Ethnicity means many things to many people, including (just for a start): your ancestral heritage, one’s cultural background, and things cultures typically include such as cuisine, holidays, ways of doing things, assumptions about “life”, etc. However, in the American context, race and ethnicity are often entangled with one another. This conversation’s primary focus is on ethnicity. For the purposes of deeper exploration, this guide (part 2 of the 3-part Race and Ethnicity Cohort Conversation) makes deliberate distinctions based on some of the common definitions for ethnicity.
This Race and Ethnicity series has its own specialized training materials. Please contact Brialle@LivingRoomConversations.org to access them.
(This is the second conversation in our Race & Ethnicity series of three conversations. You can check out the first one here and the third one here.) You can also listen to a podcast recording of this conversation here. Common definitions of ethnicity include:
- A category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation.
- 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, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.
- A social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.
- A social group that shares a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like.
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