A people is any number of people considered as a single entity. The idea of a people, for our purposes, is the concept of a politically cohesive group of people with common cultural, linguistic, and ethnic traits. For centuries, groups of people have been recognized as a distinct grouping with shared culture, language, and customs. Groups that have historically been recognized as a people include: Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales; Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Italy; nations in continental Europe: Austria, Belgium, and Germany; Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru; and indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as Native Americans and the Native Americans of the United States.
There are many ways to categorize peoples based on criteria used to classify individuals. Some people may be classified as one ethnic group, such as Pakistani-Americans, Chinese-Americans, or others. Alternatively, some people may be grouped by language, for example Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and so on. Others may be grouped by a political affiliation, such as left-leaning, right-leaning, or center-left. Still others may be grouped by religion, such as Hindu, Muslim, and Christian.
Because most people do not want to associate with individuals or groups with known violent tendencies, it has been difficult to develop universal criteria to refer to different peoples. Unfortunately, the government continues to prosecute individuals on charges of criminal acts using generic names that do not accurately reflect the circumstances of each case, as this prevents citizens from addressing their grievances with particular ethnic group or religious group. In many instances, prosecutors fail to properly apply legal guidelines to identify people according to their ethnicity or religious heritage, leading to the disproportionate number of minorities being targeted for police and security force brutality convictions.
While descriptive labels, such as “black American,” “Asian American,” or “brown Indian” fail to accurately designate specific individuals or groups, there are some exceptions to this generalization. One way to classify people is by their language. Many young people do not want to use the word black or Asian in their everyday life, but they know how to describe their complexion or race in speech, literature, or conversation. To these individuals, race is just one word that describes their ethnicity. In other cases, people choose a word people commonly use to describe their group, such as Pakistani, Chinese, or Bosnian, and then choose an ethnicity because they do not know much about the people of those groups.
As a result, most scholars agree that there are at least two major varieties of African people, more than three dozen smaller ethnic groupings, including Egyptian, Kenyan, Maori, Indian, Igbo, Gujarati, Kazakh, Pakistani, Tamil, and so on. Although people of African descent may be grouped into different racial categories, it is sometimes difficult to decide whether the ancestry of an individual is from Africa or from Europe, Asia, Latin America, or North America. The African continents show few genetic admixture tests, compared to the ones available for Europeans, Asians, and Americans. For example, most DNA testing for admixture graphs actually come from Africa. This may help to determine the origin of some African people but not others.
Since people of African descent may have different genetic profiles, they will tend to have very different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. A person with mixed African-European background might have a greater probability to have European ancestry. Some people born in Africa and adopted outside of their mother’s homeland are considered asymptomatic immigrants. These are the people who often do not feel like they are a part of their original countries of birth, and thus tend to call themselves as foreigners.