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European Policy and Practice towards Ethnic Minorities: Implications for the Czech Public and Social Policy. Week 2: Lecturer: Lucie Cviklová Theory base – main paradigms of ethnicity and race in social theory. Conceptualization of ethnicity and race.

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European Policy and Practice towards Ethnic Minorities: Implications for the Czech Public and Social Policy
  • Week 2: Lecturer: Lucie Cviklová Theory base – main paradigms of ethnicity and race in social theory
conceptualization of ethnicity and race
Conceptualization of ethnicity and race
  • Sociological Trinity- Founders of Social Theory had different conceptions of race and ethnicity
  • Karl Marx, Emil Durkheim, Max Weber had elaborated the first conceptions of ethnicity and race and their importance for social and political life
  • Later on Pierre Bourdieu, Talcott Parsons, Jürgen Habermas and other thinkers elaborated their own conceptions concerning importance of race and ethnicity for social action and also for social institutions
emile durkheim
Emile Durkheim
  • Durkheim analyzed ethnic differences in the framework of his study which is dedicated to the similarities between ancien religious forms on the one hand and current Christian religion on the other hand
  • According to Durkheim religion and its symbols are important for every social and political order – religious symbols acts foster common social identity
  • Religious symbols are born through interaction among the individual members of community – he calls interaction effervescence
max weber
Max Weber
  • Max Weber in his famous piece Economy and Society (Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft) explained the role of various social institutions such as class and status groups and various processes such as integration/exclusion for constitution and maintenance of the ethnic cleavages
  • he conceptualized different objective roots of race membership (common customs, common religious symbols, etc.)
  • He conceptualized the belief in common ethnicity: its multiple social origins and also its theoretical ambiguities
race and stratification according to weber
Race and stratification according to Weber
  • In Weber‘s presentation, the factors that account for stratification along ethnic or racial lines are largely the outcome of historical contingency – the reasons why one society was divided along religious lines, another along racial lines, could no doubt be made intelligible in each particular case
  • Weber was clearly sceptical that any general theory of this kind coud possibly cope with such diversity and complexity
race and and status groups according to weber
Race and and status groups according to Weber
  • Weber points out that status groups of ethnic provenance derive their sense of social honour from sources that are largely independent of the formal structure of esteem and deference
  • Every communal group tends to construct a sense of its own unique ethnic honour that is immune from the denigration of outsiders
  • Each group jealously preserves and cultivates a sense of its own moral worth and dignity and of the inferiority of all other groups
  • Weber thus considers ethnic honour to be a specific honour of the masses
ethnicity and social closure according to max weber
Ethnicity and social closureaccording to Max Weber
  • The manner in which status groups seek to mobilize power in a similar way to class organizations is revealed most clearly in Weber‘s discussions of social closure
  • by social closure he means the process by which various groups attempt to improve their lot by restricting access to rewards and privileges to a limited circle
  • In order to do this they single out certain social and physical attributes they themselves possess and define these as the criteria of eligibility
  • Weber says that almost any characteristic may be used to this end provided it can serve as a means of identifying and excluding outsiders
class conflict and ethnicity according to max weber
Class conflict and ethnicity according to Max Weber
  • According to Max Weber under modern capitalist conditions conflicts on the class and status fronts seem able co-exist quite happily, in the present depths of industrial gloom and depression
  • The activites that Weber would have predicted have been accompanied by a resurgence of ethnic group demands that he would not have predicted

class and status group concerns do not, it seems, simply alternate with changes in the economic climate

pierre bourdieu and his antropological research
Pierre Bourdieu and his antropological research
  • Bourdieu arrived in Algeria in 1956 as a soldier and a philosopher
  • he left in 1960 as a self-taught ethnographer and social antropologist, he had published his first book and undertaken, in person and using research assistants, field research among the Kabyle peasantry of the Mahgreb and among the urban poor in the Algeria and elsewhere
  • The body of data and ethnography thus accumulated was to provide him with enough material for a substantial body of published work
bourdieu and algerian working class
Bourdieu and Algerian working class
  • Sociologie de L‘Algérie is primarily a compendium of information about the various ethnic groups which constituted Algerian society in the 1950s (although towards the end he does not begin to say some more interesting things about the effects of war and nature of the Algerian revolution
  • The two other collaborative early books on Algeria, about the Algerian working class, published in 1963, and about the crisis in traditional Algerian agriculture, published a year later, are, by and large, similarly prosaic
bourdieu and the disenchantement of the world
Bourdieu and the disenchantement of the world
  • One of the central themes which unifies Bourdieu‘s work is the attempt to understand the relationship betwen subjectivity – individual social being as it is experienced and lived, from the personal inside out, so to speak – and the „objective“ social world within which it is framed and towards the production and reproduction of which it contributes
  • Bourdieu made efforts to develop a sociology which can transcend the subjectivist/objectivist dichotomy
  • He noticed that Algerian working class members have conception of time which is similar to Europan peasants before industrialization
kabyle house
Kabyle house
  • Bourdieu wrote „La maison Kabyle ou le monde renversé in 1963 but it was published only in 1970
  • The Kabyle house is rectangular, typically divided into two disctict parts by an internal half-wall: one-third is stable space, the rest is for humans and is higher than the animal‘s area
  • The front door is for men – the back door for women
  • A weaving loom faces the front door, against the west wall by the back door, grain is stored by the north wall, on either side of the cooking area, and water by the front door
partial list of equivalences of kabyle house
Partial list of equivalences of Kabyle house
  • The tangible presence of artifacts, commodities and physical structures symbolises and refers to the abstract cultural order of values and morality
  • Male –female
  • Outisde –inside
  • High –low
  • Light-dark
  • Cooked – raw
  • Grain for eating –grain for saving
  • That which is fertilising – that which can be fertilised
  • Weaving-loom wall –door wall
  • Nif-hurma
seminar work
Seminar work
  • 1. When using economic reasons (Marxian approach) try to explain circumstances or reasons of the war in Iraq.
  • 2 When using social notions of closure/social exclusion (Weberian approach) try to explain the circumstances or reasons of the war in Iraq.