What is your ethnicity?

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PastFixations
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08 Apr 2012, 2:36 pm

English but when I'm drunk, I can be whatever you like...


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16 Apr 2012, 5:09 pm

Half Welsh and Half English Liverpudlian (born a Liverpudlian, I don't class my self as English more as Scouse (officially Irish Welsh Scouse), if you know the multicultural history of my city then you understand there's very little English about it :wink:) Ancestry mostly of Irish and Welsh immigrates with a bit of Scottish, German, Norwegian and Swedish descent.


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LookingLost
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18 Apr 2012, 4:01 pm

Scottish



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01 May 2012, 1:06 am

Mostly Scots-Irish, but also Alsatian and Cherokee.


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Declension
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01 May 2012, 1:20 am

This thread has got me thinking about ethnicity and what it really means. If it means "the modern-day tribe that I identify with", then it makes sense as a concept. But if it means "the tribe of my ancestors", then I don't think that it is a very defensible term. We all know that if we take our father, then his father, then his father, ... we will eventually end up with some tribesman living in Africa. So what are the timescales involved here? It all seems a bit arbitrary.

In other words, if you yourself don't do anything particularly "Irish", in what non-arbitrary sense can you say that you are Irish? All that means is that at least one of your thousands of ancestral lines started in Africa, went to Ireland, and then went to wherever you live now.

I have often noticed this tendency among white people living in former British colonies, that they desperately want to be "from" somewhere. What's wrong with identifying with the country that you now live in?



EstherJ
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03 May 2012, 11:43 am

German-Russian Ashkenazi, and a little bit of Scottish.



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12 May 2012, 12:36 am

Han Chinese.

Boring, I know. :?


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Senath
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19 May 2012, 11:48 am

Declension wrote:
This thread has got me thinking about ethnicity and what it really means. If it means "the modern-day tribe that I identify with", then it makes sense as a concept. But if it means "the tribe of my ancestors", then I don't think that it is a very defensible term. We all know that if we take our father, then his father, then his father, ... we will eventually end up with some tribesman living in Africa. So what are the timescales involved here? It all seems a bit arbitrary.

In other words, if you yourself don't do anything particularly "Irish", in what non-arbitrary sense can you say that you are Irish? All that means is that at least one of your thousands of ancestral lines started in Africa, went to Ireland, and then went to wherever you live now.

I have often noticed this tendency among white people living in former British colonies, that they desperately want to be "from" somewhere. What's wrong with identifying with the country that you now live in?


For me I lived in a very ethnically diverse community growing up in California and everyone was always asking where everyone else was "from", especially because a lot of them were not born in the US. I wanted to have the same sense of identity but didn't know how to go about it. My great grandparents were born in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and England. I was born in Utah but lived my entire life in California. What does that make me?

Just out of curiosity Declension, can I ask where you're "from"? :)



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19 May 2012, 2:21 pm

Shoot! The information has changed, yet again.

I am something like 25% English, 12.5% Irish, 12.5% Polish, 37.5% Scottish, 12.5% Native, but truly, I have no idea, but I know I am English, Scottish and Polish for sure (but maybe less Native and less Scottish and not Irish at all, but something else instead that I don't even have a CLUE, and if I did, I would guess Irish because, well, it's complicated and personal and I don't really want to get into it).


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19 May 2012, 4:25 pm

French, Chinese, black.



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21 Jul 2012, 6:46 pm

Scottish...If it's not Scottish.....it's CrAP :wink:


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DerStadtschutz
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22 Jul 2012, 10:25 am

Declension wrote:
This thread has got me thinking about ethnicity and what it really means. If it means "the modern-day tribe that I identify with", then it makes sense as a concept. But if it means "the tribe of my ancestors", then I don't think that it is a very defensible term. We all know that if we take our father, then his father, then his father, ... we will eventually end up with some tribesman living in Africa. So what are the timescales involved here? It all seems a bit arbitrary.

In other words, if you yourself don't do anything particularly "Irish", in what non-arbitrary sense can you say that you are Irish? All that means is that at least one of your thousands of ancestral lines started in Africa, went to Ireland, and then went to wherever you live now.

I have often noticed this tendency among white people living in former British colonies, that they desperately want to be "from" somewhere. What's wrong with identifying with the country that you now live in?


Well, let's see... There are many many reasons I don't identify with America, but one of them is the fact that here it's perfectly fine to routinely circumcize newborn boys, and over in Germany, it's not.



Kjas
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23 Jul 2012, 12:19 am

Declension wrote:
This thread has got me thinking about ethnicity and what it really means. If it means "the modern-day tribe that I identify with", then it makes sense as a concept. But if it means "the tribe of my ancestors", then I don't think that it is a very defensible term. We all know that if we take our father, then his father, then his father, ... we will eventually end up with some tribesman living in Africa. So what are the timescales involved here? It all seems a bit arbitrary.

In other words, if you yourself don't do anything particularly "Irish", in what non-arbitrary sense can you say that you are Irish? All that means is that at least one of your thousands of ancestral lines started in Africa, went to Ireland, and then went to wherever you live now.

I have often noticed this tendency among white people living in former British colonies, that they desperately want to be "from" somewhere. What's wrong with identifying with the country that you now live in?


Maybe it's different for me as a minority living here, but one of peoples' first questions in IRL is *always* "Where are you from?"

I get tired of answering it - usually I just settle for "It's complicated."

But I can imagine for others here they feel left out, which leads to an attempt to self identify in order to feel included, although by the same question that I find irriatating because it's so goddamn constant.


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23 Jul 2012, 8:02 pm

Declension wrote:
But if it means "the tribe of my ancestors", then I don't think that it is a very defensible term. We all know that if we take our father, then his father, then his father, ... we will eventually end up with some tribesman living in Africa. So what are the timescales involved here? It all seems a bit arbitrary.

And go back further still and you end up with fish. So why do we identify as human, then? Is it arbitrary?



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25 Jul 2012, 9:37 am

LexF wrote:
I'm mostly Norwegian, also some German, Finnish, Scottish, Swedish, and Border Collie.


Whomever you are, we must be kin. You said border collie. *sends wave of affection*

---

To answer the poll:

My expected answer: Mid-Atlantic American (Irish and Cherokee)

My more accurate description of my mental ethnicity: British, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, Egyptian, Arab, Native American, Indian, Russian, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, and perhaps French, with a mix of border collie and a teacup cat/ragdoll cat mix. I should be from everywhere.