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Is there such a thing as an English ethnicity?

Andalublue

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This is a continuation of the debate that began, for some reason, on the Do You Support Israel? thread.

My position that there is such a thing as an English ethnicity but that it is a dynamic, constantly evolving concept that has nothing to do with shared genetics, race or blood, but an idea of shared cultural, linguistic and historical traits that define who the people of the country are and what such a definition of English means.

Such a definition doesn't necessarily have to follow a common definition with what constitutes any other ethnicity because the cultural experience of each ethnic group is unique, each more, or less, homogenous than the other.

Does anyone really believe that their is a genetic common factor uniting a particular section of the people that inhabit England, that can be defined as an English race?
 

Tucker Case

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This is a continuation of the debate that began, for some reason, on the Do You Support Israel? thread.

My position that there is such a thing as an English ethnicity but that it is a dynamic, constantly evolving concept that has nothing to do with shared genetics, race or blood, but an idea of shared cultural, linguistic and historical traits that define who the people of the country are and what such a definition of English means.

Such a definition doesn't necessarily have to follow a common definition with what constitutes any other ethnicity because the cultural experience of each ethnic group is unique, each more, or less, homogenous than the other.

Does anyone really believe that their is a genetic common factor uniting a particular section of the people that inhabit England, that can be defined as an English race?
Yeah, I'd say that there is an English ethnicity. Just like I'd say that there are Scottish, Welsh, Irish and even Ulster Scott ethnicities.

What's interesting to me is that the English ethnicity seems less rigid than the other ethnicities in the British Isles, though. Especially compared to the Irish and Scottish.

My guess is that this would be in part due to the fact that the English didn't have the same impetus to preserve their cultural heritage from being altered form without as those other ethnicities did.

For example, the Scottish and Irish made it a part of their cultural heritage to resist being consumed by the English heritage, and thus took more steps to preserve their cultural heritage. It became a point of pride to preserve their own identities.

The English identity was never overtly threatened and, ironically, this meant that it was more prone to erosion over time than the other ethnicities.

That's why it is the most diffuse of the ethnicities of the region, IMO.
 
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This is a continuation of the debate that began, for some reason, on the Do You Support Israel? thread.

My position that there is such a thing as an English ethnicity but that it is a dynamic, constantly evolving concept that has nothing to do with shared genetics, race or blood, but an idea of shared cultural, linguistic and historical traits that define who the people of the country are and what such a definition of English means.

Such a definition doesn't necessarily have to follow a common definition with what constitutes any other ethnicity because the cultural experience of each ethnic group is unique, each more, or less, homogenous than the other.

Does anyone really believe that their is a genetic common factor uniting a particular section of the people that inhabit England, that can be defined as an English race?
well, in my area we have a lot of english tourists, and i have to say they seem to look alike physically. of course, they are white, and i realize all brits are not white.
 

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Race/genetics can be a component of ethnicity, but it is not a requirement of ethnicity.
 

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Ethnicity is a combination of genetics and culture, and because of this it is subject to the agendas of those who seek to either maximize or minimize the influence of one or the other.
 

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Race/genetics can be a component of ethnicity, but it is not a requirement of ethnicity.
I disagree, the term ethnicity implies a common ancestry, hence terms ethnic like ethnic 'kin'. I agree that it is not the only requirement, but it is a requirement.

The fact that virtually no 'ethnic group' has a common ancestry merely demonstrates that the term is confused and should be used sparingly.

For some nationalities, most famously German, so called 'ethnicity' has been virtually synonomous with nationality. Being born to 'ethnic Germans' made a person German, regardless of where they were born. This led to terrible problems.

In country's like England and France this has never been the case. The French in particular have this as an ingrained part of their culture, anyone born in their octagon is French. They will be assimilated into French culture regardless of their bloodline. In England it has never been so pronounced, but it has always been a feature of English culture.

The USA is basically modeled on the French model, except with the peculiar feature of hyphenated Americans; Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, etc. These hyphens normally dissapear after a few generations and people just become American, this doesn't mean they become 'ethnically American'. They simply don't have an ethnicity, or their ethnicity is synonomous with their race.

Personally, I was born in Scotland, my father was born in the Western Isles, whilst my mother was born in Dumfries and Galloway, near the English border. On my fathers side I can trace my family back several generations with all of it centred on one particular island of the Western Isles, whilst on my mothers side my family can be traced back a couple generations to Lancashire in Northern England, but after that it becomes very messy. I wouldn't describe myself as ethnically anything.
 
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Andalublue

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Ethnicity is a combination of genetics and culture, and because of this it is subject to the agendas of those who seek to either maximize or minimize the influence of one or the other.
From the OED.

Ethnicity:
the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition:
the interrelationship between gender, ethnicity, and class

Whether or not genetics has any part to play in the question of ethnicity is debatable (I'm not denying it, just saying that opinions differ) but in the case of English ethnicity, it clearly plays a very subordinate role to that of say Scottish or Irish ethnicity, as Tucker has pointed out. He said that "it was more prone to erosion", which suggests a slightly pejorative judgement. I'd replace 'erosion' with 'evolution', and suggest that English ethnicity is almost entirely the product of shared culture, language and historical experience.

I'm not arguing that genetics plays no part in other ethnicities, I don't have sufficient knowledge to make such a claim, but that with English ethnicity, given the shared and continuous history of migration and interbreeding of peoples, any common genotype has been so diluted as to make it meaningless as a means of defining that ethnicity.
 

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Andalablue this whole discussion came about from discussing things like islamophobia coming under the generic name of racism and this being questioned. I gave this quote
The term “Islamophobia” is, admittedly, not ideal. It was coined by way of analogy to “xenophobia” and can be characterized by the belief that all or most Muslims are religious fanatics, have violent tendencies towards non-Muslims, and reject such concepts as equality, tolerance, and democracy. It is a new form of racism whereby Muslims, an ethno-religious group, not a race, are, nevertheless, constructed as a race. A set of negative assumptions are made of the entire group to the detriment of members of that group. During the 1990s many sociologists and cultural analysts observed a shift in racist ideas from ones based on skin color to ones based on notions of cultural superiority and otherness.
http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/76873-french-mps-vote-ban-islamic-full-veil-public-15.html

Apocalypse took umbridge to this saying
Nevertheless the implication by your source that "Muslims are an ethno-religious group", (like Jews) is ridiculous, since there is no Muslim ethnicity.
They also don't explain its claims that Muslims are constructed as a race, and that for itself is quite an immoral thing to say since they imply that people who believe in Allah have a specific genetic system.
http://www.debatepolitics.com/europ...lamic-full-veil-public-15.html#post1058865505

which got me looking at things after that thread was locked. I had never thought of the Jewish people as a race until I came online and found people believing they were. So then this seemed to move to Jews being a Nation and the English having a Nation which has at it's roots some genetic line.

But it does not. Sometimes parts of England was Scotland, the borders of Scotland and the North of England have no doubt at some times been much more intimately involved than the south and north of England and so on never mind the reality that we have been accepting incomers all this time.

The culture and tradition in the country UK is nothing like it was when I was a child. Then children had to be 'seen and not heard', everyone had to go to church on Sunday. We are an ever changing society, as you said Andalablue a society in flux.

As to us all looking the same. Of course that will depend on in breeding. Where I live at the moment in a small village, I have thought people do look much the same, but that is what it is inbreeding, that is all. The more people there are coming in and out the more different people will look and that is only in different parts of the UK.

Nationality is also a very important point. In this country, people who have citizenship have Nationality regardless of their genetic background and as Andalablue said they then become part of the culture and the culture also changes.

What it has all come out with in the end is that ethnics may or may not be about race and that as far as the UK is concerned Nationality is also not based on race.
 

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Andalablue this whole discussion came about from discussing things like islamophobia coming under the generic name of racism and this being questioned. I gave this quote

http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/76873-french-mps-vote-ban-islamic-full-veil-public-15.html

Apocalypse took umbridge to this saying

http://www.debatepolitics.com/europ...lamic-full-veil-public-15.html#post1058865505

which got me looking at things after that thread was locked. I had never thought of the Jewish people as a race until I came online and found people believing they were. So then this seemed to move to Jews being a Nation and the English having a Nation which has at it's roots some genetic line.

But it does not. Sometimes parts of England was Scotland, the borders of Scotland and the North of England have no doubt at some times been much more intimately involved than the south and north of England and so on never mind the reality that we have been accepting incomers all this time.

The culture and tradition in the country UK is nothing like it was when I was a child. Then children had to be 'seen and not heard', everyone had to go to church on Sunday. We are an ever changing society, as you said Andalablue a society in flux.

As to us all looking the same. Of course that will depend on in breeding. Where I live at the moment in a small village, I have thought people do look much the same, but that is what it is inbreeding, that is all. The more people there are coming in and out the more different people will look and that is only in different parts of the UK.

Nationality is also a very important point. In this country, people who have citizenship have Nationality regardless of their genetic background and as Andalablue said they then become part of the culture and the culture also changes.

What it has all come out with in the end is that ethnics may or may not be about race and that as far as the UK is concerned Nationality is also not based on race.
Moderator's Warning:
Kindly stop dragging detritus here from another thread.
 

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Yes, the English are an ethnic group and a nation.
The definition of an ethnic group is a group that shares a common heritage, and stuff like a common language, a shared history, etc.
The English people's common heritage, once more, are the different people that have settled the land of England and have made it their home.
This includes the Vikings, the Britons, the Normans, the different German tribes etc.
Those people have acted as one united people in that land, have mixed and have intermarried until, generations later, a new people were born.
Those are the common and shared ancestors of the modern English people.

And once more, from Wikipedia;

English people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia said:
The English (from Old English: Englisc) are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English.
 

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I disagree, the term ethnicity implies a common ancestry, hence terms ethnic like ethnic 'kin'. I agree that it is not the only requirement, but it is a requirement.

The fact that virtually no 'ethnic group' has a common ancestry merely demonstrates that the term is confused and should be used sparingly.
I disagree.
A NatGeo study started in 2005 Genographic Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia seeks to map migrations of all people from 11 indigenous populations.. call them ethnicities if you like (even 'races'). But people/s Are traceable through their genes.

Perhaps 'English' isn't an Ethnicity but ie, Jews are. 40% of Jews can be traced to just 4 Middle Eastern women, and virtually all the rest from another 150. I think that qualifies as 'common ancestry'.
 
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The French in particular have this as an ingrained part of their culture, anyone born in their octagon is French. They will be assimilated into French culture regardless of their bloodline.
This, unfortunately, might be about to change in France due to the xenophobia of the current semi-fascist government.

FOXNews.com - Sarkozy wants to take away French citizenship of immigrants who attack police

"The xenophobia of Nicolas Sarkozy threatens democracy," the League of Human Rights said. For the conservative leader's main rival, the Socialist Party, "There are rules that are valid for all French ... You are French or you are not French."

Many claimed that Sarkozy, plummeting in the polls, was using law-and-order and immigration issues to gain backing from deeply conservative swaths of the population and the minority far-right.





PS: France is not an octagon, but an hexagon. I can understand however your confusion due to the fact that the current French president and his government might have added to France a couple of nooks!
 
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This, unfortunately, might be about to change in France due to the xenophobia of the current semi-fascist government.

FOXNews.com - Sarkozy wants to take away French citizenship of immigrants who attack police

"The xenophobia of Nicolas Sarkozy threatens democracy," the League of Human Rights said. For the conservative leader's main rival, the Socialist Party, "There are rules that are valid for all French ... You are French or you are not French."

Many claimed that Sarkozy, plummeting in the polls, was using law-and-order and immigration issues to gain backing from deeply conservative swaths of the population and the minority far-right.





PS: France is not an octagon, but an hexagon. I can understand however your confusion due to the fact that the current French president and his government might have added to France a couple of nooks!
I find it very worrying Paris. bub has been talking about Belgium thinking of revoking the citizenship of people who have duel citizenship who commit crimes. Here's what I see, Burka's first step, a bit of softening up, criminals denied citizenship, next step, still sounds rational to some. By then they are on board. what then? That is what I think.
 

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Here's what I see, Burka's first step, a bit of softening up, criminals denied citizenship, next step, still sounds rational to some. By then they are on board. what then? That is what I think.
For the life of me I cannot see the connection between the burqa ban and the denial of citizenship to criminals.
 

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I find it very worrying Paris. bub has been talking about Belgium thinking of revoking the citizenship of people who have duel citizenship who commit crimes. Here's what I see, Burka's first step, a bit of softening up, criminals denied citizenship, next step, still sounds rational to some. By then they are on board. what then? That is what I think.
So do I. Fascism has always treated citizenship as if it was some sort of luxury. It is however not a luxury in a democracy, it is a basic human right!

PS: There are high chances that this will not be approved by the Conseil Constitutionnel or the ECHR...
 
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alexa

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So do I. Fascism has always treated citizenship as if it was some sort of luxury. It is however not a luxury in a democracy, it is a basic human right!

PS: There are high chances that this will not be approved by the Conseil Constitutionnel or the ECHR...
You put that very well. We, I am sorry to say have sneakily already got a law in place which really, I think, could be used pretty 'carte blanche' to deport citizens

The link between right of abode and citizenship is also acknowledged in that it is not possible to deprive a British citizen of his right of abode without first depriving him of his citizenship status. Under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, the Secretary of State may deprive a British citizen of his citizenship status if he is satisfied that to do so is conducive to the public good or in cases in which citizenship through registration or naturalisation was obtained through fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact.
11
http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/citizenship-report-full.pdf

This snuck in in 1981. I don't think we have used it yet. We have though, imo, a mad man who seems to be in charge of 'the centre for social cohesion' who is all for sending non citizens back to countries where we know they will be tortured and killed.

That rule really makes a mockery of citizenship which is above everything else, the right of abode.

Luckily it sounds like France has laws to stop this sort of thing happening. If we ever started getting that kind of mindset it would be extremely worrying. I thought part of citizenship was that you were stuck with the bad as well as the good. (We can't take away the citizenship of anyone who then would be left Stateless.) Blimey! :shock:

Edit: had been wondering what happened in 1981 and apparently it was our last prosecution of anyone for treason.
 
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I think this might have relevance to the thread. It is from a paper looking into citizenship and the result of research down concerning that.

British Identity: its sources and possible implications for civic attitudes and behaviour
Professor Anthony Heath and Jane Roberts
A sense of British identity is widespread and in all three territories the majority of Britons continue to have dual identities, as both British and Scottish, British and Welsh or British and English. A small but growing number (around 10%) of people reject all four national identities.
• Britons tend to feel proud of being British, and levels of national pride are higher than in most other countries in the EU15. In contrast levels of attachment or sense of belonging to Britain (which may be the more relevant aspect in the context of citizenship) is below the European average.

There is evidence of decline over the last two decades in strength of national pride (although largely from ‘very strong’ to ‘fairly strong’ sense of pride) and there may well have been a very modest decline in attachment.The main driver of a feeling of attachment or belonging to Britain is age with younger people being less strongly attached to Britain. It is likely that much of the decline in pride and attachment is generational in character, with younger generations who feel a lower sense of attachment gradually replacing older generations.

Controlling for age, we find no evidence that Muslims or people of Pakistani heritage were in general less attached to Britain than were other religions or ethnic groups.
Ethnic minorities show clear evidence of ‘dual’ rather than ‘exclusive’ identities. However, people born overseas in a non-Commonwealth country tend to have a weaker sense of belonging to Britain as do people who have arrived in Britain only recently.

Socio-economic marginality (lower social class or low income, or a limiting long-term illness) is associated with slightly weaker feelings of belonging.
• Among young people born in Britain, the lack of attachment of Black Caribbeans is especially marked, reaching one third or more. This applies to the second generation as well as to the first, migrant generation.
• A feeling of ‘belonging’ or ‘attachment’ to Britain appears to be associated with social trust and a sense of civic duty (at least as indicated by turnout in elections).

A sense of belonging is not associated with particularly xenophobic attitudes, nor is it associated with distinctive political positions (other than on European integration and maintenance of the union) or with many other aspects of social participation or values. People with a lower sense of attachment appear to be more critical of the current social and political order.

The views of people born outside the UK
EdComs and ippr
• Some respondents described ‘Britishness’ in terms of personal characteristics of British people – polite, reserved or aloof. Others talked about the nation – using terms such as organised or civilised. Most respondents, however, found it hard to define ‘Britishness’, yet those who had become citizens in particular said they felt, and were proud to be, British. Others with aspirations of citizenship talked positively about being a part of British society.
• Many citizens defined themselves as British simply because they had a British passport but feeling British, as opposed to being British, was a more profound state of mind. Having a positive experience of Britain and British people helped to create a positive British identity. There was a genuine admiration among most respondents for the tolerance and honesty of the British people and the state, which became a source of pride once individuals could think of themselves as British.
There were tensions, but no conflict, in having a dual identity as a British person and as someone born overseas. Many citizens said they were 50% British and 50% from their country of birth, some non-citizens felt that they were more than 90% British and that citizenship would make them 100% British.“I love my country and my family and I love this country. I think I am Ecuadorian 100% and I think I am British 100%.” Citizen, Ecuador

On balance, the strong feeling of being British that many respondents expressed seemed to have arisen as a result of living here and participating in and contributing to British life.
Some said they felt more British after acquiring citizenship, but most of the emotional attachment to Britain coincided with making decisions about a future life in Britain.
http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/citizenship-report-full.pdf


I think that gives a fair description. The last emboldened bit I think is answering the question and is what Slainte has said elsewhere. If you stay in Britain or Scotland, Wales or England or any part for long enough, you will become British (or Scottish, English or Welsh)
 
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The English can certainly be denigrated or treated as second-class citizens by its own Establishment, right to the extent of always being called a mongrel race. You wouldn't DARE call the half-white racist Obama a mongrel, you hypocritical Marxist swines!

Loose examples include positive discrimination (because it's just flatly anti-white discriminatory) and public figures moaning about how places can still be 'far too white' or comics like Stewart Lee calling England backward and unenlightened in his act. (Imagine the leftard uproar had he said the same about genuinely backward places in darkest Africa! The only reason there are thick, verminous white trash here is because 'liberals' allowed them to flourish!!)


More direct examples include banning St. George's Day celebrations or overt displays of English pride, the default assumption that the white English are racist until proved otherwise, left wing propaganda painting the English as the worst of villains (besides the Nazis) who enslaved and butchered all the happy pure people in the world and tosspots saying it's impossible to be racist towards English people.



http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/65404-lunatics-new-labour-state-4.html#post1058552657

RANCID LEFTARD COW: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/stand...ent-too-white-to-be-sensible-claims-harman.do

Cornwall: It's OK to insult the Cornish because they don't exist, rules watchdog | Mail Online , I need not go on.
 
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mikhail

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I think the ideas surrounding such things as culture or ethnicity are overated.The biggest protectors of culture seem to be those who move away from the place they identify themselves with.They dont realise places move on.England is whatever it is at this time and in 50 years it will different in a 100 years it will be different in a completly different way.
 

Andalublue

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How would that suggest a sligtly pejorative judgment?
Well the OED defines erosion as the gradual destrucion or diminution of something. That strikes me as slightly pejorative. I'm sure you weren't necessarily implying that, but that what it suggested to me when I read it.
 

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Yes, the English are an ethnic group and a nation.
The definition of an ethnic group is a group that shares a common heritage, and stuff like a common language, a shared history, etc.
The English people's common heritage, once more, are the different people that have settled the land of England and have made it their home.
This includes the Vikings, the Britons, the Normans, the different German tribes etc.
Those people have acted as one united people in that land, have mixed and have intermarried until, generations later, a new people were born.
Those are the common and shared ancestors of the modern English people.
Nope, I don't accept that. Peoples never stopped arriving, never stopped the process of evolution and never solidified into a 'finished', definable English ethnicity. The ancestors of the English are every bit as much the Huguenot French, Ashkenazy Jews and Indian migrants from the 1900s, amongst many others. Clearly some people (like our friend RoP) would like that definition of ethnicity to be limited to those with white skin, but that's not a defining element at all. Neither is adhering to a Christian religion.

I repeat: history, language, culture.
 

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Anglo-saxon is a better way to describe "english ethnicity".
 

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Nope, I don't accept that. Peoples never stopped arriving, never stopped the process of evolution and never solidified into a 'finished', definable English ethnicity. The ancestors of the English are every bit as much the Huguenot French, Ashkenazy Jews and Indian migrants from the 1900s, amongst many others. Clearly some people (like our friend RoP) would like that definition of ethnicity to be limited to those with white skin, but that's not a defining element at all. Neither is adhering to a Christian religion.

I repeat: history, language, culture.
Don't expect you to accept that, simply stating the truth.
You're talking about immigrants that have arrived in the land centuries later, I'm speaking about the settlers of the land.
 

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Anglo-saxon is a better way to describe "english ethnicity".
No, it's not. The Anglo-saxons were only one of multiple invaders/settlers to England. They only ever dominated the south, central and eastern parts of the country despite the eventual unifying of the country of England under Athelstan. The part of England where I grew up was, and still is, majority dominated by people who trace their ancestry back to Scandinavian settlers (AKA Vikings) of the 9th-11th centuries. The North East has thereafter seen waves of migration from north and east Europe, Ireland, and the Indian sub-continent. Anglo-saxon has always been a minority influence there. The story is different elsewhere, of course. Old Wessex, for example(Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire) will be heavily Anglo-saxon influenced.
 
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