MIT21A_226F09_lec02

MIT21A_226F09_lec02 - Sept. 14, 2009 2: ETHNIC IDENTITY I...

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Sept. 14, 2009 2: ETHNIC IDENTITY I Read: Gladney 1-24 Nagel 3-13 Eriksen 1-17 I. Ethnicity as a topic of study A. We’re studying it partly because interest in ethnic and national identity has surged 1. Scholarship on it has increased 2. The topic is certainly much more important in the world than 15 years ago B. As Eriksen points out, many people felt that ethnicity and nationalism were incompatible with “modernity” and would disappear 1. An image of all of us becoming a global village ruled by a body like the UN II. Why didn’t ethnic and national loyalties continue to diminish, as everyone predicted? A. Most present-day conflict involves ethnic groups one way or another 1. In 1991: 35 of the 37 major armed conflicts were internal and most of them could plausibly be described as ethnic conflicts a. Some conflicts are non-violent (Quebecois independence movement) III. Explanations: A. Structural factor 1: Colonialism 1. Breakup of colonial holdings during the 20 th century a. Newly independent nations tend to be culturally diverse b. Examples of Papua New Guinea; India, all sub-Saharan African countries c. The colonial powers deliberately created colonies that divided up the territories belonging to pre-existing social/cultural groups 2 Ethnic Identity I 2009 1/18/10
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2 1 ) DISCUSS : Examples of colonial powers? d. A divide and conquer strategy 1) Look at a political map of Africa (showing the countries) a) Then look at a map of tribes and kingdoms 2) There’s no congruence—on purpose 3) Indonesia is the best current example—an archipelago (collection of islands) that’s highly culturally diverse 2. Empire a. The European colonial powers—Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands—were building empires b. Empires by definition are multicultural 1) They’re made up of diverse conquered peoples c. Empire-builders have cared about building a strong state 1) But they’ve not been interested in building a strong nation a) In the sense of a citizenry that sees itself as one people, one culture, one language, etc. b) In fact, empires have worked against colonized peoples being able to foster nationalist sentiment d. This is why so many newly independent countries have found it extremely difficult to unify the populations within their borders 1) Example 1: a very bloody civil war in Nigeria in 1967-68: Biafrans wanted to secede 2) Example 2: Sun Yat Sen’s quest for building a nation (in Gladney reading) a) He wanted China to cast off the yoke of colonialism—the British empire e.
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3 1 ) E m p i r e s a r e states , but they aren’t
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

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MIT21A_226F09_lec02 - Sept. 14, 2009 2: ETHNIC IDENTITY I...

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