Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism

Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism

06 May 2016, 15:50 1826
In recent years there are too many terms often using in the field of social and humanitarian sciences in our country however their meanings are not paid attention. In this regard, "national minorities” "ethnic groups” "ethnic minorities” "ethnographic group” must be specially  noted. For instance, some ethnic minorities are called "ethnic groups” or "ethnographic groups” term is not explained in the right way. Doubtlessly, a correct definition and explanation of  "national minorities” "ethnic minorities” in our country is very significant  in terms of solution of some problems. 

"How are explained "folk”, "nation” "ethnic minority” " small nations” "ethnic minority” "ethnographic groups” and other terms in international legal, scientific, philosophical and social contents? Partly, it would be useful to look at those features.

Drawing attention to this issue Professor Vagif Arzumanli writes that "folk”, "nation” "ethnic minority” "small nations” "ethnic minority” terms are not new emerging terms, as well as in terms of meaning they can not be explained through yesterday or today’s realities: "Those terms have come out as a result of the gradual formation of various folks as a nation. There is a clear and precise vision of the world community about these terms. Although there is not enough interest in this issue but these terms have been investigated  by various authors in our country. However in the last few years, specially drafting  process of the new Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and some discussions on the state language showed that even some intellectuals and experts in the area of social and humanitarian sciences have some unclear points about the "folk” , "nation” "ethnic minority” " small nations”, "ethnographic groups” concepts ("Qanun" jurnalının Milli Azlıqlarla bağlı Xüsusi Buraxılışı, № 6, yanvar 1998, səh-18)
Ziya Goyalp gave a nation’s definition in this way: "The nation is a content of general and equally  languge,  religious, cultural nurture of  people.”  (Ziya Göyalp. Türkçülüyün əsasları. Bakı - 1991. səh-27.)

During the Soviet period there was enough interest in investigation of ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan. Specially, Soviet scientists had great interest in this issue. Even before the Sovietization- since the 1830s of the XIX century visits were paid by special research teams to the regions  of Azerbaijan where ethnic minorities live  and wrote extensive articles. Meanwhile some scientists in the 40th years of the XIX century B.Legkobitov (Lezghins, Tats, Khynalyqs), P.Zablotski (Talyshes), in the 50th years of XIX century I. Berezin (Persians), in the 60th years of XIX century .F.Riss, D.Kistenyev (Talyshes), in the 80th years of XIX century A. Komarov (Tats, Talyshes, Kurds) at the beginning of the twentieth century K.Kurdov (Tats) enquired lives of ethnic minorities living in different regions of Azerbaijan.  
 According to doctor of historical sciences, professor Gemershah Javadov’s exploration, after establishment of Azerbaijani Research Community (1923) research of ethnic minorities has enlarged. The Community had done a lot of work from point of studying the ethnographic. In this regard we may note B.Miller’s Tats and Talyshes, G.F.Chursin’s Talyshes, A.Bukshpa’s  Kurds books. In 60-70th years of XX century, books of  A.L.Gryunberg, M.Hajiyev and T. Ahmadov about Tats, as well as, E.A.Ismayilov and G.Javadov’s researches about Talyshes and other minorities were drawn big interest. 
Researches of E.Alakbarov, A.Bukshpan, E.Pchelina, G.F.Chursin, T.F.Aristova on Azerbaijani Kurds are remarkable. 

A.H.Genkon, N.Q.Volkov, İ.H.Shahbazov’s researches about  Khynalyqs, V.Z.Piriyev and G.E.Geybullayev’s researches about  Gryzli and Budugs, I. Eykhvald, A. Shiphner, M. Bezhanov, A, Arutinov’s researches about Udis are notable. 
In the modern period definitions of "ethnic” ,”nation” and "folk” concepts have been given by numerous Azerbaijani researchers as Academician Ramiz Mehdiyev, PhD Aghayar Shukurov, PhD Zumrud Guluzade, PhD Ebulhesen Abbasov, PhD Alikram Taghiyev. These scientists’ conclusions do not differ significantly from each other. Academician Ramiz Mehdiyev gave definition of "nation” in his "Politology. Explanatory dictionary” book: " The nation-  is an ethnicity type characterizing by an emergence of capitalism, overcoming feudal fragmentation and strengthening of the national consciousness and economic ties. 
 According to the academician Ramzi Mehdiyev, the nation is not a society from common ethnic roots, but people accepting a certain state as their own state. A folk is the sum of population living in any country. Doctor of Philosophy E. Taghiyev expressed distinctive approach to the issue: "An ethnos  is a steady union of similar people using the same kind of thinking, social category and child of the nature and the collective based on general origin and mainly, the group of people  based on same roots ". 
 Doctor of Philosophy Z.Guluzade writes that an ethnos is a union created  on the bases of spiritual cultural unity, area, language and social-political life: "An ethnos is a historical category. Through the history as a result of integration process and their differentiation  ethnicities have replaced each other. This is one of  general objective laws of the society’s ontogenetic development.( (Ələkbərov F. "Millət, milli ideya, milli ideologiyanın mahiyyəti barədə", "AMEA. Elmi əsərlər. Fəlsəfə, Sosiologiya və Hüquq İnstitutu", 2011.-№1(16). səh-44.) 
Sometimes these terms are confused and not explained correctly and even difference between them is ignored. Consequently,  there is unbiased approach to the problem of non-national issues. Moreover some realities and  historical facts are distorted. We may often  see such cases in monographies.    
There have been disputes about  definitions of " an ethnos” and "race” concepts in scientific literature. According to some authors these  features may be in the race too. For example, England cultural antropolgy school has difficulties on understanding the limits between " ethnic minority and national minorities (Bolğşoy tolkovıy soüioloqiçeskiy slovarğ. V 2 -x t. Tom 2. Perevod s anqliyskoqo. 2000, str-495, 498.)
In any case, speaking of  "ethnos and ethnic group” decided more advisably than in comparison with the race concept.  However, it will be wrong to say any indifferent and non-serious opinion beforehand about  the concept. As it has impact to  social consciousness, language and ideology.  
So, the ethnic is a cultural union of people different from other human unities. 
Efforts to change ethnic belonging by force and decrees  always met with great resistance in the history and gave opposite effect, which is natural. It must be accepted as natural reality and understood as a clear example of rigidness of human’s personality. Because a sense of belonging to one's own people is main in his sense of self-identity. A culture of an ethnos provides its integration and stability system. This culture’s elements implement the second function- differentiating of "we and they". 
As you know, the folk  is one of historical forms of human union. The nation, a historical category is a historical union of people. Gradually becoming a nation of people depends on  emergence of capitalism and development stages of it. In this situation the main factors of forming of folk as a nation are general language, culture, economic and spiritual life union. Development ways of several  folks emergence processes may be characterized with various form and stages and naturally, there are some differences between those processes and even  Marxist-Leninist approach  too.  
Azerbaijan's eminent thinker Ahmed Bey Aghaoglu believed that a folk is a supreme and extreme historical form of social union. However he is positively differed   from  modern thinkers in some points. According to him, along with the demand for self-esteem a nation demands respect  for other’s sense and opinions too that the mentioned point is a very important condition. Only in that case several nations may go along with each other within one country. "Higher ideals of progress and morality” may be conjunction ties between them which those ideals can be main bases of a state structure. Despite all of those, explanation of  natural cultural struggle between the nations may be considered the most contradictious opinions in Ahmed Aghaoglu’s judgments about nation. Because according to that explanation, the strongest, cultivated and adapted folk wins and make others accept their ideas, in other hand, quite opposite claim was stated that  any nation can’t get advantage by help of privilege  (Mirəhmədov Ə. Əhməd bəy Ağaoğlu.  Bakı-2014, səh- 127-128.)
A national minority means people living in a country and those who remain in the minority in comparision with the nation that make up the majority of the population. For instance, Azerbaijanis living in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia are minorities, at the same time Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians living in Azerbaijan are also considered minorities. 
Currently, there are some folks living in various countries of the globe that deem themselves local folks of the country where they live and compactly settle in a country’s specific area. Exactly, those folks are known as minority nations living in various countries. 
Niyaz Niftiyev