An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, history, culture or nation. Ethnicity is 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, origin myth, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion and ritual, dressing style, art or physical appearance. Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another. Ethnicity is used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can have the connotation of something exotic 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, while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals.
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 separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity and may merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis; the term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos. 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, as the Septuagint used ta ethne to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews"; the Greek term in early antiquity 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" translated as "nation, people".
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", in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s, 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". The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972. Depending on the context, used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship; 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 groups can be identified: Ethno-linguistic, emphasizing shared language, dialect – example: French Canadians Ethno-national, emphasizing a shared polity or sense of national identity – example: Armenians Ethno-racial, emphasizing shared physical appearance based on genetic origins – example: African Americans Ethno-regional, emphasizing a distinct local sense of belonging stemming from relative geographic isolation – example: South Islanders Ethno-religious, emphasizing shared affiliation with a particular religion, denomination or sect – example: JewsIn many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.
Ethnography begins in classical antiquity. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek ethnic identity in his day, enumerating shared descent, shared language shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs. 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 and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and Reality: Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethni
Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way: Ethnobotany means... investigating plants used by societies in various parts of the world. Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany; the idea of ethnobotany was first proposed by the early 20th century botanist John William Harshberger. While Harshberger did perform ethnobotanical research extensively, including in areas such as North Africa, Mexico and Pennsylvania, it was not until Richard Evans Schultes began his trips into the Amazon that ethnobotany become a more well known science.
However, the practice of ethnobotany is thought to have much earlier origins in the first century AD when a Greek physician by the name of Pedanius Dioscorides wrote an extensive botanical text detailing the medical and culinary properties of "over 600 mediterranean plants" named De Materia Medica. Historians note that Dioscorides wrote about traveling throughout the Roman empire, including regions such as "Greece, Crete and Petra", in doing so obtained substantial knowledge about the local plants and their useful properties. European botanical knowledge drastically expanded once the New World was discovered due to ethnobotany; this expansion in knowledge can be attributed to the substantial influx of new plants from the Americas, including crops such as potatoes, peanuts and tomatoes. One French explorer in the 16th century, Jacques Cartier, learned a cure for scurvy from a local Iroquois tribe. During the medieval period, ethnobotanical studies were found connected with monasticism. Notable at this time was Hildegard von Bingen.
However, most botanical knowledge was kept in gardens such as physic gardens attached to hospitals and religious buildings. It was thought of in practical use terms for culinary and medical purposes and the ethnographic element was not studied as a modern anthropologist might approach ethnobotany today. Carl Linnaeus carried out in 1732 a research expedition in Scandinavia asking the Sami people about their ethnological usage of plants; the age of enlightenment saw a rise in economic botanical exploration. Alexander von Humboldt collected data from the New World, James Cook's voyages brought back collections and information on plants from the South Pacific. At this time major botanical gardens were started, for instance the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1759; the directors of the gardens sent out gardener-botanist explorers to care for and collect plants to add to their collections. As the 18th century became the 19th, ethnobotany saw expeditions undertaken with more colonial aims rather than trade economics such as that of Lewis and Clarke which recorded both plants and the peoples encountered use of them.
Edward Palmer collected material culture artifacts and botanical specimens from people in the North American West and Mexico from the 1860s to the 1890s. Through all of this research, the field of "aboriginal botany" was established—the study of all forms of the vegetable world which aboriginal peoples use for food, textiles and more; the first individual to study the emic perspective of the plant world was a German physician working in Sarajevo at the end of the 19th century: Leopold Glück. His published work on traditional medical uses of plants done by rural people in Bosnia has to be considered the first modern ethnobotanical work. Other scholars analyzed uses of plants under an indigenous/local perspective in the 20th century: Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Zuni plants. In the beginning, ethonobotanical specimens and studies were not reliable and sometimes not helpful; this is because the anthropologists did not always collaborate in their work. The botanists focused on identifying species and how the plants were used instead of concentrating upon how plants fit into people's lives.
On the other hand, anthropologists were interested in the cultural role of plants and treated other scientific aspects superficially. In the early 20th century and anthropologists better collaborated and the collection of reliable, detailed cross-disciplinary data began. Beginning in the 20th century, the field of ethnobotany experienced a shift from the raw compilation of data to a greater methodological and conceptual reorientation; this is the beginning of academic ethnobotany. The so-called "father" of this discipline is Richard Evans Schultes though he did not coin the term "ethnobotany". Today the field of ethnobotany requires a variety of skills: botanical training for the identification and preservation of plant specimens. Mark Plotkin, who studied at Harvard University, the Yale School of Forestry and Tufts University, has contributed a number of books on ethnobotany, he completed a
Ethnic studies, in the United States, is the interdisciplinary study of difference—chiefly race and nation, but sexuality and other such markings—and power, as expressed by the state, by civil society, by individuals. As opposed to International studies, who created to focus on the relations between the United States and Third World Countries, Ethnic studies was created to challenge the existing curriculum and focus on the history of people of different minority ethnicity in the United States. Ethnic studies is an academic field that spans the humanities and the social sciences, it emerged as an academic field in the second half of the 20th century in response to charges that traditional social science and humanities disciplines such as anthropology, literature, political science, cultural studies, area studies which were conceived from an inherently Eurocentric perspective, its origin comes before the civil rights era, it comes from early as the 1900s. During this time and historian W. E. B.
Du Bois expressed the need for teaching black history. However, Ethnic Studies became known as a secondary issue that rose after the civil rights era. Ethnic studies was conceived to re-frame the way that specific disciplines had told the stories, histories and triumphs of people of color on what was seen to be their own terms. In recent years, it has broadened its focus to include questions of representation, racial formation theory, more determinedly interdisciplinary topics and approaches. In the United States, the field of ethnic studies evolved out of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s and early 1970s, which contributed to growing self-awareness and radicalization of people of color such as African-Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, American Indians. Ethnic studies departments were established on college campuses across the country and have grown to encompass African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Raza Studies, Chicano Studies, Mexican American Studies, Native American Studies, as well as Jewish-American Studies and Italian-American Studies.
The first strike demanding the establishment of an Ethnic Studies department occurred in 1968, led by the Third World Liberation Front, a joint effort of the Black Student Union, Latin American Students Organization, Asian American Political Alliance, Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor, Native American Students Union at San Francisco State University. This was the longest student strike in the nation's history and resulted in the establishment of a School of Ethnic Studies. President S. I. Hayakawa ended the strike after taking a hardline approach when he appointed Dr. James Hirabayashi the first dean of the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, increased recruiting and admissions of students of color in response to the strike's demands. In 1972, The National Association for Ethnic Studies was founded to foster interdisciplinary discussions for scholars and activists concerned with the national and international dimensions of ethnicity encouraging conversations related to anthropology, Africana Studies, Native Studies and American Studies among other fields.
Minority students at The University of California at Berkeley- united under their own Third World Liberation Front- the TWLF, initiated the second longest student strike in the history of this country on January 22, 1969. The groups involved were the Mexican American Student Confederation, Asian American Political Alliance, African American Student Union, the Native American group; the four co-Chairmen of the TWLF were Ysidro Macias, Richard Aoki, Charlie Brown, LaNada Means. This strike at Berkeley was more violent than the San Francisco State strike, in that more than five police departments, the California Highway Patrol, Alameda County Deputies, the California National Guard were ordered onto the Berkeley campus by Ronald Reagan in the effort to quash the strike; the excessive use of police force has been cited with promoting the strike by the alienation of non-striking students and faculty, who protested the continual presence of police on the Berkeley campus. The faculty union voted to join the strike on March 2, two days the Academic Senate called on the administration to grant an interim Department of Ethnic Studies.
On March 7, 1969, President Hitch authorized the establishment of the first Ethnic Studies Department in the country, followed by the establishment of the nation's first College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University on March 20, 1969. Courses in ethnic studies address perceptions that, because of the Eurocentric bias and racial and ethnic prejudice of those in power, American historians have systematically ignored or undervalued the roles of such ethnic minorities as Asian Americans, Mexicans and Native Americans. Ethnic studies often encompasses issues of intersectionality, where gender and sexuality come into play. There are now hundreds of African American, Asian American, Mexican American and Chicano/Latino Studies departments in the US fifty Native American Studies departments, a small number of comparative ethnic studies programs. College students on the East Coast, continue to advocate for Ethnic Studies departments; the Ethnic Studies Coalition at Wellesley College, the Taskforce for Asian and Pacific American Studies at Harvard University, CRAASH at Hunter College are among student organizations calling for increased institutional support for Ethnic Studies.
Ethnic studies as an institutional discipline varies by location. For instance, whereas the Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley comprises separate "core group"
Video ethnography is the video recording of the stream of activity of subjects in their natural setting, in order to experience and represent culture and society. Ethnographic video, in contrast to ethnographic film, cannot be used independently of other ethnographic methods, but rather as part of the process of creation and representation of societal and individual knowledge, it is used in the fields of visual anthropology, visual sociology, cultural studies. Uses of video in ethnography include the recording of certain processes and activities, visual note-taking, ethnographic diary-keeping. Video ethnography involves: • Observation, including extensive filming of practitioners, • Allowing practitioners to view the video recorded material and reflexively discuss their practice, • Transforming practice through practitioner led change, • Building the capacity for the ongoing and critical appraisal of practice. Video-ethnographic methods seek to foreground practitioner knowledge and insight into the dynamics of their own work processes.
This is achieved by first talking with practitioners about their work and organizational processes, by seeking an articulation of the social, professional and organizational contingencies that both enable and constrain their practice. By allowing practitioners to discuss their practices in response to video footage clinicians and researchers gain insight into areas of practice that may be benefit from redesign. Video ethnography is contingent on the researcher gaining the trust of practitioners, on becoming familiar with the site and on being trusted to be present at time and in places where critical conducts are undertaken. Photos and moving pictures have been used by ethnographers since soon; the first ethnographic film occurred in 1895 by Felix-Louis Regnault who filmed a Senegalese woman making pots. Film was used among many researchers however it was Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson who first used methods of visual ethnography such as photos and film as scientific instruments, they opened up the potential of photography and film as analytical data repositories.
Visual anthropologists became interested in the use of video on the 1980s for its convenience, durability and utility. Since the 1990s researchers from different disciplines began to engage with videos as distinct from ethnographic films; this involved the reflexive use of the video as a medium to create knowledge and not just to store data. Technological developments, such as the use of digital video, continue to offer new possibilities for the use of videos in ethnography. According to Wayne Fife, the goal of ethnographic research is to formulate a pattern of analysis that makes reasonable sense out of human actions within a context of a specific place and time; the use of videos can help ethnographers achieve this goal. Joseph Schaeffer names four primary ways in which the use of video can be advantageous to ethnographic research: Videos allow for coverage of activities in much of their complexity in their natural settings over an extended period of time; this coverage can be used to supplement written accounts and provides a context for the limited coverage by other methods.
Videos allow for scientific rigour. Videos retain sequences of observed behaviour for scrutiny and can as a result increase quality and reliability of statements made regarding the activity. Videos allow for review by both researchers and participants which can help increase the scope of interpretation. Videos can be used to establish connections between abstractions and inferences and the observed activities on which they are based. Antonius Robbens proposes that various forms of media, such as the video, are useful because of the difficulty in portraying different senses in writing, that the literary bias in ethnographic research results in a neglect of the senses; as a result, videos can help reveal elusive and intangible aspects of social and cultural behaviour and interaction. Videos provide an accurate recording of events while still leaving open a large scope for analytical interpretation, they provide opportunities for collaboration between researchers and participants and can serve as a valuable adjunctive tool in many types of ethnographic studies.
Although there are many benefits to video ethnography, there are important issues that arise from the use of videos. For instance, there are numerous ethical issues regarding the privacy of research participants or subjects. Schaeffer addresses the issues of voluntary confidentiality of data. Voluntary consent is the control of involvement in the research lying with the participant who needs complete knowledge of the research and its goals to exercise this control properly. There must be mutual trust and respect between the researchers and the participants. Confidentiality implies the proper use of the gathered data as to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality possible while maintaining the integrity of the research. Schaeffer provides three requirements to prevent the misuse of ethnographic videos: Having only trained professionals handle the videos during the research. To be aware of the needs of the participants, the social and economic relevance of the data; the willingness to sacrifice the use of videos unless indispensable for the collection of information.
Other issues can relate to the practical appropriateness of videos in specific projects. This takes into consideration both the field situation. Schaeffer concludes that videos can be useful and reliable in a variety of settings when they are properly maintained and handled. In addition to issues relating to the creation a
Identity by descent
A DNA segment is identical by state in two or more individuals if they have identical nucleotide sequences in this segment. An IBS segment is identical by descent in two or more individuals if they have inherited it from a common ancestor without recombination, that is, the segment has the same ancestral origin in these individuals. DNA segments that are IBD are IBS per definition, but segments that are not IBD can still be IBS due to the same mutations in different individuals or recombinations that do not alter the segment. All individuals in a finite population are related if traced back long enough and will, share segments of their genomes IBD. During meiosis segments of IBD are broken up by recombination. Therefore, the expected length of an IBD segment depends on the number of generations since the most recent common ancestor at the locus of the segment; the length of IBD segments that result from a common ancestor n generations in the past is exponentially distributed with mean 1/ Morgans.
The expected number of IBD segments decreases with the number of generations since the common ancestor at this locus. For a specific DNA segment, the probability of being IBD decreases as 2−2n since in each meiosis the probability of transmitting this segment is 1/2. Identified IBD segments can be used for a wide range of purposes; as noted above the amount of IBD sharing depends on the familial relationships between the tested individuals. Therefore, one application of IBD segment detection is to quantify relatedness. Measurement of relatedness can be used in forensic genetics, but can increase information in genetic linkage mapping and help to decrease bias by undocumented relationships in standard association studies. Another application of IBD is haplotype phase inference. Long shared segments of IBD, which are broken up by short regions may be indicative for phasing errors. IBD mapping is similar to linkage analysis, but can be performed without a known pedigree on a cohort of unrelated individuals.
IBD mapping can be seen as a new form of association analysis that increases the power to map genes or genomic regions containing multiple rare disease susceptibility variants. Using simulated data and Thompson showed that IBD mapping has higher power than association testing when multiple rare variants within a gene contribute to disease susceptibility. Via IBD mapping, genome-wide significant regions in isolated populations as well as outbred populations were found while standard association tests failed. Houwen et al. used IBD sharing to identify the chromosomal location of a gene responsible for benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis in an isolated fishing population. Kenny et al. used an isolated population to fine-map a signal found by a genome-wide association study of plasma plant sterol levels, a surrogate measure of cholesterol absorption from the intestine. Francks et al. was able to identify a potential susceptibility locus for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with genotype data of case-control samples.
Lin et al. found a genome-wide significant linkage signal in a dataset of multiple sclerosis patients. Letouzé et al. used IBD mapping to look for founder mutations in cancer samples. Detection of natural selection in the human genome is possible via detected IBD segments. Selection will tend to increase the number of IBD segments among individuals in a population. By scanning for regions with excess IBD sharing, regions in the human genome that have been under strong recent selection can be identified. In addition to that, IBD segments can be useful for measuring and identifying other influences on population structure. Gusev et al. showed that IBD segments can be used with additional modeling to estimate demographic history including bottlenecks and admixture. Using similar models Palamara et al. and Carmi et al. reconstructed the demographic history of Ashkenazi Jewish and Kenyan Maasai individuals. Botigué et al. investigated differences in African ancestry among European populations. Ralph and Coop used IBD detection to quantify the common ancestry of different European populations and Gravel et al. tried to draw conclusions of the genetic history of populations in the Americas.
Ringbauer et al. utilized geographic structure of IBD segments to estimate dispersal within Eastern Europe during the last centuries. Using the 1000 Genomes data Hochreiter found differences in IBD sharing between African and European populations as well as IBD segments that are shared with ancient genomes like the Neanderthal or Denisova. Programs for the detection of IBD segments in unrelated individuals: RAPID: Ultra-fast Identity by Descent Detection in Biobank-Scale Cohorts using Positional Burrows-Wheeler Transform Parente: identifies IBD segments between pairs of individuals in unphased genotype data BEAGLE/fastIBD: finds segments of IBD between pairs of individuals in genome-wide SNP data BEAGLE/RefinedIBD: finds IBD segments in pairs of individuals using a hashing method and evaluates their significance via a likelihood ratio IBDseq: detects pairwise IBD segments in sequencing data GERMLINE: discovers in linear-time IBD segments in pairs of individuals DASH: builds upon pairwise IBD segments to infer clusters of individuals to be sharing a single haplotype PLINK: is a tool set for whole genome association and population-based linkage analyses including a method for pairwise IBD segment detection Relate: estimates the probability of IBD between pairs of individuals at a specific locus using SNPs MCMC_IBDfinder: is based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo for finding IBD segments in multiple individuals IBD-Group
Nationality is a legal relationship between an individual person and a state. Nationality affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of the state. What these rights and duties are varies from state to state. By custom and international conventions, it is the right of each state to determine who its nationals are; such determinations are part of nationality law. In some cases, determinations of nationality are governed by public international law—for example, by treaties on statelessness and the European Convention on Nationality. Nationality differs technically and from citizenship, a different legal relationship between a person and a country; the noun national can include both non-citizens. The most common distinguishing feature of citizenship is that citizens have the right to participate in the political life of the state, such as by voting or standing for election. However, in most modern countries all nationals are citizens of the state, full citizens are always nationals of the state.
In older texts, the word nationality rather than ethnicity used to refer to an ethnic group. This older meaning of nationality is not defined by political borders or passport ownership and includes nations that lack an independent state. Individuals may be considered nationals of groups with autonomous status that have ceded some power to a larger government. Nationality is the status that allows a nation to grant rights to the subject and to impose obligations upon the subject. In most cases, no rights or obligations are automatically attached to this status, although the status is a necessary precondition for any rights and obligations created by the state. In European law, nationality is the status or relationship that gives a nation the right to protect a person from other nations. Diplomatic and consular protection are dependent upon this relationship between the person and the state. A person's status as being the national of a country is used to resolve the conflict of laws. Within the broad limits imposed by few treaties and international law, states may define who are and are not their nationals.
However, since the Nottebohm case, other states are only required to respect claim by a state to protect an alleged national if the nationality is based on a true social bond. In the case of dual nationality, states may determine the most effective nationality for a person, to determine which state's laws are most relevant. There are limits on removing a person's status as a national. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to a nationality," and "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality." Nationals have the right to enter or return to the country they belong to. Passports are issued to nationals of a state, rather than only to citizens, because the passport is the travel document used to enter the country. However, nationals may not have the right of abode in the countries passports. Conceptually, citizenship is focused on the internal political life of the state and nationality is a matter of international dealings.
In the modern era, the concept of full citizenship encompasses not only active political rights, but full civil rights and social rights. Nationality is a necessary but not sufficient condition to exercise full political rights within a state or other polity. Nationality is required for full citizenship, some people have no nationality in international law. A person, denied full citizenship or nationality is called a stateless person; the most significant difference between a national and a citizen is that the citizen has the right to vote for elected officials, to be elected. This distinction between full citizenship and other, lesser relationships goes back to antiquity; until the 19th and 20th centuries, it was typical for only a small percentage of people who belonged to a city or state to be full citizens. In the past, most people were excluded from citizenship on the basis of gender, socioeconomic class, ethnicity and other factors. However, they held a legal relationship with their government akin to the modern concept of nationality.
United States nationality law defines some persons born in U. S. outlying possessions as U. S. not citizens. British nationality law defines six classes of British national, among which "British citizen" is one class. In the Republic of China known as Taiwan, the status of national without household registration applies to people who have Republic of China nationality, but do not have an automatic entitlement to enter or reside in the Taiwan Area, do not qualify for civic rights and duties there. Under the nationality laws of Mexico and some other Latin American countries, nationals do not become citizens until they turn 18. Nationality is sometimes used as an alternative word for ethnicity or national origin, just as some people assume that citizenship and nationality are identical. In some countries, the cognate word for nationality in local language may be understood as a synonym of ethnicity or as an identifier of cultural and family-based self-determination, rather than on relations with a state or current government.
For example, some Kurds say that they have Kurdish nationality
In sociology, symbolic ethnicity is a nostalgic allegiance to, love for, pride in a cultural tradition that can be felt and lived without having to be incorporated to the person's everyday behavior. The term was introduced in the article "Symbolic Ethnicity: The Future of Ethnic Groups and Cultures in America", by Herbert J. Gans, in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies; the development of symbolic ethnicity, as a sociological phenomenon, is attributed to to ethnic European immigrants of second and subsequent generations, because "Black, Hispanic and Indian Americans do not have the option of a symbolic ethnicity, at present, in the United States". In the U. S. symbolic ethnicity is an important component of American cultural identity, assumed as "a voluntary chosen identity marker, rather than the ascribed characteristic" determined by physical appearance. As a sociological phenomenon, symbolic ethnicity is attributed to Americans of European ancestry, most of whom either are influenced by or assimilated to the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant community.
As such, symbolic ethnicity is the process of social identity whereby the person's "ethnic identity is associated with iconic elements of the culture" from which he or she originated. Gans's investigations concentrated on the latter generations of Roman Catholic and Jewish Americans who had "begun to re-associate themselves with their ethnic culture", noting that "the ethnic associations were symbolic, that the traditional community interactions were lost"; those Catholic and Jewish Americans identified "their ethnic race in a personal perspective, as opposed to a communal" perspective, which actions produced an "outward ethnic identity that uses superficial symbols and icons to label and categorize a certain race". That is to say, people identify their ethnicity by way of images from the mass communications media, as accepted through past associations derived from social and historical judgements. In race: Symbolic Ethnicity and the Asian Image, Stephen Lee describes symbolic ethnicity: From unrelenting integration of outside influences, self-definition becomes less associated with the community as a collective, becomes more associated with personal ethnicity as self.
As the definition of ethnicity becomes personal, the need to reassert the community associations decreases. Ethnicity becomes a symbolic identity more than a lifestyle; the definition of ethnicity, as formed by cinema, follows this symbolic pattern. In fact, in most cinema that deal with ethnic integration, ethnic lifestyle is inseparable from its symbolic codes. Ethnic lifestyle is not an associative or collective means of existence, but a symbolic code—an icon. In the book Identity and Belonging: Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Canadian Society, by B. Singh Bolaria and Sean P. Hier, symbolic ethnicity is defined by, in the actions of "individuals who identify as Irish, for example, on occasions such as Saint Patrick's Day, on family holidays, or for vacations, they do not belong to Irish-American organizations, live in Irish neighborhoods, work in Irish jobs, or marry other Irish people." Therefore, the symbolic identity of "being Irish" is:... ethnicity, individualistic in nature and without real social cost for the individual.
These symbolic identifications are leisure-time activities, rooted in a nuclear family traditions and reinforced by the voluntary enjoyable aspects of being ethnic. In terms of the derogatory term Plastic Paddy used to describe symbolic ethnicity in the Irish diaspora, Hickman states that the use of this term was "a part of the process by which the second-generation Irish are positioned as inauthentic within the two identities, of Englishness and Irishness... The message from each is that second-generation Irish are'really English' and many of the second-generation resist this." This perspective suggests that symbolic ethnicity is a result of assimilation and some assimilated individuals may prefer to explore a culture that they may not have been raised with to a significant extent. Many displays of what could be argued to be symbolic ethnicity, such as the study of Scottish Gaelic by the Scottish diaspora in North America, do not conform to the stereotype of individuals feeling entitled to a cultural ethnicity due to ancestry.
Most Gaelic learners in one study those with Scottish ancestry, stated that Gaelic ethnic identity was not related to ancestry. Plastic Paddy Symbolic religiosity Tartanism Gans, Herbert J.. "Symbolic ethnicity: The future of ethnic groups and cultures in America*". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 2: 1–20. Doi:10.1080/01419870.1979.9993248. Waters, Mary C.. Ethnic options: choosing identities in America. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520070837