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Ethnicity and Nationalism - Essay Example

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Ethnicity and Nationalism 1. Introduction The continuous changes in social, political and economic conditions worldwide are often considered as threatening ethnic identity of populations with different ethical and cultural characteristics. There is also the opposite view, based on the argument that ethnic identity is just part of a group of identities which characterize individuals in the context of the international community…
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Ethnicity and Nationalism Essay
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"Ethnicity and Nationalism"

Download file to see previous pages The value of ethnic identity in the context of social, political and economic life is reviewed in this paper. Efforts are made so that the influence of ethnic identity on ethnic affiliations is clearly described. The various assumptions developed in regard to this issue, as identified in the relevant literature, are compared. It is made clear that ethnic identity is a core part of modern social, political and economic life but its power to influence key social, political and economic decisions worldwide is differentiated, a fact probably related to the different perceptions of people in each state in regard to the context of ethnic identity and its requirements, meaning the terms under which ethnic identity can be considered as secured. Also, different levels of freedom exist internationally in regard to the potential limitations of ethnic identity, a fact leading often to severe social, political and economic conflicts, either in the internal and the external environment of modern states. 2. Ethnic identity in todays social, political and economic life The representation of ethnic identity in a variety of social, political and economic activities is extensive. ...
These identify practices, if viewed as a unit, constitute ethnicity, as a social phenomenon (Fishman and Garcia 40). The level at which ethnic identity can intervene in the social life of each region depends on the principles on which social behavior across the above region is based. More specifically, in areas where local culture is characterized by individualism, personal interests are expected to be served first, while the public interest follows (Newman and Newman 45). On the contrary, in societies the culture of which is based on collectivism, the public interest comes first; in case of conflicts between the interests of a group and personal interests, the former need to be addressed as a priority (Newman and Newman 45). The above issues are made clear through the following example: in New Zealand, individualism is rather promoted, instead of collectivism, as a criterion of social behavior. Indeed, ‘in schools across New Zealand students are required to work as individuals rather than as members of a group’ (House, Kasper and Ross 192). The above trend is in opposition with the culture of Maori people, ethnic minority in New Zealand, who promote team working in most social and economic activities (House, Kasper and Ross 192-193). The above example also reveals the potential differentiation in regard to the forms of ethnic identity within each country worldwide, meaning that it is possible for different ethnic identities to co-exist within the same country. The relationship between ethnic identity and social life is reflected in the following fact: in the context of each society, social groups with common culture and traditions are likely to have common ethnic identity, meaning that ethnic identity is related to culture (Eriksen 73). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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