The concept of the people, popularly expressed in political debate, is extremely complex and vague. According to political philosophers and theists, the people are abstract individuals existing in reality and existing apart from other people. People is a group of people defined as a whole, an entity, as in the case of an ethnic community, state or the national public of some polity. According to the various theoretical perspectives on people, the people is said to consist of five basic parts: ethnic groups, political institutions, language, religion and hereditary traits.
In ethno-religious terms, the people is understood to be a set of people having a common nationality, ethnic background and religion. The root of the word “people” is from a Late Latin root that means “a group of people.” According to the Etymology Dictionary, the meaning of the word is “of, relating to, or being one of the groups represented by the people, place, or nation.” It was first noted in the 12th century, and it is used today in English as “populated by a small number of individuals or members.” The origin of the word may have been related to the German term “praesens” meaning “of a herd.” This phrase became popular as cattle-riding tribes from the Central Europe migrated to the steppes of Asia.
The peoples are categorized according to language, where there are dialectal differences in vocabulary and traditions. Within each language, however, there are same and similar names for certain persons considered as ethnically or culturally important. These are the “common people,” who speak the same language in general society. On the other hand, there are specific names for persons who, by descent, are considered as members of ethnic groups, such as Greeks, Hungarians and Jews. Within these ethnic groups, there are also cultural groups like Western Europeans, East Asians and Native Americans.
Within a country, or even within a city or town, the social class systems are usually based on occupations. A laborer, an artisan, a sailor or a doctor all belong to different classes, which belong to different ethnic groups. A city like Toronto, for example, has three distinct ethnic groups: Punjabi, Hindi and Tamil. In the past, the social class system was based on occupation, but in the modern world, it now often has more to do with economic status. The people in this town, for instance, are either rich or poor, depending on how much money they make in a given year.
Each person is assigned a role based on his or her individual capabilities and personality traits, even if they belong to an ethnic group. The same goes for education. Some parents would rather have their children go to universities run by an ethnic minority. Others just want their children to get a basic education regardless of the ethnic background. The latter approach is considered rational, because the quality of education, itself, does not improve much as you move from one socio-economic group to another. In other words, when you’re growing up in a poor family, you’re going to be poor not only academically but socially as well.
As far as gender is concerned, it differs from country to country. In most European countries, men are supposed to be homemakers while women are encouraged to be homemakers alongside their husbands. In the United States, women are better educated than men, and women are also supposed to stay home to raise the children. That said, the European social classes system and the American one are still very much based on individual merit and the ability to work together as a collective unit.