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Date: 2018
Date: 2013
Abstract: With the breakdown of the Soviet Union, and with Mikhail Gorbachev’s politics of glasnost and perestroika, suppressed religious and national movements emerged as visible elements of political conflict in what once constituted the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). While in the former USSR this concerned the huge former “Turkestan” region with its religious roots in Islam, and the Orthodox denominations of Russia and the Ukraine, the post-USSR Eastern European satellite states saw an eruption of both nationalism and/or suppressed Catholicism. Mark Juergensmeyer (2008: 152) describes how in Russia, the Ukraine, and Poland “religion became the expression of a nationalist rejection of the secular socialist ideology.” Partly, the free expression of religion was a component of what could be termed a democratic “eruption,” and at the same time it created strong links to “nationalist and transnationalist identities of a bygone era” (Juergensmeyer 2008: 156). The role of right-wing extremism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism ought to be assessed in the context of the transformation of the post-Stalinist political cultures of Eastern Europe and Russia. As much as religion and its institutions were indispensable for the opposition to the Stalinist state, they helped to recreate the old nationalisms of the 19th century (and earlier) of which anti-Semitism was often an integral component. Religious zeal combined with nationalistic patriotism contains ideologies of purity for which “others,” be they ethnic minorities or Jews, were the paramount danger and source of a feared “racial pollution” (cf. Douglas 1966/2007). In the early 1990s, after German re-unification, similar developments could be observed in parts of the former German Democratic Republic. Minkenberg (2002) sees the rehabilitation of the nation state (National-staat) in Eastern Europe in line with the spread of nationalistic rhetoric and the concept of a national ethnic identity. In the context of economic, and partly also cultural crisis, minorities are used as a scapegoat for the problems at hand. Combined with a rejection of internationalism, diversity, and European Union (EU) integration, such resentments seem like “natural” consequences of newly formed national identities (Thieme 2007a, 2007b). In the findings of the European Social Survey (2006), Polish, Hungarian, and Ukrainian populations frequently show more sympathy for conservative (right-wing) politics, gender inequality, and homophobia than Western European societies.
Date: 2008
Abstract: In this paper, the question of importance of Judeo--Spanish as the means for maintaining ethnic identity among the Sephardim in the territories of former Yugoslavia is investigated through an analysis of articles dedicated to the topic published in El amigo del puevlo (a Judeo-Spanish periodical which first was published in Serbia, and then in Bulgaria), fragments from the books by Angel Pulido, Los israelitas espanoles y el idioma castellano (Madrid 1904) and Espanoles sin patria y la raza sefardi (Madrid 1905),as well as unpublished documents from the Archive of Serbia and the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade.The present analysis suggests that a specific language ideology(negative attitudes towards the minority language in question) has played a crucial role in language shift in favor of the majority languages in the region (which has not jeopardized the concept of ethnic identity and membership), thus supporting findings by other authors(e.g., Myhill 2004, Weis 2000) that the maintenance of ethnic identity among Jews over the centuries has often been strengthened bycultural (religious, traditional, literary, etc.) rather than linguistic criteria. From the theoretical standpoint, this research clearly supports the view that the construction of ethnicity and ethnic identity should be viewed as a complex process in which different factors (language being only one of them) have different values and saliency at different points in time (e.g., see Fishman 1989; 1999)
Author(s): Stögner, Karin
Date: 2022