Croatian Ethnic Development and Plurality: A Comparative View (0076004)

Timeline: 2002-2006

Head of the Project: Ružica ČIČAK-CHAND
Researchers: Jadranka ČAČIĆ-KUMPES, Emil HERŠAK, Josip KUMPES, Laura ŠAKAJA
Junior Researchers: Snježana GREGUROVIĆ, Sanja LAZANIN
External Associates: Alemko GLUHAK

Research on Croatian ethnonational development proceeds from issues that are at the focal point of scientific interest (the relationship between ethnic and national spheres, between the nation and territory in the new era of “deterritorialization”, cultural policies, etc), while the questions posed by theoreticians of ethnicity and nationality seek to answer the main problem pertaining to today’s plural societies: how to live in unison with so many of our differences (Touraine, 1997; Wieviorka, ed., 1997; Schnapper, 1998; Wallerstein, 1999; Schöpflin, 2000). The goal of the research is a continuation of the study and operationalization of some specific traits pertaining to Croatian ethnonational development and the factors that have influenced it and which could influence ethnonational processes in the future. It is assumed that Croatian ethnonational development is influenced by images that the community creates both of itself and of others in specific historical and social conditions and by the characteristics by which it is not only differentiated from but also incorporated into the currents of plural European ethnonational developments. On the basis of former research, during the next three years we intend to: a) expand and complete work on an overview of the historical development of the Croatian ethnic, b) via mental maps indicate the diversity of ethnic, subethnic, regional, and local perspectives of Croatian space, c) examine the relationship between education, cultural pluralism and ethnicity and, in connection with this, research models for the reconstruction of everyday life in areas of special state concern, d) through the analysis of cultural landscapes reconstruct power relations between different ethnic and subethnic groups, e) examine the relationship between religion, politics, and ethnicity in transitional Croatian society, f) examine the basic traits of ethnic identity in the diaspora through the example of Croats in Canadian multicultural society, g) provide selective analyses of ethnic conflicts in various areas of the world, h) continue work on a dictionary of ethnic concepts. Verification of the research results will be possible via public/scientific evaluation of published works. Research on ethnic and national issues is especially important in Croatia, which is passing through an evident identification realignment and now finds itself in a politically and economically complex period of approaching to the European Union.

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