Minorities and ethnicity

Many people have become minorities in their own countries during the last 30 years. These people have been precluded from participating in the global processes that other communities during the same period have been fully drawn into.

Minorities are marginalized

In the most marginal communities in the world this development has been dramatic. Many  researchers at the department have been witness to the effects of global processes on these marginal communities in regions such as Africa, Latin America, southeast Asia and Melanesia. Christian evangelism, western education and medicine, forestry, mining and other externally-initiated economic activities are examples of such processes that have an enormous effect locally. Another change that has major consequences is a pervasive bureaucratic state structure.

Changes through globalization

Many social and cultural circumstances in societies have been affected by a combination of the above factors: gender and generational relations are renegotiated, local political systems are tested and people's understanding of their own identity as individuals and as part of a social group is changed.

What stays the same?

In researching minorities we want to use the anthropological understanding of the demanding situation minorities are in to focus on continuity and change. We will look at the methodological and theoretical issues related to fieldwork over a longer period of time. This will partly involve a focus on key anthropological concepts such as "fieldwork," "culture," "gender," "social change" and "development".

Published Oct. 14, 2011 10:55 AM