I don't often contemplate the fact that I am part of an ethnic group ...
John Edwards states that "there is the often-expressed equation of ethnic
group with minority
group, or with a social subgroup. Yet, even the most casual observer can see that all
members of some ethnic group or other." (see citation
I've been thinking about this concept as I slog away at a paper on ethnic identity and politics in China. Although there are 56 officially recognised ethnic groups, the Han majority making up 92% of the population, the term minzu,
roughly translated as either nationality or ethnic group, is almost without exception used to refer to the minorities.
We talk about 'ethnic groups' here in New Zealand too, don't we? And 'ethnic foods', 'ethnic culture', 'ethnic film' ... and yet according to Edwards' definition, it's all ethnic! Interesting.
source of quotation: Edwards, John. 1985. Language, society and identity, chapter 1, 'Some basic concepts.' Blackwell.