Emotion and Ethnicity

August 27, 2004

Variation among European Americans in Emotional Facial Expression

Tsai et al. (2003)
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

ABSTRACT: The authors examined whether European Americans (EA) several generations removed from their ancestors varied as a function of their countries of origin by comparing the emotional facial expressions of EA originally from Scandinavian countries (EA-S), who value emotional control, and those from Ireland (EA-I), who value emotional expression. EA-S were less expressive than EA-I while reliving various emotions, especially happiness and love, suggesting that in this domain, EAs continue to be influenced by their cultural heritages.

Link (PDF)

Separatist and Regionalist Movements

August 25, 2004

This is a good resource detailing in brief the regions of the world desiring sovereignty, with links to additional information on each movement:


Included are trouble spots such as Tibet, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Chechnya, Euskadi (Basque Territory), Corsica, Ulster (N Ireland) and Quebec; well-known secessionists like Padania and Ausonia (N and S Italy), Gymru (Wales), Hawaii, Texas and Puerto Rico; and a few surprises like Occitania (S France), Bayern (Bavaria), Okinawa, New England and Western Canada.

Study Clarification I

August 21, 2004

I see the same misunderstood studies turn up in discussions everywhere — usually posted by people who haven't bothered to read beyond the Abstract — and I get tired of having to clarify them over and over again. So occasionally I'll be using this blog to create handy clarifications for easy linking. I'll start with a study that was cited in a recent discussion.


Y-chromosome 10 locus short tandem repeat haplotypes in a population sample from Sicily Italy

Ghiani et al. (2004)
Legal Medicine

Link to Abstract

Misused Quote:

Overall, results indicate Sicily is closest genetically to the mainland Italian population but also with evidence of a significant African component in the male gene pool.


That's from the Abstract and, as is often the case, greatly exaggerated and somewhat misleading. The body of the study reveals that the "African component" is specifically North African, and puts the use of the adjective "significant" into perspective:

Sicily and North West Africa share five of the seven-locus haplotypes.... Furthermore, these five haplotypes are not present in any other Italian population [20–23]. The shared five haplotypes represent 5% of the total Sicilian haplotypes [that's just 2.5% admixture]. These African haplotypes most probably were introduced into Sicily sometime between the 7th and 8th century, during the island’s domination by the Arab Empire.


The UPGMA tree (Fig. 2) visualizes the relationship of the populations of the Mediterranean Basin, Europe and North West Africa using pairwise distances. The North West African and Spanish (Spain and Basques) populations occupy an outgroup position within the tree, located some distance away with respect to the other European groups, which includes Sicily. Within the European cluster there is a tight grouping containing Sicily (South Italy), Italy (from all mainland), Germany, Holland, Hungary, Lombardy (North Italy) and Tuscany (Centre Italy). Sardinia lies in a separate branch at the edge of the cluster, and well way from Sicily.

Misused Quote:

An African contribution to the Sicilian gene pool gains support from several lines of evidence. ... Bernstein [29], Ragusa [30], Barrai [31]...agreed upon the fact that there has been a low but significant level of admixture with Africa. Using mtDNA haplotype frequency, Semino et al. [32] estimated that African gene flow into Sicily ranged between 10 and 34%.


The authors are a bit behind the times in terms of the research they've chosen to cite. The first three studies are based on the adaptive sickle cell gene, while the mtDNA study by Semino is from the 80s and problematic. Its results have not been duplicated by subsequent studies using more contemporary mtDNA sequencing methods. For example, Simoni et al. 2000 sampled a variety of Europeans, including Sicilians, and came to this contradictory conclusion:

Note that the analysis of molecular variance failed to identify any significant differences between northern and southern Europe; allele frequencies are roughly the same in the two regions.

Other studies like Vona et al. 2001 (TREE) and McEvoy et al. 2004 (PLOT) show a similar separation between Sicilian and North African/Middle Eastern mtDNA pools. And this, as well as the above Y-chromosome data, is reinforced by superior autosomal DNA testing. See, e.g., Kandil et al. 1999 (PLOT).

[NB: Excerpts from some of the cited studies and others can be viewed on this page.]

Tanned vs. Natural

August 18, 2004

People desperate for "evidence" of racial admixture in certain groups ignore the effects that a hot climate and prolonged sun exposure can have on phenotype. On my Skin Color page, I show some contrasts of Southern Europeans very tanned and then naturally colored. Here are a few more.

Salvatore Commesso (Italian):

Rui Costa (Portuguese):

Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Sicilian):

[ Note sharp tan lines at bottom of left image (click to view full) ]

Blondes for Affairs, Brunettes for Marriage

August 16, 2004

Here's an article for Nordicists who think of blond women as a some sort of prize sought after for eugenic or "upbreeding" purposes. Exotic sex toy would be a more apt description of how they're perceived. And women aren't rushing out to "upbreed" with blond men either.

Men prefer blondes as lovers and mistresses

A survey has revealed men really do prefer blondes — at least as lovers and mistresses — while women least fancy ginger men.

Until they were asked to 'pick' a wife, more of the men polled by Garnier opted for a woman with blonde hair.

Second favourites for having an affair with were redheads.

Men's preferences change, however, with talk of marriage, with brunette emerging as the favourite hair colour for a bride.

The poll also questioned women on what colour hair they most liked in a man, finding dark-haired men are the most popular and gingers the least. Just 2% of women said they liked ginger hair best.

Instead, 37% of women said they preferred brunette men, followed by light brown, 29%, then blonde, 16%. Black hair was not included in the list.

The "blonde bombshell" myth seemed to be confirmed among the men who were questioned. Around 26% of men thought blonde women made the best lovers, 22% thought ginger, 20% light brown hair, and 10% brunette. Black hair was not given as a choice in any of the questions.

For mistresses, 37% of men said their ideal would be blonde, followed by 22% redhead, 13% brunette, and 6% light brown hair. But asked who they would like to walk down the aisle, 30% of men said brunette, 27% light-brown, 15% blonde, and 7% ginger.

Blondes were seen as less likely to have a successful career or earn a fortune. Almost a third of men — 31% — thought brunettes would also earn most, with 26% saying blondes, 11% brown haired women, and 9% redheads.

A psychologist at Portsmouth University, said: "What's interesting about this study is that men are now showing an overall preference for brunettes, suggesting that this colour provides a safe haven for men looking for longer-term relationships or making the ultimate life commitment — marriage."


Legacy of the Romans in Britain

August 13, 2004

An Overview of Roman Britain

By Dr Mike Ibeji
BBC History, June 2001

From the Roman invasion to the
importance of Britain to the Romans,
Mike Ibeji explores some subtle and
surprising truths about Roman Britain.

1. Striving to be Roman

The Roman invasion of Britain was arguably the most significant event ever to happen to the British Isles. It affected our language, our culture, our geography, our architecture and even the way we think. Our island has a Roman name, its capital is a Roman city and for centuries (even after the Norman Conquest) the language of our religion and administration was a Roman one.

For 400 years, Rome brought a unity and order to Britain that it had never had before. Prior to the Romans, Britain was a disparate set of peoples with no sense of national identity beyond that of their local tribe. In the wake of the Roman occupation, every 'Briton' was aware of their 'Britishness'. This defined them as something different from those people who came after them, colouring their national mythology, so that the Welsh could see themselves as the true heirs of Britain, whilst the Scots and Irish were proud of the fact that they had never been conquered by Rome.

Yet perhaps Rome's most important legacy was not its roads, nor its agriculture, nor its cities, nor even its language, but the bald and simple fact that every generation of British inhabitant that followed them — be they Saxon, Norman, Renaissance English or Victorian — were striving to be Roman. Each was trying to regain the glory of that long-lost age when Britannia was part of a grand civilisation, which shaped the whole of Europe and was one unified island.

I am usually asked five questions whenever people talk to me about Roman Britain, and they find the answers profoundly surprising. People's view of Rome is of a grand, monolithic dictatorship which imposed its might upon an unwilling people, dictating how they lived, how they spoke and how they worshipped. They see the Romans as something akin to the Nazis (which is hardly surprising since the fascists tried to model themselves on Rome). The truth about Roman Britain is much more subtle and surprising, and serves to show why on the one hand their legacy has endured so long, and on the other, why their culture vanished so quickly once they departed from these shores.

Read Parts 2 through 7

Non-White Admixture in the Dutch and Belgians

August 8, 2004

This passage was transcribed from a small Dutch journal not available online. The word "significant" should be interpreted cautiously until we have some actual numbers, but it does suggest that Holland and Belgium may have levels of non-Caucasoid admixture comparable to, or even greater than, those of Portugal (which still wouldn't be racially significant). This would come as no surprise since all three countries share similar colonial pasts.

Sub-Saharan mtDNA and Y-chromosomes as well as Asian mtDNA (Asian Y-chromosome testing has proven inconclusive at the moment) have been found in significant numbers in the white populations of most areas of the Netherlands and Flanders. This is due to the colonial history of the Netherlands and Belgium. The exception is Friesland, where none has yet been discovered. A study on Belgium outside of Flanders has not yet been performed. We will publish the full results in the next issue.

During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, Africans were present in these regions, with some absorption having taken place over time. Perhaps more significant, though, were the African and Asian wives brought home with Dutch colonists. In the Netherlands, it is not uncommon, for example, to find a sub-Saharan Y-haplotype and Asian mtDNA-lineage in the same phenotypically Caucasian male.

The reason is simple: This person (as do all people) had 256 great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. His father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father was black African, and his mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was Asian. But all or most of his other 254 great (x6) grandparents were European. This would leave the male looking utterly European, with his Asian and sub-Saharan DNA being negligible. However, if racial characteristics or ethnic composition were trying to be established by this method, we'd think we were dealing with a half-African half-Asian person, and we'd be completely wrong, since the male is entirely European in phenotype. For this reason, mtDNA and Y-chromosomes cannot be used to determine a person's "race" or appearance. Rather, it can be used to determine some lineages and their possible origins.

Furthermore, no DNA tests to date, including autosomal DNA, mtDNA, and Y-chromosome tests, can conclusively and beyond any shadow of a doubt rule out (or even establish) African or Asian or any other ancestry. Recently, autosomal testing was carried out on a Dutch female who knew she had an African great-great grandparent, and this was corroborated by older family members and memoirs left by grandparents. Yet we could find no trace of it whatsoever. In addition to this, if we say a certain lineage is African or Asian, we don't really know for certain if this is the case. We only know that the lineage in question was found at a relatively high frequency in a certain population that we think is representative of a certain ethnic grouping. We don't, however, know if these people are pure; in fact, they probably aren't, and there is nothing that we can do to establish levels of impurity. Therefore, this is merely a lottery. This isn't to say none of this is useful; it can, as mentioned before, help to determine some lineages.

Dr. Bart Hulsebos

The Anthropology and Genetics Journal

Maastrich, Netherlands
Tongeren, Belgium

Iberian Y-chromosomes

August 5, 2004

Reduced genetic structure of the Iberian peninsula revealed by Y-chromosome analysis: implications for population demography

Flores et al. (2004)
European Journal of Human Genetics


Coincidentally, spatial analysis of genetic distances points to a focal distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroups in this area. These results indicate that neither old or recent Levantine expansions nor North African contacts have influenced the current Iberian Y-chromosome diversity so that geographical patterns can be identified.


The Y-chromosome variation landscape in Iberia was also evaluated using principal component analysis, which included samples with highly resolved Y-chromosome data from Europe...Near East...and Northwest Africa.... The first two components of the analysis accounted for 83.9% of genetic variance, and produced three well-separated clusters of populations, evidencing the sharp differences between the Y-chromosome pool of Western Europe, Near East and Northwest Africa (Figure 4).


Britain's North-South Economic Divide

August 1, 2004

Nordicists like to dwell on Southern Italy's economic problems, attributing them to racial inferiority. But if "South of Rome lies Africa" (a common insult), then what lies North of Birmingham?

The North-South Divide

If you take a closer look at England you can see that there are great differences between the North and the South. The living standards in the South-East, South, South-West, East Anglia and the East Midlands are much better than in the peripheral areas. There are mutual prejudices between a complacent population in the south and a proud but aggrieved one in the north. But the divide goes well beyond mere prejudice. An undeniable contrast exists between the conditions of life in the North and in the South.

It gets very clear if you look at Horsham in the South with 2 per cent of unemployment and Greenock in the North with an unemployment rate of 17 per cent. During the period 1979-1987 over 90 per cent of the job losses had been north of the Severn-Wash-divide.

The high unemployment rates result from the decline of heavy industry (steel, coal, shipbuilding) in the second part of this century. It has hit the North more than other parts of England because during the Industrial revolution the North had developed into the country's major centre of heavy industry.

The divide is also noticeable in other things. The North for example has the highest death rate in England, the highest proportion of divorced men and the lowest proportion of 16-year-olds remaining in school.

There are exceptions to the general tendency, but on the whole the divide still exists. It is questionable, however, if the South, especially London, really benefits from the growing regional imbalance. The population density is very high and because of the industry there is bad pollution and the therefore peoples' health is threatened.


North-south divide 'getting worse'

BBC News, July 2003

The north-south economic divide in England is getting worse not better, MPs say.

Six regions are lagging behind the UK average, which is having a damaging effect on growth in Britain as a whole.


Some of the worst poverty, joblessness and bad health are concentrated in a few areas of the country.


"The differences between the economies of the English regions have continued to widen in recent years resulting in higher unemployment and shorter life expectancy in the North and escalating house prices and congestion in the South East," said Mr Bennett.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said the government acknowledged there were "persistent disparities" in the regions' economic development.

"Output per person in the North East is nearly 40% or £7,000 below that of London."


Is there a north-south divide? (talking point)

BBC News, July 2004

Is there a north south divide?
1723 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Vote now closed


Of course there is a north-south divide and there has been for a long time. As long as the bulk of the financial and all the political power are concentrated in London, there will continue to be a divide. A highly London-centric media doesn't exactly help matters either. It would be hard to believe for an outside observer of our media that anything happens in Britain outside London except crime and deprivation.
— Ian, Edinburgh

I recently moved to the South East, having lived most of my life in the North of England - and I wouldn't go back. There were a number of reasons I wanted to come to the south - not least better wages, better career prospects, better leisure facilities and a better standard of living. My only regret is that I can't afford to buy a house down here...
— Irmani, Essex

Not so much a divide, more of a chasm! That's why I'm reading this web page in Dubai and not my native Newcastle!
— Phil Ritson, Dubai, U.A.E.

The North-South divide is definitely still here. I'm currently looking for a graduate or equivalent job which pays enough money to be able to manage loan/overdraft repayments and actually have some quality of life. I can find nothing in the north-east. I am stuck with a choice of either working for a pittance in a service industry up here, or going down south, where I'll only just be able to afford to live, but where the career prospects are much better. Is it any wonder that graduates and professionals are moving south?
— Dawn, Middlesbrough, UK

Judging from a lot of the replies on this forum the north-south divide seems to consist solely of moaning northerners assuming everyone in the south is a materialistic snob. And if you were building a rail terminal/sports stadium/airport would you put it closest to cities populated by millions of people who could actually use the facilities, or in the middle of nowhere? Stop whining northerners and do something to help regenerate your environment instead of expecting someone else to do it for you!
— Conrad, Reading

It is time for London to break away as its own state. London does not need the dependant north on its shoulders.
— Donal, Hackney, E London


Southern Italian Economy

It's easy to find statistics showing abject poverty and high rates of unemployment in Southern Italy, as compared to the wealthier, more industrialized Northern regions. However, while a North-South gap certainly exists, two recent surveys have suggested that official estimates of its extent should be taken with a grain of salt.

Looking to 2007: Italy Times Two

Stanton H. Burnett
Stefano Vaccara

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Occasional Reports in European Studies

November 1999



Lavoro Nero


But the third factor, somewhat alleviating the second, is the existence of a far vaster private sector than ever shows up in the economic statistics. The size of the lavoro nero sector and the black market in the South clearly exceeds that of any other EU region, a fact that can now be persuasively demonstrated. According to Italstat, the most reliable source of national economic statistics, "black" labor in the Mezzogiorno amounted to an even fifty percent of all "jobs" by the end of 1998. Six months later, Italstat raised its figure to 51 percent. The figure for the North was bad enough — 31.5 percent — but more in line with other Mediterranean EU countries. For any projection toward 2007, however, it is the trend that must be noted. Italstat found that the gap between North and South was growing continually wider. Indeed, when actual laborers were counted (rather than jobs), the South's percentage was double that of the North and Center.

These raw figures require a closer look, because one economist's analysis of Calabria found low pay, high unemployment, and a very high level of consumer spending. In 1994, the government insurance agency placed the number of business enterprises in Calabria at 23,758, while Istat, carrying out the 1996 census, found about 90,000 businesses in the same region. The economist Domenico Marino concluded, on the basis of 4,000 interviews in Calabria, that 75 percent of the Calabrian work force would refuse a fairly low-paying job, despite a very high official level of unemployment. In Calabria, with its dire employment figures, 84 percent of the families own their own home. What such anomalies must mean is that real income in Calabria is far higher than what is "on the books." Many among the vast numbers of officially unemployed are, in fact, partly or fully employed. They are earning no social benefits, but they are earning the daily lire that keep their families afloat.


A very large part of the South's hidden labor is made up of entrepreneurs, sometimes also employing black labor, and existing themselves outside official recognition, taxation, protection, control, or counting. A recent analysis concludes that "there exists in several zones of the Mezzogiorno a whole fabric of small and very small businesses that escape every census, but that work and make profits, share among themselves a serious level of production, export to other regions [of Italy] and abroad." A map of the South's submerged economy shows a series of ink blots in every region, "where work is done without any controls, safe from the tax collector but not safe from accidents and injuries, usually in violation of a number of laws [governing commercial outlets, working conditions, etc.], totally outside official cognizance."

Every year brings plans either to stamp out or to "regularize" the South's submerged economy. But a professor of political economy at the University of Naples warns to go slow: "if we observe these initiatives carefully the image of a Mezzogiorno that is forever the panhandler does not seem to be confirmed. What confronts us is a creeping vitality, almost a new frontier." According to Professor Meldolesi, the submerged economy is several times bigger than officially estimated.


In most cases, "black" workers suffer no risk from the State. Controls on black labor are few and not enforced. Yet they live dangerously. They work — sometimes doing heavy and dangerous work — with no social net, no pensions (other than the minimal social security that everybody gets), no other welfare assistance, no protection at the work place, and no control over labor conditions. The State is nowhere present in their lives, as either law-enforcer or protector.

This massive sector skews all the statistics. It means that the GDP for the Italian South (and for Italy as a whole) is far from accurate. And the unemployment figures do not reflect reality.

Link (PDF)

The Structure and History of Italian Unemployment

Giuseppe Bertola, EUI and Università di Torino
Pietro Garibaldi, Università Bocconi and fRDB

November 2002


2.5 Shadow economy

As mentioned when discussing Figure 1 (see also Jones and Riddell, 1999), the definition of unemployment is unavoidably less than clear-cut. In Italy, as we discuss below, several types of temporary layoff, non-market employment, and 'activation' programs make up a gray area of individuals who are not really employed but (as is the case for ALMP participants in other countries) are not counted as unemployed.

Further, official employment statistics (though not, at least in principle, the survey-based ones) may be imprecise due to undeclared or 'black' employment pools. The shadow economy is important in Italy and, like in other European countries, its size trends up in time: different estimates suggest that shadow activity increased by some 10-15 percent of GDP in the 70s to some 30-40 percent in the 1990s. This upward trend parallels that of Italy's aggregate unemployment rates. Not surprisingly, and quite interestingly from the institutional perspective we lay out below, the incidence of the shadow economy varies importantly within Italy, again quite like unemployment. Regions with low productivity and high unemployment display significantly larger shares of unregistered activities and employment than the country averages. Boeri and Garibaldi (2002) offer a detailed account and analysis of this phenomenon. Figure 6, reproduced from that paper, plots the average shadow employment rate over 20 Italian regions, and shows that shadow employment varies between 10 percent in Piedmont (North-West) and more than 30 percent in Sicily (South). These estimates suggest that the proportion of irregular employment may be as high as 30-35 per cent in the South, around 20 per cent in the Centre and at one-digit level in the North-West and the North-East, the latter macro-region being the one with the lowest level of shadow activity. A portion of this variability may be accounted for by the various regions' heterogeneous production structure. However, it is large within industrial branches marked not only in agriculture, but also within industry, with the South displaying an incidence of shadow employment that is twice as high than in the rest of the country. There is no tendency over time to the narrowing of the regional differentials in the incidence of the shadow economy: in 1995 the South to Centre-North gap was roughly the same as 10 years earlier.

Link (PDF)