Meaning of Ethnicity

The definitions of Ethnicity vary, depending on the context.

One way to define Ethnicity is that Ethnicity is a fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition. Ethnicity is defined as a shared cultural identity involving similar practices, initiations, beliefs and linguistic features passed over from one generation to another.

Ethnicity can also be explained in terms of race, people and ethnic group, these are fundamentals that are at the nucleus of African social, cultural and political organisation.

Ethnicity is also the act of promoting the needs and interest of a group of people speaking the same language.

Causes of Ethnicity

People tend to promote the needs or interest of their ethnic above others because of the following:

  • Lack of trust: People find it difficult to trust other people from another tribe or ethnic group; because of that they lose interest in other people that is not from their tribe.
  • Illiteracy: Illiteracy is simply define as the inability to read and write. lack of knowledge in a particular subject; illiteracy therefore causes ignorance, which make people to behave in an unacceptable manner, thereby claiming what is not.
  • Wrong feelings: Some people feels that there is no need relating with people from other ethnic group except people from their own ethnic. The feeling of been cheated by other tribes makes them promote the interest of his ethnic group and neglect others.
  • power and authority: People claim ethnicity because of their desire to rule in a particular place and begin to show love and concern for for his people and neglect others so as to win the heart of his/her people.

Consequences of Ethnicity

Consequences of ethnicity are:

  • Communal conflicts
  • Political violence
  • Religious violence
  • Discrimination
  • Underdevelopment
  • Waste of resources

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