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Synopsis of Ethnicity Reader articles

Synopsis of Ethnicity Reader articles - Summary of...

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Summary of information in some of the articles from the Ethnicity Oxford Reader (1996) found at this url: http://www.princeton.edu/wwac/academic-review/files/561/10.1b_HutchinsonSec7.doc (1/19/2011) (no add’l information was available) Session 10 John Hutchinson and Anthony Smith ed., Ethnicity , Oxford Readers, 1996, pp. 3- 14, 32-51 and 85-98, 275-347 pp. 3-14, 32-51 and 85-98 I. Introduction (pp. 3-14) Main focus: political impact of ethnicity, and the impact of political conflicts on ethnic community and identity. Common ethnicity is a major focus of identification by individuals, supporting social integration and individual adaptation. Although ethnicity is often associated with conflict and political struggle, there is no necessary connection between ethnicity and conflict. Sources of conflict: struggle for scarce resources, economic inequalities superimposed on ranked ethnic groups (esp. during rapid industrialization), cultural (linguistic and religious) differences, distribution of political rewards in polyethnic states, ethnic movements of secession and irredentism. a. Ethnicity and ethnic identity: A relatively new term used to refer to others who belong to some group unlike one’s own. Ethnic identity/origin: individual level of identification with and belonging to a culturally defined collectivity. Ethnocentrism: disdain of the stranger or a sense of uniqueness/centrality of one own group as opposed to others. b. The concept of ethnie : A named human population with myths of common ancestry, shared historical memories, one or more elements of common culture (religion, customs, language), a link with homeland, and a sense of solidarity among at least some of its members. c. Approaches to ethnicity: Primordialists believe that the drive for an efficient state interacts with the other great drive for personal identity, which is based on primordial ties (religion, blood, race, language). Instrumentalists believe that ethnicity is a social, political or cultural resource for different interest and status groups; individuals can forge their own personal or group identities. Other approaches include: transactional, social psychological, and ethno-symbolic. d. Ethnicity in history: varied in importance throughout history, but present in all regions. e. Ethnicity in the modern world: In the modern rational state integration was expected; there was no room for ethnic autonomy. This did not happen. Ethnicity persists in the forms of: ethnic hybridization, multi-culturalism in pluralist states, diaspora communities and vicarious nationalism, ethnic divisions in post-colonial states, racism, etc. f. Transcending ethnicity: Two general options: Ethnicity fades and becomes a residual category when no other arguments work. No room for ethnic identities in advanced industrialism, nationalism, or globalization.
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