In the specialized literature, the designations of an ethnos, a nation and a civilization are often confused. The terminology and concepts in this area have not been developed purely theoretically. Several types of designations of human community coexist. But most agree on one thing: an ethnos is a collective with a common and carefully preserved myth about its own origin from generation to generation.
To make it easier to use the system of concepts, it is necessary to sort through the terms "local civilization", "people", "nation", "ethnos". It will take a little cultural analysis. Ethnos is the smallest group in terms of numbers. Such associations, and various ones, can be part of a nation. The last few groups are united by the concept of "people". And, finally, there is a civilizational community. Most often it is the state. It is it that is the cauldron in which ethnic groups are formed.
Shirokogorov and Gumilyov
Social, cultural, biological community as a unit of the demographic process - this is the synthesizedof the two teachings, the term denoting ethnos. This is a process of demography, connected both with available resources (Shirokogrov) and with the pulsation of energy (Gumilyov).
Types of ethnic groups
Ethnos is, first of all, a community of people based on blood ties, that is, a clan. Thus, in early communal times, primitive people gathered in tribes. From these connections, a nationality gradually formed.
Further, on a purely geographical basis, with the development of civilizational factors, nations were formed. The road most directly leading to this unification can be defined as demographic, when marriages are concluded within a separate group for so long that genetics manages to fix not only external similarity, but also many character traits. And when both the physical appearance and customs are common, the group can reasonably be called an ethnos. Self-consciousness, self-identification are strong here, and the most important role is played by a clear separation of strangers from one's own. The cultural core of such a community is a common territory, collective holidays, legends and myths, language, customs, the whole way of life.
Memory of generations
Information must be continuously and constantly broadcast from the elders to the younger ones, continuity should be strengthened by connections, only this will ensure the stability of the ethnic system. Otherwise, the community falls apart. So, ethnos is, first of all, biological kinship (endogamy), rituals and holidays as a cultural means of unity, a single language, the same way of life and economy, politicalunanimity.
Demographic material, or Three types of identity
Any political formations are based precisely on ethnicity, linking roles and linking all the institutions of society. From the simplest political form - the tribe - grows the most complex - the state, where the ethnos is a small part of the community, which we call "the people." The latter is above state roles and estates, it is comprehensive. It can be united by both religion (the Orthodox people or the faithful) and secular culture. The nation as such, bound by common traditions and customs, or by a common political movement, is only one of those forms which are denoted by the term "people." A common history and a single national culture are important here. The main thing is to understand that ethnos, people (nation) and civilization are phenomena determined in different layers of the development of society.