Ethnicity, on the whole, has not been considered to be of great importance in anthropology. Although, in reality, anthropology has probably been concerned with ethnicity in a wide variety of contexts, it chose to view many of the cultures it studied as discrete entities, each with its own particular cultural tradition that distinguished it from other groups. Its concentration on studying 'whole' societies contributed to this lack of treatment of group identification and identification by outsiders. Yet, it is becoming more and more accepted that ethnicity plays a major role in social relations, both in individual identification, and relations between groups. Providing a sense of belonging for the individual, as well as security and a set of values,
"one could probably regard ethnicity as the culture of basic human relations and of group survival, to which all other aspects of life are subjugated" (Kolm 1970:66).