Browsing by Subject "ethnic relations"

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  • Ygot-Riikonen, Maria Sheila (2004)
    Christian and Muslim conflict in Southern Philippines intensified during the last few decades although a shared history dates back 435 years ago. The government has so far failed to deliver genuine peace and stability to 22 million people in Mindanao suffering from poverty, displacement, and bloodshed. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the international community became aware of Islamic fundamentalist movements in Southeast Asia. The US government linked a Filipino Muslim group, Abu Sayyaf, to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, justifying the staging in Mindanao of what US Pres. George Bush said as the second largest 'war against terrorism' after Afghanistan. Whatever impact terrorist acts may have from Basilan to Manhattan, peace research is more urgent and significant than ever. This study looks at the causes of violence amongst Christian and Muslim Filipinos and consequently explores areas for peace by asking: "What are the reasons of conflict? Who are the actors and agenda-setters? How can a local conflict become linked to international terrorism? What are the ways and means of effective and immediate conflict resolution in Mindanao?" To acquire firsthand insight, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted in the Philippines in June-October 2002 using a 60-day participant observation and the triangulation method for data gathering. Through snowball sampling, talks with different groups (government, military, rebels, academics, and NGOs) gave comprehensive and balanced analyses. Second, a quantitative survey of 400 youth respondents gave different views from Muslim and Christian perspectives, especially on concepts of alienation, animosity, and political participation. Finally, international newspaper reports, journals, and local publications were cautiously used as primary sources. Results showed contradictory views on the causes of conflict, whether economic, socio-political, or religious, depending on individuals and groups. Respondents said aggression was caused by economic neglect, frustration with the government, and lack of socio-political influence. Solutions offered are poverty alleviation, tolerance of socio-cultural diversity, strong leadership, and recognition of international peace agreements. Other means of conflict resolution involve empowering citizens, creating a balance of forces, channeling resources at the grassroots level, and cultivating a culture of peace.
  • Kaukonen Lindholm, Olli Veikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The focus of this thesis is on the recent changes in ethnic and class relations that have taken place in Bolivia since the beginning of the 21st century with the expansion of the economic middle class and the rise of the indigenous movements, Evo Morales and his socialist party to political power. This is approached through the medium of coca leaf, a key symbol of the Central Andean indigenous peoples, and its chewing that has recently been appropriated by all social layers of Bolivia. The recent popularity of coca challenges the race-based class structure of Bolivia, where prejudices on indigenous peoples have been epitomised in coca. The realities of social change are investigated by looking into the contemporary perceptions that Bolivians have towards coca, and how its increasing use reflects the changing identities and relations between different social layers. The city of Tarija was chosen as the primary field site as coca is commonly chewed there publicly. As previous anthropological research on coca has mainly been conducted in rural surroundings, this thesis illuminates how the leaf is used by the urban population of Bolivia. The principle research questions are: How is the chewing of coca leaf perceived and practiced by the different layers, of the contemporary society of Tarija, and how does this contribute to the production of separate ethnic and class identities, but also national and departmental unity? This thesis is mostly based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Bolivia between 3 December 2018 and 23 February 2019, of which two months were spent in the city of Tarija and it surroundings, while one month of supplementary research was conducted in other parts of Bolivia. In addition to participant observation, the material collected included 14 recorded interviews as well as 63 informal interviews. Besides ethnographic data, this thesis also analyses the history of coca leaf at the epicentre of racial and social relations of Bolivian society, which also includes its place as one of the main ingredients of the global drug trade. As the perceptions surrounding coca are linked to its possible narcotic qualities and medical applicability, an analysis of the medicinal value of the coca leaf is included to provide a background for the claims made by the interviewees. To approach the multiple meanings of the coca leaf, this thesis employs a locally engaged theory. Anthropological concepts and theories of multiple origins are employed and applied throughout the ethnographical analysis to build a multi-sited and encompassing understanding of coca chewing. The identities are approached from an intersectional perspective to show the complexity of identity building, where gender, age, race and class are in interaction with each other. The reasons that members of different groups give for coca chewing and how these reasons work to create differences between the chewers are analysed to demonstrate how the traditional upper and middle classes of Tarija do not partake in the key symbolism that coca has for the Central Andean indigenous peoples. Instead, they perceive coca as an ancient medicine, a national emblem that works to create unity between all Bolivians by connecting them to their shared indigenous roots, while the chewing of the leaf for work-related reasons, as a stimulant, is perceived to be practiced mainly by the rural population and the working class. By further differentiating the zones of coca production to traditional producers and narcotraffickers, and as also demonstrated with an analysis on the public chewing of coca, this thesis argues that through coca chewing, the traditional upper and middle classes are able to overpass the racism previously employed in demonstrations against Evo Morales and his socialist party. Their new rhetoric highlights national unity regardless of class or ethnicity in the name of democracy. The ambiguous relation that the people of Tarija have towards coca reflects the ambiguous relations that exist between the different social layers of the city. The increasing popularity of coca reflects the social change that has diluted the colonial race-based boundaries between social classes, but also the limits of this change, as many of the prejudices and stereotypes previously attached to race and coca, instead of disappearing, have been reassigned to low income levels and political affiliation.
  • Wahlbeck, Östen (2022)
    This is a study of ethnic boundary-making strategies promoted by Swedish migrants in Finland. The results are based on interviews with a sample of migrants in Helsinki without previous personal connection to Finland. The interviewees can be considered privileged migrants, and the study provides new information on the strategies of ethnic boundary making promoted by members of privileged ethnic groups. In Helsinki, the migrants from Sweden navigate a social field with local ethnic boundaries, including an autochthonous Swedish-speaking minority. Despite social integration in Finnish society, the migrants choose the strategy of boundary blurring, whereby the interviewees wished to question the importance of ethnic and national belonging. This choice of strategy can be explained by the ambivalence they experience in navigating the local ethnic categories and language policies. Thus, the results describe how societal structures shape individual strategies of ethnic boundary making.
  • Dudumi, Olsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This Master's thesis examines the ethnic relations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) through an ethnographic study based on a four-month fieldwork in the city of Kumanovo, where communities have been recently displaced from their traditional neighborhoods. More broadly speaking, this research addresses the increase of everyday life violence and physical separation of the Albanian and Macedonian communities. To this end, it employs two current theoretical developments in social sciences to show the insight into people's actions and everyday life situations: on the one hand, the cognitive turn proposed by Rogers Brubaker in the study of ethnicity, regarding the process as a primary focus of analysis, and the spatial turn of Henri Lefebvre, giving space a crucial role in determining social relations. The thesis analyzes data gathered from a four-month ethnographic fieldwork in Kumanovo, northwest FYROM. In these fourth months data were gathered through a combination of various ethnographic tools. Participant observation was used with young people in the city and during an internship position that I took during the first three months. Formal and informal interviews were used in locations outside the working place. Virtual and spatial ethnography assisted in mapping, recording and understanding more deeply the everyday spatial life of actors. The analysis revealed how ethnicization happens through the production of social space in the city. Despite the state's provisioning of a multiethnic legal framework, ethnic division remains persistent. Top-down multicultural policies have transformed once-existing social relations. My analysis shows that a keener focus on the production of social space gives profound insight in the ethnicization process.
  • Marizu, Obi (2007)
    It is common in nation states worldwide for the ethno-cultural relations of groups in their jurisdiction to be rife with tensions and conflict. The end of the cold war and the spread of globalisation have intensified and spread the social, political and economic changes that had already been evident for several decades. The result is that resurgence is now an even more visible and compelling theme for social scientists, particularly in the political domain. Ethnicity of itself does not cause violent conflict. For the most part, ethnic groups peacefully pursue their interests in society through political or other lawful channels. At times, however, acute social uncertainty and the fear of the future may make ethnic groups emerge as one of the major fault-lines along which societies start to disintegrate. Today ethnic pluralism, competitiveness and primordial antagonism appear to be the factors that most often cause ethnic conflicts and violence. The rate of increase of political or military interference in many parts of the world, and the escalation of ethnic and intra-ethnic strife, may be partly attributed to differences in ethnic composition. In some states like Belgium, Austria, Poland, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Cuba, China, Togo, Benin, Malawi or Tanzania this escalation may be less salient than in others such as Nigeria, the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru, Colombia, Yugoslavia or the Mediterranean region (Cyprus-Greece-Turkey), where fragmentation of power is evident in weak and corrupt structures, some of them legacies of colonialism. This preface, however, is about the study of problems in Nigeria: protracted ethnic tension and the intermittent resurgence of disintegration. This study combines some key ideas and questions by looking at them from many perspectives, with the intention of informing or reminding readers about the ethnic problems in Nigeria. This task is complicated because there are many ways of studying, explaining and keeping up to date with this field of study. There are differences between frameworks and empirical realities that will be examined. The approach of my study is eclectic, but I have avoided presenting an ethnicity framework as a fixed or essentially primordial concept. Some of my explanations are related to the wider tradition of socio-biology, as described by van den Berghe, and to nationalism, which I presume to be inadequate to do justice to the political groupings of ethnic allegiances in Nigeria.
  • Wahlbeck, Östen (Gidlunds förlag, 2015)
    Antalet svenska medborgare som flyttar till Finland har stadigt ökat. Inflyttad från Sverige förklarar dynamiken i den nya svenska migrationen till Finland. Inflyttares erfarenheter analyseras med hjälp av teorier inom migrations- och etnicitetsforskningen. I boken presenteras en intervjustudie med svenska medborgare bosatta i Helsingfors. I fokus för studien står erfarenheter av sociala integrationsprocesser och etniska gränsdragningar i en lokal kontext. I Helsingfors utgör svenskspråkiga en språkminoritet. Analysen ger en förståelse för hur svenskar positionerar och orienterar sig i denna nya sociala och språkliga kontext. Boken är ett unikt bidrag till både invandringsforskningen i Finland och forskningen om utvandring från Sverige.