Intercultural Approach to Ethnic Diversity and Identity: Croatia – Europe (076-0762385-1516)

Timeline: 2007-2013

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 multiculturalism”, focusing merely on creating pa­ral­lel homogeneous worlds, must be unmasked and deconstructed. Central to this project is 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 center 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.

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