Large group of related ethnic groups who identify with each other
Meta-ethnicity is a relatively recent term (or neologism) occasionally used in academic literature or public discourse on ethnic studies. It describes a level of commonality that is wider ("meta-") and more general (i.e., might differ on specifics) than ethnicity, but does not necessarily correspond to (and may actually transcend) nation or nationality. In colloquial discourse, it usually signifies a larger in-group of distinct ethnic groups who identify more closely with each other than they would with out-group ethnic groups. The groups within the in-group may be genetically and culturally related which reinforces the grouping.
Gurharpal Singh, Ethnic Conflict in India: A Case-Study of Punjab (New York: Palgrave, 2000).
Gurharpal Singh, "Against this dominant view of the nature of the Indian state, Singh argues that India should be seen as an 'ethnic democracy' in which Hinduism works as a meta-ethnicity and in which hegemonic control is exercised over ethnic minorities, particularly those living in the peripheral regions" in Christopher Shackle, Gurharpal Singh and Arvind-Pal Mandair eds., Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity (Curson: 2001), p.155.
"L. Byzov, however, believes that 'there has taken place within the Russian national consciousness one of the most radical changes ever: from a meta-ethnic sense of identity to a strictly ethnic identity' (Byzov 1996, 45)."