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11900Ethnicity in the ANE

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  • MarcC
    Jan 5, 2010
      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:

      > After all, I was brought up with Barth's definition of ethnicity, that are the person you think you are and other people think you are.
      > Niels Peter lemche

      That's one definition, and it's probably one that historical idealists would have liked. The problem for the historian is that it suggests that to know someone's ethnicity we would have to rethink their thoughts. Since this conversation began with Hezekiah's ethnicity, it seems to me that this definition is inappropriate in the sense that we can't begin to reconstruct his ideology. Worse, it provides authority to others, in this case, Sennacherib or his publicists, to make the judgment. And that allows, in turn, Oppenheim's position, which you don't like!

      In the U.S., the Census Bureau equates ethnicity with country of origin and religion. Most scholars find this definition wanting, but most people faced with the question of their own ethnicity answer by stating their country of origin. Again, the common definition favors Oppenheim.

      Here are some other definitions which social scientists prefer:
      Clifford Geertz: "the longing not to belong to any other group."
      Max Weber: "groups that entertain a subjective belief in their common descent."

      Marc Cooper
      Missouri State
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