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Ethnicity Research Papers

Research papers on ethnicity cover a wide variety of topics due to ethnicity's applicability to many different genres. Anthropology, sociology, biology and other collegiate disciplines all involve the study of ethnicity and how it influences human kind.

Possible topics for anthropology include the following:

  • Ethnicity and cultural traditions in society
  • Ethnicity and social and economic barriers
  • Ethnic conflict in society today

Ethnicity is more subjectively defined. Most sociologists are more comfortable in engaging in scientific discourses that refers to ethnicity. Also, although sometimes defined by geographical locations in areas with minimal physical mobility, ethnicity is largely a matter of personal preference. Although similar to the construction of race, social stratification theory shows that an ethnic group refers to discernible differences in cultural mores, such as dialect, religion, and traditions, and sometimes physical characteristics such as skin color and body shape.


The difference between ethnicity and race is that a person from a different genotype and/or phenotype can be raised in an ethnic tradition that differs from that of their ancestors. An African-American could be raised in a Jewish household, for example, and identify with Jewish cultural traditions, although the outward appearances between the child and the adopted family may differ. In addition, a biracial child borne of an American Indian mother and a Chinese father, for example, would be able to choose which of these ethnic identities formed the basis for their own ethic identity and define themselves accordingly, regardless of genotype or phenotype.

Whether used defensively to thwart the ambitions of others or offensively to achieve an end of one's own, ethnicity is primarily a label or set of symbolic ties that is used for political advantage-much like interest group membership or political party affiliation. Given the existing structure of states, and the geographic concentration of individuals with common social or economic backgrounds within these entities, ethnicity may be a powerful and frequently used political tool, but according to instrumentalists this does not distinguish ethnicity fundamentally from other political affiliations.  It follows from the instrumentalist approach that the lessons drawn from ethnic conflicts can often-perhaps always-be applied to other sorts of conflicts. If politicized ethnicity is not inherently different than other forms of political manipulation, ethnic conflict should not necessarily be different than other conflicts based on interest or ideology. In this view, ethnic conflict, however prevalent, is part of the larger conflict process.

An Ethnicity research paper points out that a new generation has come of age, one that does not have direct contact with the ethnicity of their mother country, before America. The sociological trends of understanding the assimilation of ethnicity in America illustrate how this decline in ethnic content has been understated by sociologists over the years.  Sociologists began viewing ethnicity as part of social stratification in America as accommodating but not assimilating.

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