Writing About Ethnic Groups

Instructions for Writing About Ethnic Groups


Seto Ethnic Group of Russia
Women Wearing Ethnic Clothing


When writing the assignment about Ethnic Groups, remember this is a culture study.  You can enhance your writing with a bit of history if you are having trouble filling the pages.; and of course,  more often than not history and culture overlap.  However, you are searching about unique cultural traits, as well as pan-human cultural traits. (All humans have to eat, drink, and sleep.) Write the paper in paragraph and prose form.  Do not enumerate each of the following separately.  Discuss the groups as if you are informing the reader about traits he/she might need to know if they were to visit any of the groups you have studied.

Following is a video about an ethnic group, the Seto, of Russia.  These people are an ethnic minority who are trying to preserve their culture.  Some of the culture traits mentioned in this film are those that you may have recognized in a group that you decided to research for the assignment of writing about an ethnic group.  Look for those pan-human traits, which are cultural universals, such as ways of cooking, making a living, making clothing, childcare, etc.  Click on the link below to learn more about the Seto, who number fewer than 200 now, though they flourished in the 20th century.


Introduction to Your Ethnic Group:

1)  Identify the exact location when possible.

2)  Include some information about the environment, climate, flora and fauna (if possible)

3)  What language do they speak? How many speakers are there?  Is the language endangered?

4) Have they been influenced by colonial rule?

5)  What is the population (numbers) of the group today?

6)  Is your group more rural or urban, or equally distributed?

Its All About Culture Traits:

1)  What kinds of dwellings do your Ethnic Groups live in?

2)  How do they make a living?  What kind of economic system? What kinds of tools do they use?

3)  What are the family and marriage structures?

4)  What religion or spirituality do they adhere to? Rituals?  Rites of passage?

5)  What is their creation story? (Myth)

6)  What kind of arts are prominent?  Do they sell artistic wares?

7)  Do they trade for necessary items?

8)  What kinds of food do they eat?  Unique cooking practices?

9)  What are their kinship practices?

10) How are they governed?  Who or what has power over their lives?

Questions to Answer

1)  What does your research tell you?

2)  How has globalization affected the Ethnic Groups you have studied?

3)  What kinds of challenges/conflicts are they overcoming?

4)  How would you rate their future?

5)  What have you learned about culture from this assignment?


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