Characteristic of national minority concept and multiculturalism
Culture03 May 2016, 14:50 1581
An ethnic group has got ethno-social education, special ethnic, ethno-psychological, ethno-cultural, language and religious features. In political and legal terms it is explained as "a national minority”. "National minority” and "ethnic minority” (groups) are described as adequate terms in acts of international law, the UN conventions. Majority of modern scientists give specific signs of ethnic groups: general cultural traditions, identity, special cultural achievements, existence of special social institutions, characteristics of self-government, special symbolic relations, race and physical intimacy, mutual traditions, religion, cultural understanding, migration, form of marriage and family relations and language. In practice, all parameters can be seen in various combinations. A minority concept has emerged as a result of the catholic and protestant conflict in Europe for 1560-1648 years. Minority rights were noted in the decree of Nantes adopted by Henry IV of France in 1598 and in the Peace of Westphalia (1648) in the judgments about protestant citizens.
Touching upon an "ethnic” term's etymology Ronald Jackson says that it derived from the Greek expression "ethnikos" which means a foreign group in society or nationality. Moreover, in Latin language "ethnicus” means the foreigner and "an idolater” too. Authors referring Stebbins stressed that the "ethnic” term means the both. (Ronald L. Jackson. The Negotiation of Cultural Identity: Perceptions of European Americans and African American, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. p. 31.)
Although in English language "ethnic group” "ethnicity” or "ethnic conflict” are used as a general term, concepts of race and ethnicity derive from reality. Because both of them deeply rooted in the minds of individuals and groups. (Thomas H.Eriksen. Ethnicity and Nationalism, Pluto Press , 2002, p. 1-5.)
Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature Department at New York State University Gorge Grasia in his "Race or ethnicity” book, refers to a number of questions: "What is race? What is ethnicity ? Can we assume them as a concept? Do the both concepts have significant individual characteristics? What connects these terms ? and etc. The author tried to determine differences and similarities between race and ethnicity and answer each question in a generalized manner (Jorge J.Gracia. Race or Ethnicity?: On Black and Latino Identity. Cornell Univ.Press, 2007, p.11).
Speaking about the connection between linguistics and ethnicity in her "Language and ethnicity” book, Carmen Fought, Professor of Linguistics in Pitzer College in California tried to distinguish an origin of the ethnicity (Carmen Fought. Language and Ethnicity. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006, p. 7.).
Today, the term of "national minority” needs to be enriched against the background of globalization and political- economic processes occurring in the world. As the processes of globalization increase in number and content groups of people living outside the country. There is a need to protect and ensure the rights of minorities (here are included traditional national minorities and new minorities- migrants ) in order to straighten out the cardinal changes in Europe where ethnic groups gathered closer. As the biggest threat for sovereignty of state emerges after violation of national minorities’ rights which creation of separatism beginsş So the state sovereignty and protection of national minorities are very important issues.( National minorities in the USSR: their types and main problems , Moscow, 1990, p.67)
Touching upon the national identity Polish scientist Anna Wolf-Poveska deems that recognition of new political reality is an evidence of actual political realities: "After demolition of old structures new politicians begin to rely on nationalist arguments. Since 1989, the concept of "nation” has become only category calling for unity and self-consciousness for separate groups. However, the national identity problems have not caused to dramatic collisions in Middle Europe as it happened in USSR and Yugoslavia. ("III SECTOR” theoretical, social, informative democracy magazine, the 5th edition, 2004-spring, p.18).
National minorities separated from various ethnic unities and formed as specific ethnic entities through the processes. Each ethnic has got own language, traditions and spiritual unity. An ethnic minority, generally, lives compactly in a particular area. Despite these features nothing may be obstacle for them on intermingling with different people and nations. At the same time, ethnic minorities can acquire some signs and features from neighboring nations. The ethnic minorities living in our country do not take exception too. (http://az.wikipedia.org)
The social aspects of ethnic minorities are strengthened and they assessed in terms of proper importance. Ethnic minorities are rarely subjected to discrimination by other dominant ethnic groups in political, economic, cultural life. According to the socio-political organizations and position in society , ethnic minorities try to keep their ethnocultural uniqueness. However it must be confessed that all of these "attempts” are consistent with the principles of various social institutions and policies. In other words, "cultural pluralism” is not keen on protection of its ethnic identity, which is dominated by a large majority who are not interested in assimilation.( for example Italian, German and Irish migrants ). Secessionist- a person or group of people who favour formal withdrawal from membership of a federation or body, especially a political state( for ex, Spain's Basque population) (Bromley O.V. "Этнические процессы в современном мире". Moscow-1987.p-170.)
Commenting on the formation process of an ethnos Russian philosopher, historian and turkologist Lev Gumilev tried to answer thoroughly via his new scientific theory "passionarity”. He noted that both minority or majority of passionarity is equally dangerous for an ethnic. According to Gumilev there are two types of ethnics: dynamic and relic ethnicities.
The dynamic ethnic changes from generation to generation and they are constantly in operation. However the second type of ethnics follow their ancestors.
According to the turkologist , European ethnic groups can be the example for the first type. For the second type we may cite Dagestan People’s life before the Russian Empire. Gumilev believes that each ethnic group has its own internal, unique structure, rhythm and traditions. (Elisa Nijat. " The World Philosophers” Baku-1995, p. 515.)
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