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Ethnic Studies

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Ethnic Studies.
Humans have since time immemorial always had a deeply rooted psychological and social need to belong or identify with a community or group that provides interaction with fellow humans, protection from external dangers and gives each member a sense of belonging. Ethnicity can be defined as a group of people who see themselves as unique or distinct from others due to imagined or real mutual history, values and traditions. These things set them apart or distinguish them from their neighbouring ethnicities. Ethnicity also entails the sharing of specific ethnic traits, backgrounds, associations, allegiances or affiliations.
There are therefore innumerable ethnicities all over the world which are composed of groups of people bound together by a common factor among them all, which could be racial, cultural, religion, tribal, national, ideological or linguistic. With so many differences between the various ethnicities in their cultures, values, traditions and beliefs, conflict between them is ultimately inevitable. Ethnic groups are almost always never socially homogenous nor are they ever united politically. (Cornell, 39) Several divisive factors are always present within such groups e.g. differences in ideology, social status, class, and religion. When differences between ethnicities fail to spark conflict among them, a particularly dominant ethnicity may attempt to establish hegemony in an area. When the minority ethnicities get the sense they are being oppressed politically, economically or even physically, they promptly summon their masses to demand and fight, if need be, for their rights. It is therefore evident that there are numerous precipitating factors that could culminate in ethnic strife. Studies show that up to two thirds of the world’s armed conflicts have an ethnic agenda behind them. While it is primarily...

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