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Inhabitants of a state may be subjects1, citizens1 or nationals1 of that state, who enjoy certain political rights, or they maybe aliens2 or foreigners2 who are citizens of another state, or citizens of no state at all and are called stateless3. The term "subject" used to have a servile connotation, but has tended to lose it and is frequently taken as a synonym of citizen, though occasionally a distinction is made, especially in colonial territories, between a subject and a citizen. Citizens of a state generally possess the nationality4 of that state. This term is nowadays used as a synonym for citizenship4, but in some multi-national states6 a distinction may be drawn between political nationality4 and ethnic nationality5.
Aliens may acquire the nationality of their country of residence by naturalization1 and become naturalized citizens2 or naturalized persons2. In some countries certificates of naturalization3 may be revoked4 and naturalized persons will then suffer loss of nationality5. Persons may occasionally have more than one nationality, and will then be said to possess dual nationality6. A distinction is sometimes drawn between resident aliens7, who habitually live in a country other than their own, and alien visitors8 or visiting aliens8, who are there only for relatively short periods.
Individuals born in the territory in which they live are called natives1 of that territory. If their ancestors have lived there for a long time they are called autochthonous2, indigenous2 or aboriginal2 inhabitants; the last term is often reserved for primitive peoples. Statistics frequently distinguish between native-born3 and foreign-born4 individuals.
- 1. The term "native" is also used occasionally to denote a person of non-European descent born in a subject territory.
- 2. Aboriginal inhabitants are sometimes called aborigines.
The term race1 is generally taken to mean a group of persons with certain common physical characteristics which are hereditarily transmissible. In colloquial language, however, the term is used very much more loosely, sometimes for a group of people bound together by a common culture, or even for people inhabiting a given territory. Another term which is sometimes used is ethnic group2 and here again there is no uniformity in meaning. A people3 (cf. 305-2) is generally a collection of persons who are linked by a common past or a common culture. Persons living in a given territory who exhibit notable differences from the majority of the population are called minorities4, e.g. ethnic minorities4, national minorities4 or linguistic minorities4.
- 1. race n. — racial adj.
Individuals are sometimes distinguished by their colour1, which is used loosely to refer to the apparent pigmentation of the skin. In some countries a distinction is drawn between white persons2 and coloured persons3, sometimes called non-whites3. Crossing4 between races of different colours is sometimes referred to as miscegenation4. A person who is the issue of such a union is said to be of mixed blood5 or may be called a half-caste5 or a half-breed5 —though the latter terms are sometimes used in a pejorative sense.
- 3. It should be noted that in South Africa the term coloured is used to refer to the population which is neither of European extraction nor of pure Bantu race, but is the result of miscegenation. In the United States of America any non-white person is called colored.
- 5. The issue of a white and a negro is called a mulatto. In Spanish America the issue of a person of European extraction and an American Indian is called a mestizo and the issue of a person of European extraction and an Asian is sometimes referred to as an Eurasian.
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