Collective Identities: Race, Ethnicity, Nation


Author(s): Abel Ugba

Until recently, Ireland could not be conceived of as an immigrant country although there were minority ethnic groups, like the Jews, Travellers and Chinese, in the country. Although official policies and attitudes have yet to acknowledge the on-going dramatic transformation in the country's ethnic and cultural landscape, the fact simply is that Ireland is now home to diverse immigrant and ethnic groups. Prominent among these groups are African immigrant workers, students, diplomats and refugees and asylum seekers. Many Africans in Dublin, according to a recent survey I conducted, have indicated they intend to make Ireland their home, even if a second home. African-initiated churches and African-owned periodicals are two of the main institutions through which Africans in Dublin are expressing this desire. They are also the foci for the search for an identity and for expressing that identity. This presentation examines two of such publications by analysing their contents, policies and orientation. The publishers/mangers will also be interviewed to elicit their views on the peculiar history, management and aspirations of these media. The purpose of my investigation and presentation is to demonstrate that these social institutions are not only channels for social interaction and communication but also the pointers to what Africans in Dublin are and want to be.




Author(s): Ada Cattaneo

This study is based on two orders of reflections about relationships between local people and newcomers in a multicultural and multiethnic town as Milan is today. The former point deals with stereotypes and their scientifically demonstrated influence on behaviours, moods, believes, feelings, reactions, social representations. The latter point underlines the importance of odours, flavour, perfumes, fragrances, scents as a peculiar trait of ethnical identity coming from both physical and psychological factors and from the particular products and foods used following traditions and habits. The paper presents findings of an explorative research made on a sample of Italian inhabitants in Milan. It aims to portrait some semell-bias generally adopted against members of the biggest migrants communities in the city.




Author(s): Ángela López

Each city has spaces for public use - spaces which in the eyes of its inhabitants and visitors make up its identity. The intensity with which these spaces are occupied at any given time is in function of their purpose. In the long run, it is the purposes to which these spaces are put that give them their nature, their meaning and their symbolism. The study of the city of Zaragoza has among its objectives, the identification of the more frequently used public spaces. The public spaces chosen for this study are those which have a present-day social relevance in addition to being part of the heritage of the city: spaces which are alive, which fulfil social purposes. Some of these spaces are identifying features of the city: the meaning they have acquired lends them a special symbolism. This paper presents the spaces studied with a methodological proposal of urbanistic-architectural categories of the city.




Author(s): Anna Kisla

The team my scientific researches is interethnic relations in Crimea's society: tendency of isolationism and national tolerance. Scientific research by problems of ethnicity's identity is very major aspect of studying interethnic relations. Results of my research allow to draw paradox conclusion : a identity of ethnicity is major reason of tendency isolationism. Especially it is obviously in states which has time of transformation - Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova. Ukraine has the region - Crimea's peninsula, which has the great potential ethnic conflict, at first because there are intensive representative Slav and Muslim ethnic, and second because there are deep social order to the ethnic identity. It is famous fact, that a lot of countries had ethnic problems, especially problems of isolationism - Canada, France, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, England. I think a phenomenon of isolationism has next reason - 1. Active ethnic identification is as a requirement of selfrealisation, 2.The reaction a non-dominator nation to process of globalisation, 3. Evolution's development as the factor of provocation isolationism. There is a peculiarity : the isolationism be repeated at certain stage of development humanity ( Evgenii Golovaha, Karl W.Deutsch). But Ukraine has the super-problems of isolationism. Results of sociological research of Institute Sociology ( the author - Panina N, Golovaha E.) to show, that 48% of population of Ukraine has tendency to isolationism ( figures had control). This is a catastrophe. What does my country must to do?




Author(s): Arseniy Svynarenko

This article examines the effects of ethnicity, class, and generation on the formation of national and regional identities of young people in Russia. Specifically, the focus of this article is on the young people in Karelia - the North-Western region of Russia that has the longest land boarder with European Union and specific local ethnic diversity. Article also presents comparisons with other regions and the city of Moscow. Ethnic factors in this article refer to influences of language and cultural self-identification on the interplay between ethnic and civic identities. Class is taken as a generalising category for such factors as enrolment in education, educational levels, specifics of employment, and financial well-being of young people. Influence of this group of factors on ethnic, national and cosmopolitan identities is examined. The category of generation highlights the specifics of contextual developments and events in the region and their effects on the local ethnic and Russian national identity - differences and similarities between the age cohorts are analysed. Specifically, these contextual elements include the effects of ethnic and migrational policies of the state on the intensity of assimilation and Russification of local ethnic groups. Data from a large survey, combined with interviews and statistical data demonstrate that there is an important rise of actualisation of Russian national identity for young people in Karelia. In this respect, there is also a significant difference between rural and urban young people, and also young people living in the capital - Moscow. Further more, the data shows that the Russian nationalism in this part of Russia can't be directly associated with Russian ethnocentrism. This is a principal differemce from nationalism in Ukraine and some of other former soviet states. The core of the "we" group refers to broader range of ethnicities living in Russia, that belong to Slavic group and Eastern Orthodox religious tradition. The significant "other" is represented, first of all, by the nations of other countries of former Soviet Union and, secondly, by European nations. Class position has an important influence of the preferences of local and global identities, and on the national identity specifically. Generational differences are most evident for ethnic, regional identities.




Author(s): Belkis Ayhan Tarhan

This study is specifically concerned with the process Turkey has been witnessing since 1990s during which the attempts in the way of integration into the world market and, more recently, to the European Union have been characteristic in terms of determining the political, economic, and socio-cultural agenda in the country. This process denotes the special play of both the "global" and the "local" in the construction of the boundaries according to which the identities are imagined. It is evident that such play is by no means specific to Turkey but how it takes place in this particular case is important for Turkey is constructed (or, rather, constructs itself) as a "boundary" between West and East not only geographically but also socially, culturally, economically, and politically. To this extent, the concept of "boundary" is of special importance here since boundaries of various kinds are regarded not as constructs determined once! for all but rather as imaginary constructs that can only be understood in accordance with the changes in the very terms of the imagination. Thus, how the national identity/identities and its/their others are built in terms of these boundaries is explored on the basis of the examination of the examples of imagining the 'Turkishness'. However, the concept, 'identity' is also questioned in the present study for it tends to stabilize the cultures on the grounds of essentialized experiences rather than to point them as processes.




Author(s): Carina Nocetti Olazábal

En las múltiples definiciones sobre lo que son los estilos de vida, entendida como variable explicadora de comportamientos, parece interesante pensar al fenómeno más allá de la pertinencia de los conceptos. Las ciencias sociales tienen dos preocupaciones para saber de que se habla cuando nos referimos a los estilos de vida. Por un lado cuestionar teóricamente su validez y por otro medir empíricamente el concepto. Bajo el supuesto de conocer, explicar y si fuera posible también predecir hechos sociales, se presentan múltiples discusiones teóricas. Así se construye y reconstruye permanentemente el significado. El objetivo de la ponencia es analizar, a través de resultados de estudios de opinión pública, el proceso de construcción del concepto.




Author(s): Carla De Tona

The Italian diaspora in Ireland represent an exceptional case within the Irish diasporic history. Despite their successful accommodation, with their economic success in the catering activities, especially Fish and Chips shops, Italians remained an invisible 'othered' community. Italian migrant women have remained doubly invisible. In this paper I'd like to focus on those Italians who settled in Dublin during the 1950s and 1960s. For some of them, despite the successful activities, a period of over 15 years, passed before they were able to visit again their home villages, a gap which covered their adult age. I wan to suggest that the gap in time was filled with memories and that women were responsible for narrativization of the "collective annals of memory and re-memory" of their diasporic lives (Brah, 1996). Narrativization is here the process of mending together the cracks and breaks of migration and allowing fluid identies to be harmonized in a form of continuity. Thereby it becomes possible to see how women are not just trapped in traditional gender roles. Despite women confinement in the 'back kitchen', i.e. (not only metaphoric) private and bounded areas of expression, they covered important roles, managing successfully not only their personal lives but also the community sense of identity. This has a striking parallel with the history of the entire community of Italian immigrants in Dublin, which would support Anthias' argument for a need to understand gender roles in migrant communities, as a group reproduction in a selective way of the symbolic relations it lives within (Anthias 1998).





Author(s): Carmen Elboj and Julio Vargas

Hace más de quinientos años que la comunidad gitana está presente en Europa. Durante todo este período de convivencia hemos dibujado una historia en común de la que apenas han existido testimonios escritos. En los libros, los episodios de la comunidad gitana aparecen aislados y desvinculados de la historia de Europa, y de la de España. En esta comunicación presentaremos parte del trabajo que se está llevando a cabo en el proyecto RTD europeo WORKALO: The Creation of New Occupational Patterns for Cultural Minorities. La propuesta de éste proyecto es, de esta manera identificar los factores exclusores que impiden a los Gitanos entrar en el mercado regular de trabajo, así como los factores transformadores que en el marco de la Sociedad de la Información ayudan a superar estas barreras desarrollando perfiles profesionales que promuevan el auto-empleo, la solidaridad grupal, la transformación social de una población europea minoritaria tradicionalmente excluida sin tener que renunciar a su propia identidad como pueblo. Desde 1973 a 1995, tiene lugar la primera fase de esa sociedad de la información con unas consecuencias que para Habermas (1999) pueden describirse con el lenguaje del darwinismo social. El conocimiento, como objeto básico de la nueva economía, transforma el contenido mismo del trabajo, su distribución y su organización. A partir de 1995, se inicia la segunda fase de la sociedad del conocimiento. La Unión Europea y otras zonas del mundo se plantean el objetivo de conseguir que la sociedad del conocimiento llegue a todas las personas que habiten en estos territorios, sin hacer ninguna discriminación de género o etnia. Si durante la primera fase de la Sociedad de la Información, la mayoría de los estudios de la sociedad del conocimiento no incluían en sus análisis las desigualdades que se estaban generando, excepto algunas investigaciones que trabajaban con sectores excluidos (Flecha & al., 1994), en la actualidad ya se contempla el riesgo de exclusión social que sufren y pueden sufrir muchas personas y comunidades (Castells, 1997). En la segunda fase de la Sociedad de la información, desde la Comisión Europea (1995) se plantea la existencia de una fuerte desigualdad en el acceso a la formación y al mercado de trabajo de determinados grupos culturales y la posibilidad que ante esto la sociedad del conocimiento ofrece para reducir esta tendencia. Las directrices que propone son el acceso igualitario a la educación, de hombres y mujeres para asegurar que grupos desaventajados como comunidades rurales, ancianos y ancianas, minorías étnicas, comunidad gitana e inmigrantes tengan las mismas oportunidades de acceso a las nuevas tecnologías y al aprendizaje para que no se conviertan en ciudadanos de segunda clase. Por lo tanto es un momento en el que la comunidad gitana y otros grupos pueden tener más posibilidades de inclusión y de participación en el mercado de trabajo y en la sociedad en general sin tener que renunciar a su propia identidad como pueblo. Así mismo, se empiezan a contemplar la participación y la voz de las personas de la comunidad gitana en estos estudios e investigaciones, imprescindibles para empezar a plantear alternativas inclusoras de diferentes identidades, como este mismo proyecto representa.




Author(s): Carmen Elboj and Olga Serradell

Los problemas y los nuevos retos ocasionados por una sociedad cada vez más multicultural se están convirtiendo en una cuestión de especial importancia debido a la realidad que representan. El incremento de la movilidad migratoria entre los países pertenecientes a la Unión Europea y entre éstos y terceros países, unido a la existencia de minorías étnicas como la gitana, está aumentando la diversidad social y cultural de nuestras sociedades a la vez que se agravian las desigualdades y aumentan las actitudes racistas y xenófobas que no tienen en cuenta los beneficios, la riqueza de esta diversidad cultural y social. Los escenarios multiculturales, multiétnicos y multilingüísticos resultantes demandan, de manera creciente, decisiones y alternativas que comprendan enfoques sociales, culturales y educativos. En este contexto actual de sociedad globalizada, informacional y multicultural, una nueva ola de racismo está atravesando Europa. Al racismo moderno, propio de la sociedad industrial y basado en la racionalidad instrumental hemos de añadir el racismo postmoderno nacido en la informacional. Ambos tipos de racismo coexisten en las actuales sociedades europeas y se complementan. Mientras el racismo moderno se basa en la inferioridad de las razas, el postmoderno incide en la idea de la diferencia entre etnias y culturas. Importantes desarrollos políticos, intelectuales y educativos están desplazando el énfasis desde el racismo moderno hacia el postmoderno. En Europa existe una tradición de lucha antirracista contra el racismo moderno, pero todavía no se han desarrollado suficientes elementos intelectuales y culturales que sean capaces de luchar contra el racismo postmoderno. Incluso hay ciertos conceptos usados en contra del racismo moderno que promueven el racismo postmoderno. Éste es el caso de los conceptos de la diferencia e identidad cuando se utilizan desligados del de igualdad. El tradicional antirracismo moderno no es capaz de hacer frente a la actual ofensiva xenófoba. Algunas categorías desarrolladas por el antimodernismo pueden legitimizar el racismo postmoderno e incluso su radicalización en una nueva clase de nazismo de la diferencia, basado en las diferencias entre culturas, en lugar de la antigua idea de la superioridad e inferioridad de las razas. Las teorías y prácticas culturales generadas por la perspectiva dialógica y desde la racionalidad comunicativa hacen frente a ambos racismos, el moderno y el postmoderno.




Author(s): Cecilio Lapresta Rey, Ángel Huguet Canalís,Jordi Suïls Sobirà, Judit Janés Carulla and Alexandra Monné Bellmunt

En esta comunicación se pretende plantear la relación existente entre la identidad cultural y la conciencia lingüística en el Valle de Arán, comarca en la que encontramos un contexto extraordinariamente peculiar. Este territorio se encuentra situado en el extremo noroccidental de Catalunya, en la cara norte de los Pirineos. La existencia de tres lenguas oficiales -el occitano-aranés, el catalán y el castellano- hace de él un campo de análisis privilegiado para el estudio de la identidad cultural de un colectivo cuya lengua propia, aparte de ser minoritaria, se encuentra en una situación minorizada. A partir de datos extraídos de un análisis que se está realizando en el territorio desde la Universitat de Lleida, intentaremos demostrar que, si bien a un nivel global de la población se tiene bastante claro la importancia de la lengua propia en la configuración de la identidad cultural de la comarca, existen diferentes discursos que nos hacen replantear una posible la relación directa entre la conciencia lingüística y identidad cultural. Al observar los discursos sociales que sobre la aranesidad se desarrollan, observamos que la relación entre conciencia lingüística e identidad cultural queda mediatizada por una variable más significativa, que es el desarrollo de una afectividad hacia el territorio. A partir del desarrollo de esta afectividad, la lengua propia adquiere una importante valoración como un símbolo y valor cultural propio y característico de la aranesidad, posibilitando así el desarrollo de una significativa conciencia lingüística entre los occitanófonos.




Author(s): Christopher G.A. Bryant

There are a number of contemporary constructions of a Scottish nation and national identity including Celtic Scotland, Scottish Scotland, British Scotland and Scotland in Europe - and thus a number of ways of 'claiming' Scottishness (Hearn 2000). They differ in their orientations to time (past and present) and place (home and abroad), and in their comparative or contrasting conceptions of Britain and Britons and, in particular, London and the south-east of England and the English. The present currency and future prospects of these alternatives are assessed in relation to political devolution and Scottish autonomy (Paterson 1994) and the statelessness or otherwise of Scotland (McCrone 1992 and 2001) and to changes in the demographies and economies of both Scotland and Britain.




Author(s): David Baringo Ezquerra 

El artículo profundiza en algunas de las implicaciones que sobre el Noreste de la Península Ibérica tienen las tesis del historiador francés E. Todd relativas a las diferentes estructuras familiares europeas. Son objeto de comparación y reflexión los territorios donde tradicionalmente predominaron los sistemas familiares troncal completo (familia jerárquica) y nuclear igualitario (familia igualitaria). En especial, sus similitudes y diferencias, en la actualidad, a la hora de la definición de sus identidades individuales y colectivas así como el trato con la inmigración. La argumentación se sustenta en el análisis de fuentes secundarias y en entrevistas realizadas por el autor sobre terreno.




Author(s): Djurovic Bogdan

The research on the relations among various ethnic communities in Serbia conducted in the last few years pointed to a relatively high level of socioehnic distance. After the interethnic conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia had stifled, it seemed reasonable to expect such distance would become considerably lower. However, the latest research results have not substantiated such expectations. The outcome was quite the opposite.The use of a classical instrument (Bogardus) has showed that Serbs, the majority nation, are not willing to enter a marriage with Albanians in 81% of the cases, with Boshniaks (Muslims)in 75%, Bulgarians 65%, Romanies 79%, Hungarians 56%, and Vlachs 57%. When the biggest social distance was presupposed - that of living in the same country - Serbs would not wish to see Albanians in the same state in 70% of the cases, Boshniaks in 66%, Bulgarians in 68%, Romanies in 57%, Hungarians in 63%, and Vlachs in 53% of the cases.Ethnic distance, even xenophobia, is to be traced in the attitudes widely accepted, for intance that "One can feel secure only in an ethnically homogenuous environment" - complete or partial agreement with this statement was given by 55% of the Serbs, 56% of the Boshniacs, 27% of the Bulgarians, 41% of the Romanies and 52% of the Vlachs. As political, economic and social stability depends on relatively stable interethnic and mutial trust, one concludes that the process of recovery, democratization and strengthening of civil society in Serbia is slowed down. Other measurements from the research confirm the tendency mentioned above. Populist and nationalist policies led until a few years ago in Serbia, seen even today in a portion of the political spectrum, have become deeply rooted in interethnic intolerance and consequent ethnic narcisism. The statement that "their nation has qualities excelling it above other nations" met total or partial agreement of 54% Serbs, 45% Albanians, 15% Boshniaks, 45%Bulgarians, 30% Romanies, and 50% Vlachs.




Author(s): Elaine Moriarty

The past 10 years have been a time of profound social change in Ireland - economic, social and cultural. Consequently, the meaning of contemporary Irishness has become a site of significant contestation and this contest has provided fertile material for the construction of competing discourses. This paper seeks to examine the centrality of processes of identity formation in the construction of Irishness and Otherness, particularly the notion of 'new' identities articulated through concepts of diaspora and hybridity. I will initially outline a model of social ontology that recognises the dialectical relationship between discourse and agency in the construction of identity. I will engage in this theoretical exploration by focussing on a number of key processes involved in the constitution of identities whether that be individual subjectivity, ethnicity, nationality and associated processes of othering and exclusion and inclusion. However, following the dialectical model of social constitution, I will examine the intersections of these processes of subjectivity with current hegemonic discourses whether that be state driven multiculturalism, interculturalism or equality and/or academic interventions through conceptual and discursive construction. I will examine this model of identity formation by analysing anti racism initaitives utilised by various actors in the 1990s and consider some of the manifestations of such practices. Through engaging in this theoretical and empirical exploration of the production of discourses of Irishness and Otherness, I intend to demonstrate the role that sociology can play in exposing some of the web of power in which marginalised peoples, such as asylum seekers, refugees and Travellers, find themselves struggling to negotiate their meaning and identity in contemporary Ireland.




Author(s): Elena Danilova

The construction of new national identities in post-communist countries is an important factor for national consolidation, creation of citizenship, establishment of trust between the state and individuals. The paper aims at exploring issues of national identity in contemporary Russia as it reveals from results of 10 years monitoring surveys and from drawing comparison on the basis of a comparative survey of collective identities in Russia and Poland conducted in 1998 and in 2002. Poland has a relatively homogeneous ethnic composition and a historically high degree of national consolidation and mobilisation while Russia is a multiethnic country with a long imperial past going through trauma of losing its great power status. The transformation of the national identity in Russia is a very complex process and coincides with changing the very concept of national identity. Paper examines a whole set of identities - ethnic, civil, local and with the statehood. According to some commentators both in pre-revolutionary and Soviet Russia there existed an imperial supernation with a core consisting of ethnic Russians. The Soviet identity was a synthetic identity which was supposed to suppress and substitute all other collective identities and first and foremost the ethnic ones. Since 1992 as the data shows there is a split between civic, ethnic and cultural components of national identity. On the one hand, one can observe the revival of ethnic and local identities through rising the significance of cultural attributes (land, language, locality, customs, religion). On the other hand, - the rise of new civic identification that is with current Russian state although it is not related to ethno-cultural elements and does not fully compensate for the loss of Soviet identification. Nearly half of Russian population are still aware of being the Soviets. All this contrast with Polish model of consistent national identity rooted in tradition and religion and providing basis for national consolidation.




Author(s): Enzo Colombo and Giovanni Semi

Living with and confronting diversity is becoming a daily condition of every western city. This can creates anxiety and a sense of insecurity and in some case - even when the borders of diversity are less explicit - can create serious problems of rejection in the form of racism and discrimination. But, it can also be associated with a virtuous process of enrichment, reciprocal listening, understanding and change. Looking at everyday confronting with otherness helps to reconsider basic concepts of social science (i.e. culture, identity, difference and hybridity) in order to avoid the parallel risks of reification and radical subjectivity. Analysing everyday life and processes of relation with diversity allows putting in evidence social processes and the never-ending work of social construction of reality and sharing meanings. Starting from Bakhtin concept of dialogic imagination and from contemporary discussion on hybridity, diaspora and multiculturalism a critical iscussion of identit and culture is presented in order to suggest an anti-essentialist but deeply rooted in everyday life description of contemporary forms of representation of and confrontation with difference.




Author(s): Fredrik Hertzberg

The aim of my paper is to show some aspects of the ways in which street-level bureaucrats conceptualise and make sense of a multiethnic society. The paper is a short version of my dissertation in ethnology, whish is supposed to be completed and approved during the fall semester of 2003. The study takes it point of departure in a description of how employment officers in government-run employment offices describe the problems and possibilities that youth of immigrant descent face in the Swedish labour market. In this study, I focus on the concepts and explanatory models they use in making sense of the behaviour of those youth. I pay a certain attention to the explanatory value the interviewees give to the concept of culture, and how they perceive the relation between culture and agency, but also in how they oscillate between different ways of describing the fact that the position of immigrant youth in the labour market is worse, in comparison to other persons in the same age. With an theoretical interest in anthropological theory on ethnicity, but also in post-colonial studies, I aim to give an theoretically informed description of the ways in which Otherness is constructed as an deviation from perceived Swedish cultural norms and the demands of the labour market, but also how Swedish-ness is marked and constructed, as a more or less normative standard from which the anomaly represented by the immigrants' deviates.




Author(s): Harriet Silius

Within postcolonial feminist theory the questions of migration, colonialism and race have received considerable attention. One strand of thought deals with women immigrants as shapers of nation and culture and their negotiations between different intersections in everyday life. Many authors have revealed the different effects of Europe's colonial past on contemporary societies. The discussions on race have pointed to whiteness as an important category. In Europe, intra group differences between whites, however, has throughout history played important roles (Jews, roma, gays and lesbians). Recent ethnic cleansing in ex-Yugoslavia also highlight differences among whites. Recent research on differences between women, for example considering class, race, sexuality or generation have mainly focused on multiple discrimination of women. Critical studies on men have also problematised unprivileged men. Those who are successful and privileged have, however, seldom been analysed with reference to migration and ethnicity. The paper deals with an empirical analysis of the representation of Swedish-speaking Finnish emigrants to Sweden in Swedish press. The immigrants to Sweden are successful women and men with cultural capital who are known by the media and the public. The aim of the paper is to show how ethnicity intersects with gender. The focus is on agency and subjectivity. I analyse the representations of Finland-Swedish ethnicity through some traditional gendered dichotomies like war-peace, hierarchical-egalitarian, culture-nature and modern-ancient. As a result, I found that in addition to gendering, homogenisation and exotisation, are processes through which ethnic difference is constructed.




Author(s): Ignacio Irazuzta

Desde hace aproximadamente dos décadas han proliferado en Argentina algunos trabajos que retoman la categorización étnica para nominar y caracterizar lo que tradicionalmente fueron "grupos de inmigrantes", las "colectividades". La apuesta implica cierta ruptura con las ideologías asimilacionistas, significativamente hegemónicas en el país a partir de una tradición sociológica enraizada en el discurso local del crisol de razas, a la vez que reedita la hipótesis de la estrecha relación de las ciencias sociales con el proceso de construcción de los estados nacionales. Sobre los antecedentes de la prolífica literatura de los estudios culturales, se pondrá especial énfasis en el actual proceso de mundialización, como tendencia que impulsa flujos globales capitales y de sentido, conformando así nuevos imaginarios sociales que contribuyen a la redefinición étnica de los grupos en cuestión. La misma insinúa el fenómeno de la reterritorialización de la identidad, desafiando los tradicionales patrones de objetivación de la pertenencia étnica, y creando unas "identidades híbridas" que sugieren nuevas pistas para pensar en las tesis sobre la ubicuidad de lo político en las sociedades contemporáneas. La ponencia explora algunos antecedentes históricos de la colectividad vasca de la ciudad de Buenos Aires y presenta algunos de los resultados de investigación que proveen la base sociológica para redefinir el concepto de etnicidad.




Author(s): Jose A. Cobas

None of the classical theorists devoted much attention to race and ethnicity. Emile Durkheim and Georg Simmel exclude them from their writings and Karl Marx sees them as distractions from the phenomenon of class. Max Weber addresses the issue of ethnicity, leaving out race, but does so in a limited fashion. Ethnic markers receive superficial attention in his writings. Other than commenting on their arbitrariness, Weber is silent on ethnic markers. Contemporary theorists adhere to this precedent. Fredrik Barth avers that ethnic markers are of secondary importance to ethnic boundaries. My perspective disagrees with Barth's conclusion. Racial markers are informative, principally because they are tied to racial oppression and resistance. As a result of their oppression of Blacks in the United States, Whites developed racial markers to identify them: dark skin color, a permanent inferior nature, and an "alienness" that distinguished them from White culture. Whites applied these same markers about the same time to Native Americans, and later to other oppressed groups. There is the view in the literature that oppressed groups constitute empty vessels who absorb the ideas of the dominant Whites. I argue that as part of their resistance, oppressed groups developed racial markers with roots in their own cultures. Results of a pilot study in general support this argument.




Author(s): Kevin O'Brien

Most commentators agree that Northern Ireland is a deeply divided society. The major division has been conceptualised in different ways as ethnic, religious, national, political etc but whatever the designation commentators are able to identify two communities in conflict. The different communities subscribe to different national affiliations; one group identifying with the United Kingdom and the other group with the Republic of Ireland. Both the UK and the Repubic are members of the European Union and therefore participate in the debate on European Integration. This paper examines the relationship between the national identities of the conflicting groups in Northern Ireland and how these are being challenged by the new concept of European citizenship. The paper will report on an empirical study (number=340)of young people which attempted to measure orientations towards the European Union. In general young people are favourable towards Europe and the question arises whether this might facilitate a resolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland by transending local considerations. The paper offers some tentative conclusions on this possibility.




Author(s): Luis Enrique Alonso

The crisis of labour and redistribution as central social values and the crisis of citizenship run together because so they run both elements in contemporary society, society held in the way of fordist and keynesian national practices. Changes in social stratification, and so also the breaking of employee groups, make that classic collective actions - male labour movements in post-war-, face unsolvable dilemmas and demands from the base, hard to assume. By the way, the diverse work conditions -dispersed, diffused group of workers- drives to the multiplication of micro-strategies and local actions, to a logic of survival in difference. In this place is where the challenges for the creation of a new model of citizenship is established, playing attention to the rebuilding of welfare, to the dialogue with new social movements and cultural initiatives and being sensitive with weak new social groups appeared in the so called postmodern society.




Author(s): Manuel Carlos Silva

In articulation with other forms of inequality ((under)class, gender, age), ethnicity represents one of the main axis of social differentiation, cultural and political clash and frequently of social exclusion. The tension lived by ethnical minorities in Portugal between integration and exclusion contains contradictions that reflect these of the native community of society self in front of the former, because they want the integration of the ethnical minorities, but at the same time react to subordinate and to confine them at the occupation of certain geo-social space. If, at one side, the official rhetoric proclaims the values of the plural democracy and the imperative of integration and promotion of the ethnical minorities, at the other side emerge in the Portuguese society resentments and phenomena of resistance by members of majority's groups, above all when they feel themselves threatened, vulnerable or precarious. These reactions incite, at their turn, to the preservation, reviviescence and reinforcement of the cultural identity of the ethnical minorities. In this text the question is approached taking as case study a gypsies community in the northwest of Portugal, that serves as illustrative example of the displaying argument. In their inter-ethnical relations the members of the gypsies underclass that, in the most part, not only have suffered of relative privation in a context of poverty and social exclusion but also they have been charged by relations sometimes one of co-presence and coexistence, sometimes another of distance and exclusion, sometimes again by relations of affront and hostility.




Author(s): Marcelo Alario Ennes

This work is based upon my PhD thesis which studies the ethnic relations in Pereira Barreto, a city northeast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. In the light of Pierre Bordieu's conceptual system for understanding the relations between the Japanese-Brazilian and non-Japanese-Brazilian along the history of the city and the inhabitants' history. The present research reveals that the social habits such as associations, school experience, sports, celebrations and the symbolic ones such as Unions, discipline, community are elements from a Japanese ethos. They are the basis for the process of the immigrants' (re)placement and their descendants as well those ones who had symbolic exchanges (values related to family, working and wedding relationships), material exchanges (taking part or not of charity and producing financial associations) sentimental exchanges (friendship, date) and cultural exchanges (idiom, cooking, celebration). Therefore all these above mentioned are considered as social field. Analysing the groups of these relations from a social-reflexive perspective allowed us to criticize the concept of cultural assimilation as a process of unilateral absorption of foreigners and their descendants in the structure of the brazilian society. Consequently the relations between the Japanese-Brazilian and the non Japanese Brazilian set new social habits which can be observed not only by costumes, cooking, architecture, but also by some economical and administrative impasse, as well as political shares affairs which distinguishingly characterise the city nowadays.




Author(s): María Esther López

The gypsies are a patriarchal community, with a significant predominance of men over women, based on the raí or lineage. The gipsy female is submitted to this structure of inequality with regard to the gipsy male who excludes her from the public arena, relegating her to the private domain of the house, and to the carrying out of minor productive activities; she has limited access to formal education and information. The gipsy woman has been prepared from her childhood to assume the sacred role of wife and mother within the gypsy culture. This paper analyses the social dynamics of this patriarchal structure which emerges in the socialization process, paying particular attention to the relationship between female and male and to the construction of a gender (female)




Author(s): Mª Noemí López Pérez

La comunicación que presentamos desarrollará el proceso de su explicación y reflexión a propósito del fenómeno denominado Globalización, mundialización, libre mercado, neoliberalismo,... Dicho así, tan generosamente, parecería interminable esta comunicación, por este motivo indagar cómo está afectando el fenómeno de la globalización a nuestros propios elementos culturales dentro de la escuela será el elemento central de esta comunicación, nos ceñiremos a las consecuencias actuales de este fenómeno con ejemplos más locales, como el tema de los contenidos propios en la escuela de la Comunidad canaria como forma de resistencia a esta mundialización totalitaria e irrespetuosa, que convierte todo lo local en exotismo. Sobre todo, desde el punto de vista cultural, una mundialización que desvertebra constantemente los procesos autónomos de construcción identitaria, generando situaciones y actitudes inquietantes, cuestionando la construcción de identidades colectivas solidarias; o sea, las ultraperiféricas del consumismo absoluto como única salida ofertada por el poder. También, nos cuestionaremos la omisión de uno de los agentes educativos más determinante: el profesorado. La incertidumbre que ha generado en el profesorado esta fase, también denominada por algunos como postmoderna, es algo a lo que se debería prestar más atención, ya que las dudas sobre a qué elementos prestar atención en el proceso de aprendizaje no es un asunto baladí. No se ha reflexionado lo suficiente sobre la situación del profesorado en esta realidad fluctuante. Por otro lado, si bien es cierto que la tradición educativa dominante ha sido culturalmente homogeneizadora y socialmente segregadora, hoy, con más razones creemos que la homogeneización cultural es admitida, no desde la reflexión, sino desde la inercia, la resignación y la sensación de impotencia para modificar las cosas, por pequeñas que sean. Nos mueve a presentar esta comunicación nuestra idea de que cuanto mayor sea el conocimiento de la cultura propia, de los contenidos propios, mayor y más respetuosa será la comunicación intercultural. Nos situamos claramente en la línea de otorgar importancia a las estrategias pedagógicas que reivindican el entorno inmediato para acercarse al mundo.




Author(s): Paloma Bozman 

This paper attempts to demonstrate how the official written signs in the city reflect its self-image, and the process by which it constructs its identity. These sign give information about what it includes and what it excludes with regard to its own identity. The object is to learn something about how the city explains itself to its inhabitants and visitors. For a message to be understood, the emitter, the recipient and the message must be taken into account. We travelled through the districts of the city and the city centre, noting official signs (excluding traffic signs and advertisements) and attempted to analyse their messages in terms of the above three categories, at times noting the significant absence of




Author(s): Vesa Puuronen 

The paper describes the most important ideals and symbols of young racist Finns, who define themself either racists, skinheads or nationalsocialists. The core idea of all different racist groups can be reduced in an statement given by an Finnish skinhead, when he was asked about the main goals of his action. He stated that the goal is "Clean white race". Racial cleanness and whiteness are connected in the racist ideology in a way which partly derives from and is based on the everyday practices and ways of thinking of common people in almost all societies and cultures. These practices and ways of thinking aim at separation of the dirt from the clean and avoidance of the dirt. Strive for cleanness is essential dimension of identity in modern societies. Racists' strive for cleanness is based on sophisticated philosophical thinking which has been developed both in Asian and European philosophical thought. The symbols of the racists' reflect their ideology and are mainly inherited from the earlier fascist and racist movements. The main symbols are e.g. swastika, the symbols which originally were letters of medieval Scandinavian rune alphabet. The connections between diiferent racist identities, the symbols and ideals of racist ideologies will be discussed.




Author(s): Sara Helman

Since the 1980s many scholars have focused on the promise that dialogue holds to get beyond essentializing discourses. Based on the observation of a yearlong dialogue inter-group encounter between two groups of Israeli citizens - Jewish and Palestinians, this article shows that dialogic encounters between groups in a situation of structural inequality and domination may solidify essentialist discourses of culture and identity. The interpretative analysis of specific moments of the inter-group dialogue shows that throughout the dialogue process self and other essentializing strategies recurred. The attempt of the Palestinian students to clear a space that would enable them to talk about their status as second class citizens while simultaneously presenting claims for equal access to citizenship was met with declarations about "Arab' culture by the Jewish students. In this process both groups, albeit for different reasons, reinforced their monological conceptions of culture and identity.




Author(s): Triin Vihalemm

The paper discusses how the rapid switch into English-based frames of reference mediated via global media networks shape the local linguistic perceptions and the patterns of collective, language-related identity construction. The focus is Estonia where the historically formed cultural patterns of groups' self-establishment in relation to 'others' and construction of collective identity have predominantly been language-centred. Estonians have for a relatively long period utilized the so-called ethnic minority identity construction pattern. Several authors also support the thesis of (re)ethnization of Russians living in Estonia and other titular republics of the former Soviet Union. In Estonia the symbolic value of both Estonian and Russian languages as a marker of group belonging and power assertion has been high during the whole transition period. The paper analyses the inter-relations between linguistic practices and collective self-identification of both Estonians and Estonian Russians. It discusses if and how do the global cultural flows (mainly anglo-american pop culture) and English as a potential Lingua Franca shape the perceptions of the members of local ethno-linguistic communities. It is also inquired how are these perceptions are linked with ethno-cultural and other collective identities. By exploring quantitative and qualitative data the paper suggests that English-based global cultural flows make the historically formed cultural patterns of groups' self-establishment in relation to "others" more vague and ambivalent at the same time offering new means to be utilized in order to maintain group's cultural distinctiveness.




Author(s): Yumiko Nishimuta

The aim of this study is to identify and describe the Japanese student's experiences of university in Britain through an interview process, looking at their experiences of racial discrimination, racial awareness and their responses, coping strategies that evolve during their years of study for the Japanese students. The overall questions are: what experiences and understandings of race and racism do Japanese students encounter in Britain, and how do they cope with these experiences? And helping to understand these main questions: How may this experience in Britain differ according to 'Gender', 'Pre-departure Expectation'? There are several issues that researcher must address in order to elaborate these questions. There is very little sociological literature on Japanese who come to study in Britain or other Western societies. Japanese students in Britain are not typical immigrants, since they came for a few years to study. Nor are they 'native' ethnic minorities who have historically experienced colonialism and racial subordination.