筆者は学生時代に言語学に関心をもち，そこから歴史言語学，そして社会言語学へと関心を広げてきたが，まさか「民族」と「人種」といった抜き差しならない社会的な問題を扱うことになろうとは夢にも思わなかった．初心に戻って「民族」 (ethnic_group) と「人種」 (race) について整理してみたい．伝統的には前者は文化的なもの，後者は形質的なものととらえてきたが，昨今では必ずしもそのようにとらえられているわけではない．まずは「民族性」 (ethnicity) について見ておこう．A Dictionary of Sociolinguistics の ethnicity の項 (100--01) より．
ethnicity An aspect of an individual's social IDENTITY which is closely associated with language. Ethnicity is usually assigned on the basis of descent. In addition, the subjective experience of belonging to a culturally and historically distinct social group is often included in definitions of ethnicity. Thus, DEAF people usually consider themselves to be part of the Deaf community, which is defined by specific cultural and linguistic practices, although they may not have been born into the community (they may have become Deaf only later in life, or they may have grown up among hearing people). Questions of identity and ethnicity are also problematical in the context of migration. Second-generation migrants may not wish to identify with their traditional ethnic group but with the new society (e.g. second-generation German migrants in the USA may see themselves not as German but as American; such shifts in identity are often accompanied by symbolic actions such as name changes --- Karl Müller to Chuck Miller). To assign individuals unambiguously to distinct ethnic groups can be difficult in such contexts. Sometimes RELIGION is also considered to form part of ethnicity.
Language forms a central aspect and symbol of ethnic identity (see e.g. Smolicz (1981) on language as a 'core value' of an ethnic group). Sociolinguists who study multicultural societies have often included ethnicity as a SOCIAL VARIABLE. Horvath (1985), for example, included speakers from different ethnic groups (Australians of English, Italian and Greek background) in her study of English in Sydney.
race Highly contested term. Whilst it has no basis in biological or scientific fact, 'race' is in widespread everyday usage to refer to particular groups or 'races' of people, usually on the basis of physical appearance or geographical location, who are presumed to share a set of definable characteristics. The term ETHNICITY is sometimes used to refer to the identity of different groups on the basis of their assumed or presumed genealogical descent. 'Race' in social studies of language is viewed as a social construct rather than a fact (hence the use of inverted commas around 'race'): that is, 'race' or 'racial groups' only exist because particular physical characteristics (such as skin colour, facial features) are attributed a special kind of significance in society. This attribution usually involves differentiation between 'races' in terms of status and power, resulting from a particular IDEOLOGY. It is acknowledged that 'race' has considerable force in continuing to inform policies, behaviour and attitudes, including those relating to language and behaviour (see discussions in Omi and Winant, 1994). For this reason, 'race', usually within the context of RACISM, has been a focus of study in sociolinguistic research (e.g. Reisgl and Wodak, 2000).
関連して，「#1871. 言語と人種」 ([2014-06-11-1])，「#3599. 言語と人種 (2)」 ([2019-03-05-1]) も参照．
・ Swann, Joan, Ana Deumert, Theresa Lillis, and Rajend Mesthrie, eds. A Dictionary of Sociolinguistics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2004.
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