Anthropologist and statistician S.M. Shirokogoroff in 1930s made an attempt to understand ethnic identity as an object of natural sciences ( incl funct anthropology ). He uses elementary equations of statistical thermodynamic in order to describe ethnogenesis as processes of statistical self-organization. In contrast, today social anthropologists and governments behave like they already had found complete proof of theorem on social nature of ethnic identity and all counterexamples are usually considered as radical forms of inhumanism. For instance, following fashionable dogma, UK Government consider Scottish independence and Scottish ethnic claims as a sort of irrationality, political nonsense and public illusion. Correspondingly, British government behaves as therapist suggesting economic and political irrationality of independence (EU membership, oil prices, future of ethnical partition of Navy strategic fleet, etc ), but not experienced researcher. However, leaders of Scottish national movements try to describe Scottishness and sense of unsolvability in the terms of natural history ( in good agreement with Shirokogoroff ) :
“A people sharing a common geographical space, history and culture is a common definition of what we now think of as a nation. In these respects Scotland clearly qualifies with its long-established boundaries and a shared history stretching back over 1000 years. But these objective factors would have little contemporary significance if not underpinned by a shared sense of identity. All the research work over the past thirty years has confirmed that a substantial majority of Scots see themselves as Scottish not British or more Scottish than British. Although 12% of people in Scotland were not born here, less than that proportion thought of themselves as not Scottish. So by the objective and subjective standards normally used to confirm national status, Scotland is a nation. Does this matter? “
I have some doubts that social axiomatic of theory of ethnic identity is well proven and it represents a fundamental fact of modern social sciences. Thus,I suppose,sooner or later, accumulation of the errors must change current social and cultural anthropology again and return of classical ethnography as natural science could be unavoidable.