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Old 12-23-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
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Default How is 'ethnicity' defined?

Here is what wiki says, citing a number of sources;
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group 
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An ethnic group is a group of humans whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed.[1][2] This shared heritage may be based upon putative common ancestry, history, kinship, religion, language, shared territory, nationality or physical appearance. Members of an ethnic group are conscious of belonging to an ethnic group; moreover ethnic identity is further marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness.[3] [4]

According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science, politics, and reality", a conference organised by Statistics Canada and the United States Census Bureau (April 1–3, 1992), "Ethnicity is a fundamental factor in human life: it is a phenomenon inherent in human experience."[5] However, many social scientists, like 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.[6]
Let's define it a little more specifically here. What are the key indicators of ethnicity? Below are examples applied to the Macedonians, in both the Macedonian and Greek states.


Primary Indicators

Language is most significant, one of the very foundations of ethnicity is the native tongue of a people. The native language of an individual or an individual's family, as passed on through generation to generation, without the requirement of an education. One example is the native language of the Macedonians in the Macedonian state and that of the Macedonians in the Greek state, which is the same, the difference relating only to the official languages of the state and church.

Culture refers to a commonality in traditions, habits and characteristics, and is also demostrated by common phrases, beliefs, etc. Some simple examples would be the traditional dances and songs that are shared by the Macedonians in both the Macedonian and Greek states, but which are foreign to the non-Macedonians in the Greek state.

Ancestry is descending from the same people, for example, the Macedonians of the Greek state and the Macedonians of the Macedonian state have the same origins, their grandfathers, great grandfathers, etc share all the primary indicators.

Kinship, meaning relatives and friends that share the same primary indicators, or, through another dimension the case of the divided Macedonian people on both sides of the artificial border of 'northern Greece'.


Secondary Indicators

Geography indicates descent from a particular region or greater region that has a shared historical commonality relative to the native population. Due to the Greek state occupying and absorbing a large portion of Macedonian territory in the 20th century, and their policy of settling in excess of 600,000 fleeing Christians from Asia, this particular indicator can be manipulated, but only to a certain degree. The people of Skopje, which is in the extreme north of the Macedonian state, are still geographically closer to the geographically Macedonian city of Salonika located in the Greek state, than are the people of Crete, the Peloponnese and even Athens. In addition to this, they have lived in the Macedonian region for centuries as opposed to the case of the new settlers, who have not yet lived a century in Macedonia. Furthermore, prior to the Greek usurpation of Macedonian territories, the Macedonians in Macedonia were relatively free to communicate, congregate and live among each other in their territory, which allowed for a continuation of commonalities in all primary indicators.

Religion also plays a strong factor but it is not an exclusive necessity, because commonality in culture trascends religious affiliation whereas commonality in religion without the primary indicators is of limited significance. For example, while the Macedonians of the Islamic faith may share some similarities with Muslims from Asia, their culture is largely the same as Macedonians of the Christian faith. Similarly, while the Macedonians in the Greek state are (by force) a part of the Greek Orthodox Church, on all levels the primary indicators demonstrate an obviously closer proximity to the Macedonians of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, as opposed to their Greek co-relgionists.



Any thoughts or comments are welcome.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:40 AM   #2
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i find this definition a bit awkward.

i have a friend who was adopted in to a macedonian family, his birth parents are not macedonian or orthodox or even christian, yet he proudly calls himself a macedonian. where does that leave him?
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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He is lacking 2 primary indicators, Ancestry and Kinship. Depending on how young he was when adopted, the other 2 primary indicators, Language and Culture, may apply. He is therefore, by strict definition, not an 'ethnic' Macedonian, but in some circumstances can be considered as such if he were to live the rest of his life as a Macedonian.

I am not trying to exclude certain people here, but we have to be realistic. If the friend you mention was of African or Oriental parents, it wouldn't matter how good he practiced our language and culture, the facts would still reveal that he is not an ethnic Macedonian.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Language is most significant, one of the very foundations of ethnicity is the native tongue of a people. The native language of an individual or an individual's family, as passed on through generation to generation, without the requirement of an education. One example is the native language of the Macedonians in the Macedonian state and that of the Macedonians in the Greek state, which is the same, the difference relating only to the official languages of the state and church.
A very good definition when it concerns the issue of Macedonians in Macedonia and the Macedonians in grcija. If we look at modern "greece's" formula on how to indicate ethnicity within their own state the Secondary indicators you listed (Geography, Religion) would be their Primary Indicators. Ancestry and Kinship would be Secondary. While language would be propped up as the phenom known as "hellenism" and a culture handed down to them by Germans,Englishman, etc.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
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And a movie starring Anthony Quinn, lol.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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I thought you guys believed that language has nothing to do with ethnicity.
If I am mistaken, I am sorry.

Anyways, if you guys knew greek, you'd know exactly what the word means
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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An imposed language doesn't have anything to do with ethnicity, whereas one passed on from generation to generation certainly does. Spartan, I think it is you guys who claim that language does not define ethnicity, yet it is language that is used as a reason for some clowns to claim 4,000 lineage. Go figure.

And the Greek interpretation of an 'ethnicity' in the common and international sense is markedly blurred with nationality, everybody knows this, we heard it so many times from Greeks in the past who continually claimed that ethnos = nationality, and maybe Greek is so limited as a language that it is incapable of making a distinction between the two.

However, let's look at it realistically, you are ethnically Greek and nationally Canadian. Are you confused with this? If you apply a Greek interpretation, perhaps you may become so, but we are speaking English mate, and you and I both know exactly what we're talking about and what the difference is between ethnicity and nationality.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
An imposed language doesn't have anything to do with ethnicity, whereas one passed on from generation to generation certainly does. Spartan, I think it is you guys who claim that language does not define ethnicity, yet it is language that is used as a reason for some clowns to claim 4,000 lineage. Go figure.
Personally, I believe language is among the primary factors that determine ethnicity.
Also,am I missing something, or has the greek language not been around for thousands of years?
If I am wrong, can someone tell me when the language stopped being used/died a la latin etc., and when it was ressurected?
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and maybe Greek is so limited as a language that it is incapable of making a distinction between the two.
lol, good one!
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However, let's look at it realistically, you are ethnically Greek and nationally Canadian.
I agree, but seriously, I know none of you believe that any of us are ethnic Greeks.


ETHNOS derives from ETHOS and ETHOS means 'custom', 'habit', 'way of thinking/acting/living':

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/...try%3De)%2Fqos

Ethnos imo, has got to do more with the Language, Customs, Habbits, Ways of thinking/Living than anything else.

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
I agree, but seriously, I know none of you believe that any of us are ethnic Greeks.
Why would you say that?
I disagree.
Furthermore, I think we are getting into very dangerous areas when we can only bestow an ethnicity on very select groups of people.

Quote:
If I am wrong, can someone tell me when the language stopped being used/died a la latin etc., and when it was ressurected?
I think you just told it how it was. You just need the dates now.
Latin/Koine
Resurrection/Katharevousa.
"Re"resurrection/Dimotiki.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan
Also,am I missing something, or has the greek language not been around for thousands of years?
If I am wrong, can someone tell me when the language stopped being used/died a la latin etc., and when it was ressurected?
Have I ever stated that its use was discontinued completely? Can you show me where I have stated this? I don't think you can, so probably not the best to assume, don't you think?

And I am sorry, but I cannot accept a person who's ancestry comes from a Macedonian-speaking family but was forced to speak Greek in the last century, as an "ethnic" Greek, just as I cannot accept a Macedonian-speaking person who claims to be Greek because of the state his parents were born in yet does not know or speak Greek, as an "ethnic" Greek.
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lol, good one!
You seem to think that is funny, perhaps you are willing to enlighten me on how Greek makes this distinction, because the bananas I have came across have not been able to.
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I agree, but seriously, I know none of you believe that any of us are ethnic Greeks.
They are your words Spartan, not mine, I don't deny the existence of ethnic Greeks, I just know for a fact that many who claim to be 'Greek' (for whatever reason) are in actual fact a different ethnicity. Again, I do apologise, but I try and be realistic for these sorts of things, while for you it may be ok to consider the ethnic Albanian Kondouriotes who became your first president as an "ethnic" Greek, and the ethnic Macedonian Kottas as an "ethnic" Greek, both of whom had limited to no knowledge of the Greek language. That is your prerogative.
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Ethnos imo, has got to do more with the Language, Customs, Habbits, Ways of thinking/Living than any thing else
2 of the primary indicators. Tell me again, in accordance with your explanation above, how exactly is your first president who did not even speak Greek, an "ethnic" Greek? In eager anticipation of your response.
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