Intercultural Approach to Ethnic Diversity and Identity: Croatia – Europe (076-0762385-1516)
Head of the Project: Jadranka ČAČIĆ-KUMPES
Researchers: Ružica ČIČAK-CHAND, Irena KOLBAS, Josip KUMPES, Sanja LAZANIN, Anđelko MILARDOVIĆ, Laura ŠAKAJA
Junior Researchers: Margareta GREGUROVIĆ, Snježana GREGUROVIĆ
Foreign Associates: Nils Olav OSTREM, Dan D. DAATLAND, Ole Jone EIDE, Kari G. FORRE, Boris JESIH, Sonja NOVAK-LUKANOVIČ
The starting point for researching ethnic diversity and identity is the basic theoretic and empirical insight that "false multiculturalisms", focusing merely on creating parallel homogeneous worlds, must be unmasked and deconstructed. Central to this project are identification processes and ethnic relations in Croatia, a country which, due to its past within multiethnic and multinational states, has a paradigmatic potential to examine interethnic relations and their regulation, especially within processes of supranational association, such as European integration. The project will treat several groups of problems: institutionalisation of the right to cultural and ethnic diversity in Croatia, identification patterns and preferences, the influence of social changes (especially migration) on minority-majority ethnic relations, and relations between ethnic communities in Croatia. These problems will be studied comparatively, chiefly in the wider European context and with special emphasis on Slovenia and Norway (in collaboration with researchers in those countries). To avoid Eurocentrism and gain comparative insights, part of the research will examine ethnic diversity in India. In addition to comparisons, the research will also be socio-historical, for this has proven to be a relevant approach in the previous research project, continued by this project. Yet the main part of the research will centre on contemporary processes, for the analysis of which standard procedures will be adapted (questionnaires, interviews, action research, focus groups, interpretative landscape analysis, content analysis). The conclusive potential of the research, besides being strengthened by triangulation, should be assured by the multidisciplinary nature of the research team, which will treat the same issues from the aspects of various disciplines (sociology, history, cultural geography, political science and linguistics). Besides gaining knowledge on the processes involved, the research aims to create a basis for promoting social changes and assuring elements for elaborating a policy of recognising cultural and ethnic diversities that would be adapted to Croatian conditions.