miércoles, 19 de diciembre de 2012

Inequalities and ethnic and racial conflicts

According to various social theorists ethnic or racial distinctions would become obsolete, so, Marx asks what remain part of archaic cultural groups if we will all be part of a single class.
For a time it was considered that advances in intergroup relationship forms favor cultural integration. However, with the emergence of the welfare state and subsequently with the fall of communism in Europe declined the class struggle, and this has led to an ideological vacuum that has come to relate the subsequent nationalist resurgence.
Should use the term "cultural determinism" instead of "racism", as this attitude is related to ideological prejudices and behavior of some groups over others, some authors define the concept of "race" as a social construct. In this context, the problem has been divided into four groups ethnic theorists:
- Cultural distance
- Ethnocentrism
- Discrimination
- Racism theoretical
The historical explanation to these questions can be started with European expansion that occurs from the Renaissance, before the discovery of non-western cultures. The technological superiority of the Europeans is seen by them as intellectual and cultural superiority. It starts on this basis the theorization of racial superiority in the seventeenth century, which will be reinforced in the century with the emergence of the social evolution of H. Spencer, based on the theory of Darwinian evolution: only the best breeds developed intellectually succeed in the struggle for survival, the rest is doomed.
Anthropologists from this period provide labor empirical classifying races from different criteria to come up with figures ranging from two to thirty-five types of different races.
Already in the twentieth century began a change in the conceptual and somewhat disabling of ethnocentrism in the social sciences.
There are new concepts such as "social race" (M. Harris) is socially defined and differentiated without question of race proper.
Another new concept is that of "ethnicity", this refers to a group of individuals who not only have different cultural traits but also the exhibit.
Regarding this concept are two streams:
Primordialists: ethnicity has remained constant since its appearance in the various groups.
Circunstancialistas: ethnicity is created and constantly recreated through social relations. This current is dominant today.
According to this postulate, ethnic groups renew their identity when they are overcome. Thus, acculturation does not dilute the differences, rather, the reaffirm.
Ethnicity can be used against new situations as in the case of immigrants, or can be instrumentalized to achieve certain objectives. (Political, economic, etc.). Arguably therefore remains only the idea of ​​"cultural integration" while maintaining differences within ethnic boundaries.


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