The Problem Of Ethnic Identity Essay

926 Words Nov 9th, 2015 4 Pages
denied, which forced the Kurds to adopt another language, which made the preservation of their ethnic identity difficult (Withman, 1993: 37). An ethnic group can also actively change aspects of their ethnicity. This happened in the 1960’s when the Hausa traders in Nigeria converted en masse to a Stufi sect called Tijaniyya to justify a separate Hausa quarter (Joirnema, 2003: 38). A particular part of an ethnic identity or the identity as whole can bet strengthened or weakened or parts can get changed, all because it is in someone’s political interest.

But ethnic identity is not something purely psychological, it is not just an idea originated from someone’s interest. First of all there is some basic ethnicity that you were born with such as your race and your place of birth. Then there are also ethnic boundaries that were structurally drawn. Sets of tribes, for example, which were formed on religio-ethnic grounds, traditionally had their own economic system which united them into ethnic groups (Tibi, 1997: 214).

Global influence on ethnicity

Besides the influence of political interest, there are three global influences, which I’ve already scratched the surface of, that play a part in the production of ethnic identity: colonialism, migration and globalisation. Colonisation has played an important role in the change of ethnic identities, especially during the European colonization where South-American and African countries were colonized. Western countries brought new…

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