By Rogers Brubaker
"Despite a quarter-century of constructivist theorizing within the social sciences and arts, ethnic teams remain conceived as entities and forged as actors. reporters, policymakers, and researchers many times body debts of ethnic, racial, and nationwide clash because the struggles of internally homogeneous, externally bounded ethnic teams, races, and international locations. In doing so, they unwittingly undertake the language of members in such struggles, and give a contribution to the reification of ethnic groups.In this well timed and provocative quantity, Rogers Brubaker--well identified for his paintings on immigration, citizenship, and nationalism--challenges this pervasive and common sense ""groupism."" yet he doesn't easily revert to plain constructivist tropes in regards to the fluidity and multiplicity of identification. as soon as a bracing problem to standard knowledge, constructivism has grown complacent, even cliched. That ethnicity is developed is typical; this quantity offers new insights into the way it is developed. through moving the analytical concentration from identification to identifications, from teams as entities to group-making tasks, from shared tradition to categorization, from substance to method, Brubaker indicates that ethnicity, race, and country will not be issues on the earth yet views at the global: methods of seeing, reading, and representing the social world."
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Extra info for Ethnicity without Groups
7 One cluster comprises historical, political, and institutional studies of official, codified, formalized categorization practices employed by powerful and authoritative instirutions-above all, the state. Foucault's notion of governmentality has been an important point of reference here (Burchell et al. 1991), as has Bourdieu's (1994) account of symbolic power as the power to state what is what and who is who, and thereby to impose legitimate principles of vision and division of the social world.
Arguing 74 . Ethnicity as Cognition against the paradigm of "realistic group conflict theory," according to which intergroup conflicts are grounded in accurate perceptions of underlying conflicts of interest, Tajfel demonstrated the autonomous significance of categorization. His "minimal group" experiments re- vealed a robust tendency toward in-group bias-the tendency to favor members of one's own category-even in the absence of any intergroup conflict or hostility, indeed even when the "groups" or categories were constructed along purely arbitrary lines (for example, through random experimental assignment of subjects to artificial categories of "reds" and "blues").
Studies of official categorization practices generally argue or imply that the ways in which states and other organizations count, classify, and identify their subjects, citizens, and clients have profound conSequences for the self-understandings of the classified. This is no doubt often the case, but the connection between official categories and popular self-understandings is seldom demonstrated in detail. And the literature on classification and categorization in everyday life shows that the categories used by ordinary people in everyday interaction often differ substantially from official categories.