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MIT21A_226F09_lec08 - Oct 5 2009 Bring in tabooed Kurd...

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Oct. 5, 2009 Bring in tabooed “Kurd” Robins p. 74 8 STATE, NATION, CULTURE Read: Louisa Schein, 1997. The consumption of color and the politics of white skin in post-Mao China. In The Gender Sexuality Reader . Roger Lancaster and Micaela Di Leonardo, eds. New York: Routledge: 473-86 Kevin Robins, 1996. Interrupting Identities: Turkey/Europe. In Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, eds., Questions of Cultural Identity . London: Sage: 61-82 David Maybury-Lewis, 2002. The state. In Maybury-Lewis, Indigenous Peoples, Ethnic Groups, and the State . Boston: Allyn and Bacon: 105-130 (25) Review of concepts: Identity: The identity of any individual consists of what I’m calling identity components Some of them are related to each other Russian-egg fashion: a series of wooden eggs, the largest containing a smaller egg, that one in turn containing a smaller egg, and so on For example: membership in nuclear family, extended family, region, country—each identity component is larger Other identity components will cross-cut these scaled components (e.g., gender, religion) Religion can be scaled: the Catholic parish up to the international Catholic Church At any one time some of these identity components will have more demands made on them than the others Will be more salient The individual will be required to think/feel/behave in certain ways in many areas of their life Today ethnicity, nationality are often highly significant identity components Ethnicity Ethnic and national identity are concerned with groups 8 State, Nation, Culture Schein, Robins, Maybury-Lewis The state 2009 1/19/10
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2 That relate to other groups: we’re always talking about a relation A crucial feature of ethnicity Is a consciousness or awareness of difference Progress was made in understanding ethnicity when anthropologists started moving from studying “contents” of ethnic groups To looking at ethnic their boundaries and relations Eller notes that the contents of a group may change, and the membership of the group may change, while the boundary—its name, relative status, remains 1 Ethnicity is about culture: the crucial domain of difference is cultural They themselves may not see it this way (they might feel that the crucial domain is common ancestry, for example), but social scientists do Eller argues that if a group is not conscious of its culture, or organized in terms of its characteristics, then there is no ethnicity No matter how distinct Indigenous peoples are not ethnic groups until they have developed this consciousness A certain objectification of culture and cultural difference, certain distance—from culture, a certain reflexive relation with one’s own culture People who live culture unproblematically tend not to be ethnic The Kurds in Turkey, who were forbidden their language, even their name (they were called “Mountain Turks”) do not live their culture unproblematically; are definitely an ethnic group Kinds of cultural characteristics: Real or putative common ancestry, memories of a shared past,
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MIT21A_226F09_lec08 - Oct 5 2009 Bring in tabooed Kurd...

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