Presentation on theme: "Typology of minorities in African plural societies and social dynamic WORKSHOP."— Presentation transcript:
Typology of minorities in African plural societies and social dynamic WORKSHOP
Goal Give the students an overview of the minority/majority as fundamental element for understanding the conflictual relationships in local politics; to better understand the mechanism, the criteria and the functioning of minorization of a group, and also to invent or reinvent modus operandi and vivendi policy to enable the living together in highly sparse societies
It exists in some African countries dominant/ dominated, oppressors /oppressed relationship between the majority and minorities. The majority often has no problems. What interests us in this workshop is the situation of minorities.
Above all Semantic clarification is required What are the scientifically variants and which typology appears from the different connotations of the concept of minority?
Since 1950 date of creation of the United Nations Subcommittee in charge for the protection of minorities, we can see a notable failure of this commission to give a clear definition of the concept of minority because of the sacrosanct principle of respect sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States
But in 2005 at the 60th anniversary of the UN (World Summit), the question that arises to the international community is whether it should still allow themselves the luxury of observing or live passively in front of the States which slaughter some of their population as it was the case in Rwanda, Kosovo, Darfur...
The report of General Secretary (2005) "In Larger Freedom" gave not only the agenda of the World Summit, but also sets the decors for the commitment of all to the "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P/RtoP) principle. of A consensus has gradually emerged around the intervention for the protection of endangered populations and victims of organized violence, genocide and structural injustices.
This allows to plant the framework of the notion of minority. what is the minority or minorities in a sociocultural context characterized by a multidimensional diversity? In other words, what are the various semantic and analytic perspectives of the concept of minority or minorities on the epistemological level?
I- Explanation of key concepts A)Typology: The word consists of: typicus and logos. Typicus: refers to an ideal model, a symbol, a typical example or a benchmark that can be used in a systematic classification Logos: refers to something scientific, ie which functions according to logical rules or laws clearly established and universally accepted by experts
I- Explanation of key concepts In a general sense, typology is the science, art of developing accurately models to be used in the cognitive analysis of complex realities in order to classify them in a rigorous manner. - In political science we make a typology of political systems. In sociology the discuss the typology of social structures....
I- Explanation of key concepts B) Minority / ies In the first sense the word minority refers to a state where one is not able to respond fully accountable, you're responsible for nothing because you need a guardianship. In terms of the right you are submitted to a special legal system since you are small compared to the majority. The criterion of classification is age here.
I- Explanation of key concepts B) Minority / ies In the second sense the word minority refers to a group of people characterized by a willing or a duty to live together and that has to deal with other numerical majority groups inside a state. The majority group dominates and makes its own values, the social norm to be adopted by all other groups called minority. Minorities are seen here through the prism of inferior social group and therefore feel victims of discriminations.
I- Explanation of key concepts B) Minority / ies Second sense of the word: a caution in the definition of the concept of minority is very important. Too large, the concept loses all its interest and too soft, there is a risk of losing sight of some phenomena related to the problems of minorities and the implications of the principle of R2P may be fatal for some groups that would thus be excluded from the categories of minorities even losing the protection of the international community (UN).
I- Explanation of key concepts B) Minority/ies Second sense of the word : The problem of minorities in this connotation, therefore presupposes the existence of organized political communities, ie the states. The history of the phenomenon of minorities in the Western world also shows its first signs in terms of oppression appeared with the emergence of modern states and it is in background of a religious majority or minority
II- Typology of minorities – Subcommittee of the United Nations (Article 27 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights): minorities are ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. (essentialist or fundamentalist approach) – Sub-Committee on Minorities of the Council of Europe sees in the phenomenon of minority the national sentimental link of a group which does not necessarily show characteristics of specific race, religion or language. (constructivist or structuralist) – So there is no consensus on the types of minorities to be protected at the level of International Organizations (IO)
II- Typology of minorities We will take the conceptual approach which will transcend the theoretical dichotomy between essentialist or fundamentalist approaches and constructivist, structuralist approaches
II- Typology of minorities A.Religious minorities; B.Racial minorities; C.Ethnic minorities (linguistic and cultural); D.Sociopolitical minorities (sociological and political)
II- Typology of minorities A.Religious minorities Here it is the nature of belief in a supreme Being, the Almighty with all that it entails as the requirements of social behavior of the faithful. Is what makes the basic sense of belonging to a minority group. The minority religious groups has in front of him a majority group that believes in any other religion. - Jewish Pogroms in the West - Catholics in Northern Ireland - Buddhists, Muslims in India - Palestinian population in Israel - Christians in the northern states of Nigeria
II- Typology of minorities B.Racial minorities The color of the skin, hair and eyes, has in the history of mankind, constituted federative criterion that gives the feeling of belonging and /or excluding to a community. case: Black American, Blacks in South Africa (Apartheid period), Jews in Germany
II- Typology of minorities B.Racial minorities At this level it should however be noted that the situation of oppression obeys sometimes to other criteria than the number. The balance of political, economic and cultural power, ensures that a numerical majority is under the yoke of a powerful numerical minority
II- Typology of minorities C.Ethnic minorities (cultural and linguistic) C.Ethnic minorities (cultural and linguistic) Here it is the ethnic element which is the criterion of division between particular identities (essentialist or constructivist view). Believing to history, a common culture, language and traditions. Case of Kosovars, Bosnians, the Basques, the Corsicans, the Québecquois, Kurds, Hutus, Tutsis, Darfurians, the Bamileke, Anglophone, Kirdi & pygmies in Cameroon...
II- Typology of minorities C.Ethnic minorities (cultural and linguistic) Here also the relation of domination and the feeling of discrimination are fluctuating and are related to the level of control of political and economic resources available to a group inside a given state. The criterion of number does not condition the relationship of dominant / dominated
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities The concept of minority which concerns us here can not be easily defined as mentioned above. Conceiving this notion as sociopolitical perspective seems to be the most appropriate approach to identify its complexity. At this level 4 key elements emerge from this notion:
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities 1.The community aspect : The minority needs to show characteristics which give it the feeling of being united and which distinguish it from the rest of the great national community. At this time there are groups that neither language nor religion even less race will separate from the rest of the nation, but historically have become minorities according to the dominant political configuration (Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda)
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities 2.The quantitative aspect A group that shows a certain homogeneity of religion, language or a common history must have an important number of member to become a visible minority. In addition it would have to be numerical minority compared to the rest of the national population.
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities 3. The consciousness of minority: Here the element of consciousness is very important because a community can be classified as a minority if she herself has the consciousness of being. We must also clarify here that the conscience of a minority must be reciprocal. Not only it must see themselves as such, but the majority must also perceive and treated as such with his superiority complex.
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities 4.The nature of the relationship between minority and majority: If the relationship between minority and majority in a state is harmonious, it is difficult to talk of a phenomenon or a problem of minority. The phenomenon of minority thus exists only with regard to the oppression, to the discrimination In some cases, the oppression can take an international dimension. Thus, a minority can have its fate linked to a conflict between two states or between two groups fighting for control of the state apparatus.
II- Typology of minorities D.Sociopolitical minorities In short, the true dimension of the phenomenon of minority is a political, social and economic. The oppression which the minorities are victims is fundamentally economic and political nature. The history of most minorities listed here shows that it is through the control process of inputs and the Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith), through the history of control and the monopolization of political resources, that minorities have found themselves in a situation of groups exploited, affected and threatened to extermination.
III- Characteristics of minorities The minority, generally regarded as "receiver" of influence or deviant, can also be studied as an issuer of influence and creators of standards in power. In this sense there are two subgroups of minority: the nomic and anomic. (Cf. Serge Moscovici (1979) "Psychology of active minorities" and "Social Psychology“)
III- Characteristics of minorities Nomic minorities (active): individuals or subgroups who are aware of distinct position in contrast or opposition to the larger social system. Anomic minorities (passive): individuals or subgroups that are defined by reference to the standard or the response of the larger social system because the group they belong to, does not have standards and specific answers. Majorities can be classified in the same way. It is their interaction that can make the conflict or create a real social dynamics
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction It should be noted again that the limits of all these typologies in terms of discrimination lies in the quantitative criterion. The demographic factor must be nuanced when it comes to see the phenomenon of minority groups as affected, frustrated and oppressed... economically and politically. Therefore one can ask the question of how this phenomenon of minority can be transcended in delicate democracy building in Afrika
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction A. The components of cultural identity Minorities are identified from their cultural identity Cultural identity (collective or individual) consists of several elements: language, common history, geographic space, values, religious affiliation, the relationship with Itself at the other It is the combination of the various elements which approach each other and differentiated one group from another.
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction B.Composite and monolithic identity It is said composite for cultural identity if it does not over-determines any particular component. It is revealed in its entirety. In other hand when a culture is based on a single component of the identity it is called a monolithic identity. In reality it does not exist it is an idealization. Case of language or religion.
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction C.Acculturation, enculturation, acculturation The acculturation: is the process of removing someone's culture by force and replace it with another. Enculturation is when you deliberately give up your culture to adopt another culture Acculturation is a slow process of adaptation, which consists to discard voluntarily of some components of your basic culture and replaced with new elements taken from the neighboring culture. It is this process that creates synthetic identities
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction D. The identities of synthesis, their condition of existence. Acculturation is the basis for the construction of a synthetic identity, it is done in several steps : First step, the evaluation of the other culture in reference to the original culture. Second step, evaluation of my culture with references to the culture of the other. Third step is the synthesis of evaluated cultures, that is to say, construction of a new culture by taking the two cultures.
IV- IV- Deconstruction of the phenomenon of minorities and trial of social construction D. The identities of synthesis, their condition of existence. Their condition of existence is made in tolerance and in a perpetual evaluation work of the two cultural component and questioning of all that appears to pass for an ideal in front of the original culture or that of borrowed. INTERCULTURAL INTERCULTURAL
Bibliography Poutignat, Philippe & al: Théorie de l´ethincité (1995) Sollors, Werner : The Invention of Ethnicity Cahen, Michel : Ethnicité Politique (1994) Scherrer, Christian : Ethnicity, nationalism and violence (2004) Yacoub, Joseph: Au-delà des minorités une alternative à la prolifération des Etats (2000) Serge Moscovici (1979) « Psychologie des minorités actives » et « Psychologie sociale » ) MASSÉ, Raymond: « Les limites d'une approche essentialiste des ethnoéthiques. Pour un relativisme éthique critique », http://classiques.uqac.ca/contemporains/masse_raymond/limites _approche_essentialiste/limites_approche_essentialiste.pdf http://classiques.uqac.ca/contemporains/masse_raymond/limites _approche_essentialiste/limites_approche_essentialiste.pdf