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Violence and Identification

Everyday Ethnic Identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Torsten Kolind

Structurally inspired anthropological analyses of war and violence tend to claim that conflicts have an inherent potential to create unambiguous identities. Based on ethnographic data from everyday life among the Muslim population of Stolac in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina the article shows that this is not necessarily the case. Instead of resorting to the politically created dichotomous categories of ethnic exclusion, the Muslims of Stolac favored ambiguous identifications highlighting coexistence and interethnic respect. In this way of refraining from exclusive ethnic antagonistic identifications they experimented with ways of inhabiting the world together with the ethnic others; mainly the Croat population of Stolac.

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Undoing Traceable Beginnings

Citizenship and Belonging among Former Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

Patricia Daley, Ng’wanza Kamata and Leiyo Singo

This article examines the sense of insecurity experienced by former Burundian refugees following their acquisition of legal citizenship in Tanzania. Using the concept of ontological security, it explores the strategies devised by the new citizens and their former refugee selves to negotiate a normative and stable identity in Tanzania, a country with a postcolonial history of contested citizenship and depoliticized ethnicity. Our argument is that the fluidity of identity, when associated with mobility, is vilified by policy-makers and given insufficient attention in the literatures on ethnicity and refugees in Africa, yet is important for generating a sense of belonging and a meaningful life away from a troubled and violent past. This fluidity of identity offers a significant mechanism for belonging even after the acquisition of formal citizenship.

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Iurii P. Shabaev

Using recent sociological and demographic data, this article reviews the vibrancy of several ethnic minority groups in the European North of Russia. The article is framed in terms of three paradoxes. The first paradox is that the group thought to be the most vulnerable—the Samis of the Kola peninsula—have the strongest ability to preserve their identity. The second paradox is that the process of de-ethnicization, which refers to the assimilative pressure of urban settings, continues despite institutional structures designed to prevent it. The final paradox is that ethnic revival can be identified in unexpected places relatively independent of the structural factors of language and birthrate that are traditionally associated with ethnic reproduction.

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Introduction

Whither race? Physical anthropology in post-1945 Central and Southeastern Europe

Marius Turda

Although research on the history of physical anthropology in Central and Southeastern Europe has increased significantly since the 1990s the impact race had on the discipline's conceptual maturity has yet to be fully addressed. Once physical anthropology is recognized as having preserved inter-war racial tropes within scientific discourses about national communities, new insights on how nationalism developed during the 1970s and 1980s will emerge, both in countries belonging to the communist East—Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania, and in those belonging to the West—Austria and Greece. By looking at the relationship between race and physical anthropology in these countries after 1945 it becomes clear what enabled the recurrent themes of ethnic primordiality, racial continuity, and de-nationalizing of ethnic minorities not only to flourish during the 1980s but also to re-emerge overtly during political changes characterizing the last two decades.

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Czarina Wilpert

In the last decade, many descendants of immigrants from Turkey have been grappling with new expressions of their belongingness and workable identifiers to express their place within German society. Those searching are often citizens and young professionals who have been born or raised there. Until recently it had been assumed that incorporation though citizenship would be a sufficient basis for becoming Germans. It was also a political belief that to introduce the territorial right (ius soli) to citizenship would be a step toward Germany recognizing itself as a country of immigration. Whether or not this has been the case is addressed in this article. To do this critical events since the initiation of the settlement process and the messages communicated during this period will be examined. A review of these events and messages suggests that tradition, institutions and public discourse continue to articulate an ethnicized view of citzenship that creates barriers to identification with becoming a German. Two prototypes of responses to this situation are analyzed. Finally, there is a discussion of the understanding of citizenship required in this context.

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Jonathan Spyer

The field of general theories of nationalism has been a subject of frequent reference for scholars of Israel. The uses to which the vari- ous theories have been put are manifold. While it is not possible to draw an exact correlation, it may be maintained that a general pattern may be observed, where perennialist and ethno-symbolic theories have proved of particular attraction to scholars seeking to locate Israel as a 'normal' state, sharing aspects of its development and identity with other Western democracies. Modernist and instrumentalist theories, by contrast, have often been associated with more critical views that point to perceived oppressive or undemocratic aspects of the Israeli polity or Israeli history. What is noteworthy in all these examples is the important role the discussion on nationalism plays in the process of 'opening up' the study of Israel for comparative purposes, and in deepening analysis of historical, social, and political processes.

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Uriel Abulof

Israeli Arabs' "future vision" documents are an ethical-political manifesto, contextualized in academic discourse and informed by socio-historical parallels. Hence, this article examines their political ethics in a comparative perspective, by referencing the case of Israeli Arabs along with two other distinct intra-state conflicts: the strife between Anglophones and Francophones in Canada and the struggle between Macedonians and Albanians in Macedonia. These cases illuminate two main ethical-political alternatives to the present pattern of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Although the Canadian case indicates a renunciation of ethno-nationalism in favor of civic and linguistic patriotism, the Macedonian case presents an attempt to reconcile ethno-national affiliation with democratic principles. Projecting the ethical discussion of the Canadian and Macedonian cases onto Israel, I contend that normative acceptance of the mutual and dual right of self-determination, regarding both the individual's collective identity and the collective's polity, is a precondition for reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.

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Richard Daly

Recently, the historical validity of concepts of aboriginality has been questioned. It is argued here that aboriginality has been and remains a significant feature of identity and a source of cultural renewal in a rapidly changing world. The nature of aboriginality must always be qualified and contextualized. In Canada, a specific notion of aboriginality is an administrative tool of government that at all times is partially accepted and partially opposed by those so defined and administrated. In the example described here, the missionary William Duncan denied the concept of aboriginality presented by his Tsimshian flock as well as that enunciated by the Canadian government. Today, the descendants of these mission communities have ontological identities linked not only to Christian modernity but also to Tsimshian aboriginality defined one way by the government and quite differently by each local community.

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Kyrgyzchylyk

Searching New Paradigms for Ancient Practices

Gulnara Aitpaeva

This essay discusses the concept of kyrgyzchylyk (rather inadequately rendered in English as 'Kyrgyzness') as a way of transcending different boundaries: the Soviet past, Koran-based Islam, rational thinking. Several aspects of the concept and its meaning in everyday life are discussed; in particular the idea of kyrgyzchylyk as spirituality is examined. Moreover, the concept can be seen as transcending the boundaries between traditional beliefs and Islam. Traditional practitioners - healers, clairvoyants, epic storytellers, sacred sites custodians and others - are seen as becoming powerful people through their practices, and the role of kyrgyzchylyk in the context of the traditional worldview is assessed.

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Reframing European Diasporas in Contemporary France

'Second Generation' Subjectivity and the Road 'Home' in Portugal (2011) and La Commedia des ratés (2011)

Michael Gott

This article examines two graphic novels published in 2011, Portugal by Cyril Pedrosa and La Commedia des ratés [Holy Smoke] by Olivier Berlion, within the thematic and technical context of the French 'return' road movie, an increasingly prevalent category. Recent debates in political, cultural and academic spheres have focused on competing conceptions of Frenchness – traditional republicanism and multiculturalism – as well as the place of the 'second- or third-generation' descendants of immigrants. This article argues that Portugal and La Commedia des ratés, as quasi-autobiographic 'return' to origins narratives, represent compelling insight into the subjectivity of second-generation diasporic populations in France. I will also examine how these works employ the 'ninth art' to create fresh twists on the 'return' story. Finally, I will explore the graphic and narrative depictions of travel in each work, adapting Teresa Bridgeman's theory of 'world building' and 'world-switching' in bande dessinée. I argue that Portugal offers a compelling approach, re-creating on the page the effect of the cinematic 'traveling montage'.