The research deals with ethnic minorities in Croatian Istria, the Istrian multiculturalism as well as the social processes that have influenced the rise to power of the regional political options and the strengthening of regional identity in Istria. The generally positive image of Istria as a tolerant, multicultural and bilingual region characterized by a multi-ethnic population is questioned. We discuss how the notion of multiculturalism is used in constructing regional Istrian identity, but we also identify groups that are perceived as socially distant. The discourse of inter-group tolerance and the inclusion of ethnic minorities in Istria may have positive effects on the social position of ethnic minority groups in general. However, it seems that different positions in the social hierarchy of ethnic groups are ascribed to ethnic minority groups in Istria, and we examine the social standing of some larger ethnic minority groups and provide some explanations for the differences between the groups.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Social Work and Health Science
dr.sc. Marko Valenta (research leader), dr.sc. Snježana Gregurović, dr.sc. Žan Štrabac