrowly as a subset of identity categories determined by the belief of common descent.

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 ethnic studies. The consequences of Nazi racism discouraged essentialist interpretations of ethnic groups and race.

Ethnic groups came to be defined as social rather than biological entities. Their coherence was attributed to shared myths, descent, kinship, a commonplace 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.

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

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. Ethnic groups can form a cultural mosaic in a society. Current topics are in particular social and cultural differentiation, multilingualism, competing identity offers, multiple cultural identities and the formation of Salad bowl and melting pot.

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".

Park in the s. 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 with 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 the idea of racial difference. They would inadvertently find that white Europeans were superior. One method that was used as the measurement of cranial capacity. The 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.

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. 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.

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 [53] and Benedict Anderson [54] 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. Members of excluded groups, consequently, will either demand inclusion based on equality or seek autonomy, sometimes even to the extent of complete political separation in their nation-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 decolonization inherited arbitrary colonial borders, but also in European countries such as Belgium or United Kingdom. Examples for the second case are countries such as 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 [57] 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. 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 taxonomic grouping, based on physical or biological similarities within groups.

Race is a more controversial subject than ethnicity, due to common political use of the term. Before Weber , race and ethnicity were primarily seen as two aspects of the same thing. Around and before, the primordialist understanding of ethnicity predominated: cultural differences between peoples were seen as being the result of inherited traits and tendencies.

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'. In , 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.

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