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Volume :16 Issue : 3 1988      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Ethnic Assertion: The Literature and the Concepts

Auther : Shafeeq Ghabra

This study examines the relationship between ethnicity, identity and nationalism. It discusses many of the complex causes of assertion of ethnic identity in modern times, and presents solutions to some of the problems resulting from this assertion.

Examination of the literature of the  1950’s and early  1960s reveals two theories of ethnicity which were dominant during that period: the liberal and the radical. The liberal theory, on one hand, based its assumptions on the concept of the ‘melting pot’ and the literature on ‘nation building’. It saw no room for the persistence of primordial ties in a world based on state, modern structures and institutions. On the other hand, the radical approach dismissed the survival of ethnic ties in a world of rising class structure. In both the western and non-western worlds, these two schools of thought showed their inadequacies in the light of the rise of ethnic assertion over the last two decades. This has led to anew set of writings reflecting these recent trends and challenging the older models. This new literature, though diverse, is predominately united in its attempt to study the social and sub-cultural that lie beyond the nation state.

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