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Thread: How do you think mixed people (especially the coming generations) should identify?

  1. #1
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    How do you think mixed people (especially the coming generations) should identify?

    Identifying with an ethnicity is something that doesn't really make any sense when you really think about it. It only creates limits on so many levels. Yet, identifying with a race is something that literally anyone does. One could say it brings possibilities, such as social acceptance etc. Yet, thats only true because the masses have this racial selection rooted so deeply in their way of thinking. Ofcourse, there are people that are intelligent enough to think outside this social bubble that probably affects everyone of us, but unfortunately most people don't (the common man's a fool, right?). So while we're at is, how do you approach this fenomena?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not having an identity crisis here. On another forum there was this guy asking the others what he should identify with because he was, in his words, too mixed. With all do respect; I really thought it was a silly question and shows alot of inner insecurity and a weak intelligence. So let it be clear; thats not the case here. I'm just curious how other mixed people approach this matter or what people in general think about this (mixed or not).

    I personally consider any result at or above 5% (approximetaly 4 generations away from the 100% ancestor) as substantial enough to possibly identify with it. I can imagine that some people will tell me I'm crazy, since 5% is almost nothing when you put it next to a chunk of 70 or even 30%. Also you got to have some oral family history to explain the lower percentages (etnicity estimates should always go hand in hand with a concrete familytree, otherwise, in my opinion, an ethnicity estimate is as good as useless) except for the big chunks ofcourse. But then again, keep in mind that in a few hundred years most humans will have an ethnicity estimate mostly made up of pieces of 10-5% or maybe even lower!

    So the question is; how do you think people like that should technically speaking decide what to identify with. Really, the more I think about it the more interesting it gets.
    Last edited by Sergi; 09-25-2017 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't think that everyone has a strong need for an ethnicity. If they did, then they'd be fools to base it on the current inaccuracy of autosomal DNA tests for ancestry. Mine would certainly not represent my genealogy, family history, ethnicity, community, or nationality. Then if I did, which one? Each test by different businesses give me different results. About all that they agree on is all or mainly European, perhaps mainly western or northern European, sometimes though with some South European, East European, Western Asian, you name it. Should I identify with my haplogroups. Of course not. As I've said before, haplogroups only make sense when you look at populations of them. My Y haplogroup is from Asia. My mt haplogroup is from the Steppes. But I think that if you met me, you'd identify me as an Englishman.

    What should you identify with? Maybe as an individual that treats other people as you would like to be treated back - judged as an individual, for your own actions. No identity can be better than another. As humans we are incredibly cultural and creative. When we create identities, without realising it, we can also erect walls and fences between people. Then some people are prone to wrapping themselves up in that "identity", and fighting across those walls with groups of people that "identify" differently. A need for belonging to a group could be seen as herd instinct. Does a confident free thinking individual really need that?

    Do I personally identify with my "heritage" or ancestry? Yes, I do. I'm more fascinated though with understanding the past, to fuel my imagination. Do I identify with my ethnicity (East Anglian English), yes I do. Even within East Anglia there is an ancient rivalry between Norfolk and Suffolk people. It occasionally turns nasty if our town football clubs meet, but most of the time it's tongue in cheek humour. Still it amplifies how identity breeds rivalry. Do I identify with my nationality (British), yes I guess so, but I don't feel the need to wrap myself all up inside of a flag of any sort.

    Group identity is fine. Celebrating ancestry is fine. What is dangerous, is in seeing different group identities as either better or worse in some way.
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    To understand this question i think we should look deeper into the concept of identification.

    Identification itself is a multi-level concept, f.e. yourself-close family-close friends-extended family-aquitances, or neighbourhood-city-region-country.

    In my opinion identification is a deeply rooted instinct of humans coming way back from tribal or semi-animal times, it's main purporse is to create a community with a certain level of mutual help. Basic differenition of our and foreign.

    Humans tend to help people they identify with and be neutral or harm foreigners.

    Ethnic identification is just a new level of tribal identification: yourself-family-clan-country. It evolved this way with progress of social relationship and technical progress as well.

    As an example during 30 years war different groups of Germans saw not much wrong in killing each-other in the name of religion, during XIX years different Prussians and Austrians killed each other in the name of state, during XX century germans united to kill other people.

    So in the end identification is a social\psyhological matter more than purely genealogical\genetical, DNA can only be a basis of acceptance into one or another group. As it identification will only benefit you if other members of the group will see you as equal or "ours". The amount of DNA required for acceptance vary and is purely a matter of group's standarts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Norfolk L-M20 View Post

    What is dangerous, is in seeing different group identities as either better or worse in some way.
    Thats unfortunately true in most countries and cultures around the world. It's not that bad in communities with western culture and thinking. I'm not saying that there is no excessive nationalism in the Netherlands for example, but the more south-east you go (from a north-west European point of view), the worser it gets. For example; in countries such as Turkey or Armenia you'll see a high dose of nationalism (sorry Turkish and Armenian forummers). Living in a country such as Turkey and being of Armenian descend, wanting to marry a Turkish girl (and vice versa) is enough reason to stir up a conflict with indigenous people over there . I once was in school with a lot of North-African and Turkish students. Back then it was 2009 (it was during operation cast led from the IDF in gaza). All in all I wish I had never told my class I have Jewish heritage during the introduction week (in the Netherlands people tend to ask for your ethnicity alot... Don't ask me why). From the beginning of the school year untill the very end I felt like I was a paria in their eyes.
    Last edited by Sergi; 09-25-2017 at 05:56 PM.
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    Living in communities that are tightly-knit and organically connected, or should I say communities that grow organically from the natural relationships among their members, is the natural condition of the human race, universally so until quite recently. The Enlightenment ideal of the dissolution of natural kinship bonds and the re-organization of human society along abstract ideals - and the various permutations and further development of the idea since that time - has only really achieved the dissolution of social and familial structure and the extreme alienation of the people, to the impoverishment of the many and the extreme enrichment of the very few. There is a social and spiritual vacuum that is keenly felt by many, that is left unsatisfied by the materialism and consumerism that is offered as a remedy, and accounts, I believe, for the vast majority of the popular interest into consumer genetics especially in those societies where this process is far advanced, above all the USA.

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    the continental identity thing gets more complicated especially with latin american people, since many are a hodge podge of different genetic ethnicity components(which can be seen with the results of my mom and other tested relatives on her side of the family)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossover View Post
    the continental identity thing gets more complicated especially with latin american people, since many are a hodge podge of different genetic ethnicity components(which can be seen with the results of my mom and other tested relatives on her side of the family)
    You think so? Most south and central-american latin people I know are ridiculously proud and see themselves as "latina or latino" as in if it's their ethnicity. But I don't think we should see the words latin/latino/latina/hispanics as words that reffer to an ethnicity when it comes to south-american descendands of natives and west-african slaves (and a tiny bit of Iberian). In my opinion the words refer to a cultural group. The word 'Latin' comes from the ancient Latin people (ancestors to the Italians and partially to the Spaniards and Portuguese people). So if there are Latin people in the fysical meaning of the word, then it's the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese (especially the Italians). I always thought it was weird that south-american "latino's" are so sure of the idea that Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians aren't latin. They even tend to get mad when you say so, while it's pretty easy to support this statement with historical facts

    Ps. I'm not saying all latin-american people think like this. I'm just talking out of my own experience. I love latin-american people and their amazing culture.
    Last edited by Sergi; 09-28-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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    The "Latin American" moniker has been around a long time and was applied because it referred to the portions of the Americas where people spoke a Latinate (Romance) language, specifically Spanish or Portuguese and thus means the area that was once the Spanish and Portuguese new world colonial empires. As opposed to the British and Dutch colonial new world empires which spoke Germanic languages (I suppose Quebec never fell into the Latin definition, in part because Quebec was so far from Latin America and in part because it was conquered by the English long ago). It has nothing to do at any rate with race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kostoffj View Post
    It has nothing to do at any rate with race.
    Thats what I'm saying. But these days everyone, based on ignorance, acts like it does
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    I'm mildly mixed but it's not physically apparent but I do live in a state where a lot of people are a lot more mixed. It seems to me that mixed people tend to identify as mixed and different from the generations before. They pick and choose which cultural practices they want to take on for themselves. If they spend a lot of time with their Grandma who had a specific culture then they sample more strongly from that culture but they also pick up some stuff from their friends who might have a different mix. Although I am sure there are some mixed people who focus on a specific part of themselves and ignore the rest.

    I'm reminded of the Netflix show Master of None and Dev's relationship with his parents. He's not mixed but his identity is mixed and he's creating something new for himself as are many of his friends. So he's active in choosing in his own path, maybe mixed people are forced into being more active in defining themselves?

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