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6. Define culture. Is culture limited to racial and ethnic backgrounds? Explain.
Some of the most perplexing problems arise from the vagueness of the term and phenomenon called ethnicity, and from its indefinite and ever-expanding domain. [ One of the central arguments of this essay will be that ethnicity is not a single unified social phenomenon but a congeries, a "family," of related but analytically distinct phenomena. The foundations of ethnicity, the "markers" of
ethnicity, the history of ethnicity, the aims and goals of ethnicity—these vary from case to case. For instance, in one circumstance religion may be the decisive distinction between two ethnic groups (say, in Northern Ireland), while in another language or history or race or any number of other qualities may serve the same function. Even within one case of ethnicity or conflict, the referents or the emphasis on referents of the groups concerned may shift over time. Further, not all culturally-distinct groups are ethnic groups precisely, and (in an odd paradox) not all ethnic groups are culturally-distinct groups; the relation of ethnicity to "culture" is less than perfect. Not all ethnic groups are ancient and organic social entities; some can make the claim, while others are noticeably recent. Finally, not all ethnic groups are in conflict, not all conflicts are equal in intensity, and not all conflicts seek the same ends. ............... ]
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