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Is "American" an ethnicity?
#1
The United States contains a vast array of ethnic groups: in addition to all the different tribes of Native Americans, you have a wide range of large immigrant groups (the largest being German-American, African-American, Mexican-American, Irish-American and English-American). However, now that it's been over 400 years since the first European settlements were established in the territory that would become the USA, has enough time passed for "American" itself to become an ethnicity?

YouTube user Masaman explores that issue in the following video:



Here are some of the main points that he makes:

  • Around 7% of Americans identify their ethnic group as nothing more than 'American' (as you can see on this map, this is particularly prevalent in Appalachia). Most of these people are of English or Scots-Irish descent; however, their ancestors have been in America for so long that they no longer identify with their original European ancestry groups. (Something similar happens in Canada, BTW - although, those who identify their ethnicity as just 'Canadian' are more likely to be French-Canadian than Anglo-Canadian)

  • Masaman also argues that white Southerners could be considered to be an 'ethnicity', since political and cultural differences between North and South were massive prior to the 20th century (and, when white Southerners moved to the North, they tended to form 'Southern' enclaves).

  • In some of the larger states (particularly Texas), many of the inhabitants identify primarily with their state, rather than a particular ethnic group. However, this isn't really true of the smaller states (and it could cause confusion in the cases of Alaska and Hawaii, since the labels 'Alaskan' and 'Hawaiian' are already in use to describe the native populations of those states!)

  • Masaman repeats his earlier argument that Mormons (at least, the 'original' ones descended from the Mormon pioneers) function as an 'ethnicity' in many ways - but, this time, he gives a shout-out to the Amish as well :P .

In the end, he concludes that the answer to the title question is "Not yet", because not enough time has passed, and the vast majority of non-native Americans still identify, to some extent, with their ancestral homelands. However, it's certainly showing signs of emerging: right now, it's largely restricted to those Anglo-Americans whose ancestors have been in America for the longest time, but it could easily expand to other groups as their European ancestry moves further back. (Indeed, some sociologists argue that the same process will even extend to Latin-Americans and Asian-Americans over time, as both groups have relatively high rates of inter-mixing with white Americans. It'd take many generations, but it could happen!)

So, is there an ethnicity which is just 'American' (as opposed to Anglo-American or German-American or anything like that) - and, if not, when might one emerge, if ever?
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#2
I don't see why not... most of them identify themselves as American only. And 400 years is kind a long time - my country has only existed for half that amount!

Besides, I don't say "Ya damn Scot-Murican"; I say "Ya damn Murican" :D
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#3
There is some issue for saying Canada and Americans are ethnicity though, as ethnicity also implies some common genetic trades at lease at the DNA level, The US and Canada are more of a melting pot of different ethnicity merging together for form a new culture. You have every major ethnicity here, and with expectation of non-contact tribes and maybe minor ethnicities and tribes can most likely found in the US and Canada.

South America is mostly just Hispanics, Portages and, Natives (to be nice to @"DustBowl" I will forget the Germans :P).

The only people that can really claim it are Native Americans / First Nations. Native Hawaiians are Polynesian.

The Amish could be their own ethnic group as they stay with in their culture pre travel to the US and breed with each other and not the "English" (aka outsider) , unlike most others who are free to breed with others but may or may not. Mormons are tricky as they range from insiders only cult compounds (normally poly also) to a more mainstream religious attached and may or may not breed with non Mormons. And if we say "Americans" are an ethic group then what about Texas, or Michigan, or Ontario? Are these people their own (Sub)ethic group too, like Franks, Bavarians, etc?

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#4
What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.
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#5
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

I'm guessing that's the process by which a single "American" (and "Canadian") ethnicity will emerge.

In a few generations' time, there will probably be so much inter-mixing between the different ethnic groups that it won't make sense to give many people in the US or Canada any ethnic label beyond just "American" or "Canadian". (There may be still some ethnic groups that don't inter-marry very much; however, in a couple of hundred years' time, I expect those will be the exception rather than the rule)
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#6
(06-23-2019, 07:18 PM)Kyng Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

I'm guessing that's the process by which a single "American" (and "Canadian") ethnicity will emerge.

In a few generations' time, there will probably be so much inter-mixing between the different ethnic groups that it won't make sense to give many people in the US or Canada any ethnic label beyond just "American" or "Canadian". (There may be still some ethnic groups that don't inter-marry very much; however, in a couple of hundred years' time, I expect those will be the exception rather than the rule)  

I dunno, a lot of white Canadians identify as only Canadian. It's the French Canadians that are rather proud of their Francophone culture, often to the point of annoying other provinces.

I think Americans already have more admixture than a lot of European countries do, in a few hundreds years, it'll probably be varying shades of brown, ha.
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#7
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

Well you would be a Bird hybrid :P

But really in I normally seem them called/refered to as 1/2 X 1/2 Y or Scot-Japanese, or (in the case of one of my freinds) Heinz 57.

(06-23-2019, 07:20 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:18 PM)Kyng Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

I'm guessing that's the process by which a single "American" (and "Canadian") ethnicity will emerge.

In a few generations' time, there will probably be so much inter-mixing between the different ethnic groups that it won't make sense to give many people in the US or Canada any ethnic label beyond just "American" or "Canadian". (There may be still some ethnic groups that don't inter-marry very much; however, in a couple of hundred years' time, I expect those will be the exception rather than the rule) 

I dunno, a lot of white Canadians identify as only Canadian. It's the French Canadians that are rather proud of their Francophone culture, often to the point of annoying other provinces.

To be fair there is being proud, then there is "Lets forum our own nation/lets force French on everyone!"

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#8
(06-23-2019, 07:20 PM)Lurker101 Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

Well you would be a Bird hybrid :P

But really in I normally seem them called/refered to as 1/2 X 1/2 Y or Scot-Japanese, or (in the case of one of my freinds) Heinz 57.

(06-23-2019, 07:20 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:18 PM)Kyng Wrote: I'm guessing that's the process by which a single "American" (and "Canadian") ethnicity will emerge.

In a few generations' time, there will probably be so much inter-mixing between the different ethnic groups that it won't make sense to give many people in the US or Canada any ethnic label beyond just "American" or "Canadian". (There may be still some ethnic groups that don't inter-marry very much; however, in a couple of hundred years' time, I expect those will be the exception rather than the rule) 

I dunno, a lot of white Canadians identify as only Canadian. It's the French Canadians that are rather proud of their Francophone culture, often to the point of annoying other provinces. 

To be fair there is being proud, then there is "Lets forum our own nation/lets force French on everyone!" 

Heinz 57?  :blink:
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#9
(06-23-2019, 07:22 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:20 PM)Lurker101 Wrote:
(06-23-2019, 07:15 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: What about dirty mutts such as myself? How would we be labeled? I have parents of 2 different ethnic backgrounds.

Well you would be a Bird hybrid :P

But really in I normally seem them called/refered to as 1/2 X 1/2 Y or Scot-Japanese, or (in the case of one of my freinds) Heinz 57.

(06-23-2019, 07:20 PM)Crooked Crow Wrote: I dunno, a lot of white Canadians identify as only Canadian. It's the French Canadians that are rather proud of their Francophone culture, often to the point of annoying other provinces. 

To be fair there is being proud, then there is "Lets forum our own nation/lets force French on everyone!" 

Heinz 57?  :blink:

Because they have "57* verities of ethnicity in them"


*not really 57 but close enough.

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