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Need some inspiration from our coursework help online team? Read this essay dedicated to the questions of ethnicity and its studying.
Up to a certain point, both academic studies and common understanding dominated the notion according to which all of humanity consists of ethnic groups. They continuously interact either in a conflicting or a friendly way. Moreover, the history of mankind is the history of nations and the interactions between them. It was called "essentialism," which flourished in the eighteenth century, in the age of Romanticism, and became a part of people’s mindset. Do you know what ethnic group is? It differs from the nation and social group, and in this article, you will find all these differences.
The first half of the 20th century is characterized by two significant discoveries in the social sciences, which significantly influenced the study of ethnic phenomena. We are talking about the invention of social facts by Emil Durkheim who proved that these social facts are formed as a result of interactions between people. By the way, what do you know about the most prominent figure in the sociology? You have an opportunity to fill the gaps in your knowledge. Follow the link to read the biography of Emil Durkheim including his personal life and work. It was "constructivism," and this tendency significantly undermined the positions of essentialism, pointing out its significant contradictions. In particular, it is quite difficult to understand where one nation ends, and another begins. For example, are the Chinese living in the United States are Americans? As you can see, we are talking as essentialists but supporting constructivism. This is the first problem.
The second problem is that it is rather difficult to understand when interethnic relations occur and when they do not. For example, whether it is reasonable to consider a war between the representatives of different nations and ethnic groups or a conversation between representatives of different countries. The third problem is the problem of heritage. Did the French exist in the 12th and 16th centuries? If it is so, whether we can consider that French and today’s French as the members of one ethnic group or not.
Most of these contradictions appeared in the middle of the 20th century. Moreover, they became vital in different areas of scientific research. Then, it became clear that it is quite unreasonable to study tribes since they regularly interact with each other. The post-war years are a period when the constructivist understanding of ethnicity is seriously established in the social sciences (sociology and anthropology). The foundation of the constructivist paradigm in studies of ethnicity is associated with the name of Fredrik Barth and researchers of the Manchester School of Anthropology headed by Max Gluckman. It is also important to mention the works of Rogers Brubaker and Andreas Wimmer who worked at the beginning of the XXI century thanks to their contribution to the development of this paradigm. If you are ready to pay for online essay revision, Star-writers.com is the right place to order revision.
From the common point of view, ethnicity is a tribe, from the feudal point of view it is nationality, from the capitalist point of view it is a nation. Under socialism, it was also called a nation, but this understanding of nation differs from the capitalist one. However, this difference is based on the qualitative features which are not reliable enough. Moreover, ethnologists provide a rather ambiguous definition of this concept since there are many logical contradictions in this one. Nevertheless, the word “ethnos” is used both in the scientific language and in day-to-day life even by those who have nothing to do with ethnic interactions. What do you think about discrimination among different ethnic groups? Do you think that it is a myth? Our writers will answer this question, follow the link http://star-writers.com/blog/discrimination-essay-equality-is-a-myth.
However, the remained part of the essay would like to set essentialists aside with their contradictions and vague notions and discuss ethnic groups in the frame of constructive paradigm. Of course, qualitative methods work best for studying ethnicity: non-formalized or semi-formalized interviews and observations.
In 2009 Yorgos Anagnostou published a book about the formation of Greek culture through museums in America. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Greeks were fond of being photographed with drinks and pistols; they thought that in this way they became “whiter” because drinks and pistols were peculiar to Americans during that period. In the XXI century, there was a migration museum located on Ellis Island in New York due to which Greek diaspora raised the roof and asked to remove such photos because it discredits the Greeks in America, who are not hooligans. Anagnostu investigated this event through descriptions of museum exhibits, biographies, and interviews and all these informational sources let him make such a conclusion.
Quantitative studies are much more challenging to conduct in the frame of the constructivist paradigm. According to one of the surveys, the scientists asked passersby to denote their ethnicity. Most of the subjects didn't even understand what it means while those, who realized what it, gave an ambiguous answer like "east" or "aspiration" etc. At some point, they developed a fairly clear and consistent framework for a qualitative study of ethnicity in a specific area based on the studies of Andreas Wimmer. This framework was aimed at the description of the ethnicity.
There are four types of factors. The first is a category in conversations between people. The second is the attributes of these categories, that is, some properties that are associated with these categories: qualities, stereotypes, objects, elements of territories, etc. The third is the way it is necessary to behave with representatives of specific groups. The fourth is how interactions between representatives of different categories and between people in connection with these ethnic categories take place. In case if you managed to describe all these four factors, it means that you describe ethnicity on a particular area. In the frame of the ethnic study, we would like to talk about multiculturalism. This essay contains all the significant points of this phenomenon our writers support http://star-writers.com/blog/essay-on-multiculturalism-why-does-this-approach-fail.
In conclusion, we would like to talk about the problems of this branch of sociology. Ethnicity in the frame of constructivism can tell us how the formation of ethnicity takes place, how one ethnic factor influence other ethnic factors which result in the creation of various nations and ethnic groups. The problem is that there are only a few studies, which provide a clear and understandable empirical description of ethnicity in different contexts. Thus, to explain something, you need to describe something. And before you explain something, you need to describe something. Unfortunately, in this case, a simple description is not enough to study ethnicity.
The second problem is based on the language. Essentialists’ language is monstrously simple and more understandable for the average people than constructivists’ one. For example, essentialists would say: "There was a conflict between French and German" while constructivists would say: "There was a conflict between people who identify themselves as French and those who identify themselves as German." Thus, the first description will be more appreciated by people who have nothing to do with sociological science since it is simpler while the second is more reliable but indeed, more complex than the first one.
Until now, the constructivism paradigm hasn't got a good definition of ethnicity because ethnicity is a cultural distinction artificially inserted in social relations. Today there is no answer to the question of what culture is and which cultural distinction or cultural opposition is ethnic, and which is not. Moreover, different elements of culture are used to oppose each other and are associated with ethnicity. There is not a single element that is always used for the opposition. In this case, ethnicity as a phenomenon always vanishes. Perhaps, studying the neurophysiological reactions in the brain, which allow us to separate ethnic phenomena from non-ethnic ones will help to give a more precise definition. Nevertheless, this question requires further research.
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