Scientific Essay, 2011, 10 Pages
1. Introduction: multi ethnicity and development
2. Advantages and disadvantages of multi -ethnicity
3. How Multi Ethnicity affect development?
4. Advantages and Disadvantages Of Assimilation And Multi Cultural Policies In Ethiopia Case
5. Policy Recommendation to Ethiopian Government
Ethnicity is fundamental issue in human life as 90 percent the world’s nations are composed of two or more ethnic groups. The action-reaction relationship existed between dominant group and minority groups often negatively affected many nations’ development in different social, political economical perspective. Ethnic background of certain population determines cooperative or non-cooperative results of communication as it has been evidently seen that majority of world conflicts are a result of, or related to ethnic issues. Factors eliciting conflict such as collective disadvantage ,lose of political economy and repressions are aspects of ethnicity (Hailemariam, 2010).
The existence of two or more ethnic groups in a given society may characterized by peace full co existence and harmony, or conflict and violence. Based on this fact the attitude of people about the advantages and disadvantages of multi ethnicity is also having two categories. Some agree that ethnic society have some useful aspect in maintaining warm relationship among diverse groups, motivating people to exchange visits, and help each other (as some ethnic groups organized to do so) (peterI.Rose,penina M.Glazer,Myron glazer, 1978). There are certain national states in which multipile cultural groups live together in reasonable harmony. Multyi ethnic countries like Switzerland , Indonesia and Madagascar maintained the peaceful co-existance of multyi ethnic groups in harmoyny, with no domination of one group by the other.Switzerland could be a model country in achieving these advantages by allowing each groups to maintain its identity, language and culture. In Madagascar, linguistic and cultural similarity facilitated such harmony. Uniform educational system inherited from French colonial rule also contributed to national unity. In Indonesia common language and colonial school system promoted ethnic harmony, national identity and integration (Anderson,1991 cited in (Kottak, 2002).
By observing such kind of harmony in certain nations, some argue that the existence of different ethnic groups could not be a cause for the eruption of conflict in a given society. According to these arguments, in many places of around the world, ethnic and racial groups live together in comparative harmony so that political, social or economic factors are primary causes rather than ethnic identity (John and Erna perry, 1976:pp 230).
Social scientists discovered that ethnic harmony could be best achieved and personal contact among members of different racial and ethnic groups is most likely to reduce prejudice if :
- The individuals are equal in status
- Their interaction has the support of a legitimate authority such as the government
- They are emotionally involved in the interaction
- They gain social rewards such as prestige, or power from the experience and
- The members of different groups are inter dependent
Contact is unlike to reduce prejudice if the members of the different groups are unequal status .completion rather than cooperation can increase prejudice. Tension during the social interaction and fear that one group will lose prestige or power can also increase prejudice (Amir, 1969 cited in E.Conklin, 1987).
Another perspective, some people disagree that any sort of ethnic separation ism including voluntary one only deepens ignorance and paves the way for prejudice. For them, it lessens the chance of informal social give and take that is needed for people ever really to get to know each other (peterI.Rose,penina M.Glazer,Myron glazer, 1978).
Hence, this argument holds the position that in a society two or more ethnic groups, conflict may arise. Roots of ethnic conflict can be political, economic, religious, linguistic cultural or racial. The reasons ethnic difference leads to conflict include (Kottak, 2002):
- A sense of injustice because of resource distribution
- Economic or political completion
- Unwillingness to interact
- Ethno centrism
- Forced assimilation
- Cultural colonialism
- Sharp Intolerance comes from the difference of language, skin color, religious beliefs ,customs and gender are among others (John and Erna perry, 1976; E.Conklin, 1987)
Finally, they conclude that domination, conflict and instability are inevitable features of plural societies. This is because each group considers its culture as superior over the other and any culture outside are inferior. Such kind of ethnocentrism leads to prejudice and discrimination, which are sufficient preconditions for conflict and violation. (Peter H.Dubline; Betty L.S. Bardige;Robert M.harrington;Jacqueline H.walsh, 1978:pp 289).But sume scholars observed that different ethnic groups can exist with out conflict when the groups occupy different ecological niches:they make their living in different ways and do not compete. Idealy they should depend on each other’s activity and exchange with one another (Kottak C. p., 1994)
It is argued that for one reason or another, the existence of multi ethnic society direct affect on development of a nation, accommodates it. Whenever there are multiple ethnic groups, there exist a dominant group, which controls power and resource, and minority groups, which are subordinate to the dominant group. This arrangement facilitates the exploitation of minority groups would lead to revolutionary changes in a society as well as in our economy. If the conflict is un solvable through above mentioned mechanisms, final, the resource would be genocide: the killing off all members of the un wanted group. just a few examples (John and Erna perry, 1976: pp200-237).
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