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Ethnicity (Not Race) and Belonging

  • Amanda Kearney
Chapter

Abstract

Throughout this book, I have consciously adopted “ethnicity” rather than “race” as my methodology. By instating ethnicity as the primary criterion for difference, this discussion acknowledges a history of race debate and race discourse and deliberately moves away from it. While “race” as a concept is often still used in certain popular contexts, its problematics are too great to justify inclusion in this discussion. The choice to repudiate race as a category for analysis does, however, require explanation. Despite the concept losing its appeal some time ago in anthropological vernacular, diversity—as distinguished on such terms as self-declared status, origins, ancestry, and cultural expressions—is still explored and spoken of through a mixed discourse of race, ethnicity, and Indigeneity. The persistence of race as a category for analysis remains somewhat puzzling, particularly in light of widespread critique of its use as a typology to classify human groups. In use since the 1800s, the meaning of “race” has changed over time, retaining a remarkable grip in mainstream vernacular and political rhetoric around the world until the mid-1900s. First held to denote lineages of human groups (Banton 1987), its central meaning was “a stock of descendants linked to a common ancestor” (Wade 2010: 5).

Keywords

Ethnic Group Ethnic Identity Social Memory Ethnic Study Cultural Wounding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Amanda Kearney 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda Kearney

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