The term ethnic group has many meanings. It is used by ethnologists, sociologists, political scientists, geographers and many other scientists. The reason for such popularity is in the capacity of the concept and the abundance of its components.
Many argue that for the correct definition of the terms ethnos and ethnic group, it is necessary to take into account the fact that there are ethnic groups created artificially in the form of an association of people by conviction, and there are natural ethnic groups that are created according to their own convictions, and those that are formed under the influence of a certain group.
In ethnology, the term ethnic group is identical to the concept of subethnos: an ethnic group distinguished on a regional basis, but having cultural, linguistic, and other characteristics that differ from the local population. Such groups are characterized by their own identity.
Today, one of the most common meanings of an ethnic group is a set of people of one nationality who are localized not in their historical territory, but in the territory of other peoples, in other states (not the titular nation). In this case, the number of members of an ethnic group can be determined by hundreds, thousands or even millions. As a rule, members of an ethnic group settle as close to each other as possible (typical example: Chinatowns, reservations, etc.) Moreover, all members of an ethnic group are united not by political and territorial characteristics, but by one language, culture and traditions.
In many countries of the world, such ethnic groups are recognized as a public minority. For various reasons, they are separated from their ethnos and are forced to conduct their life outside of it.
In political science
In some cases, the term ethnic group is defined as the union of several ethnic groups according to certain criteria. They usually have similar racial origins. Peoples closely related to each other may belong to the same ethnic group. One example is the ethnic group of the ancient Slavs or Germans.
The concept of an ethnic group has a large number of meanings. It is broader than the concept of ethnos. Many scientists try to give a precise definition of the last term, but it has the property of changing its meaning, which depends on what type of community it is applied to.