Ethocultural identity in phenomenon of diaspora



This article analyzes the problem of ethno cultural identity in phenomenon of diaspora. The diaspora in this regard plays an important role, as ethnic group which united by diaspora, it is capable to consolidation of ethnos and preservation of the ethnic identity. More important is the question of the preservation of ethnic identity in the different environment. The article deals with the basic directions for the interpretation of the nature of ethnicity. Analyzing the studies in this area, we came to the conclusion that the key role in the formation of diasporas is a diaspora identity. Under a diaspora identity means a multiple identity, which stems from the structure and dynamism, and also reflect regional characteristics.

In globalization era diaspora start to play an important role in social, cultural and political life of society. Today everything in the world are getting closer to each other and erases barriers between nations, increasing resistance to leveling, spread in all regions of the world the same cultural norms and standards that destroy the local ethno-cultural traditions and ethnic identity. By this reason they try to keep their unique culture. It should be noted that not every ethnic group become as diaspora, and the diaspora is a certain stage of ethnic community, which structered of a high-level cohesion and consolidation, efficient organizational forms of vital signs, who provides effective social protection of group members.

The formation of the common economic and cultural space is fundamentally changing the situation in the field of migration, repatriations become more active caused by increased ethnic identity and selfidentification of repatriates. Ethnic identity as phenomenon of diaspora one of the most significant issues in modern time. The theory of identity which connected with a problem of diaspora presented in works of foreign scientists Z.Bauman, U.Beka, E.Giddensa, in a domestic science — N.M.Guboglo, I.S.Kona, N.Lebedevoj, V.A.Jadova. In modern scientific tradition exists three theoretical approaches, affirmed in studying an ethnic phenomenon [1–7].

Essentialism (primordialism). Supporters of this trend S.A.Arutyunov, Yu.V.Bromley, L.N.Gumilev, C.Calhoun and others subscribe to the view that there is an original, innate (primordial) ethnicity of man. Within this approach, two main trends stand out: the socio-biological and the evolutionary-historical. Proponents of the former suggest that the phenomenon under analysis should be viewed as an extended family of people3 or a particular form of human interaction with nature, a certain landscape.

The evolutionary-historical trend regards ethnicity as a product of culture and history, and defines ethnos as a historically formed human community characterized by a whole set of objective attributes: territory, language, religion, daily life, culture, etc. [8–11]. Thus, primordialism as scientific paradigm is based on the definition of ethnic identity as a rigidly fixed characteristics that an individual receives at birth and cannot change over the life of the primordialistov, raises the ethnic links between individuals as the most resilient. In studies of the phenomenon of diaspora primordialism gives provisions on the inevitability of the diaspora by ethnic groups of immigrant origin living outside of ethnic mainland.

2.Constructivism. This approach is preferred by most western sociologists and anthropologists, as well as some contemporary Russian scientists. The main role here is given to the subjective rather than objective aspect of ethnic existence (territory, culture). The essence of constructivism lies in the fact that ethnic communities are defined as imaginary, existing only in the minds of people and emerging as a result of the concerted effort of individuals and the institutions created by them; ethnicity, correspondingly, is viewed as a social construct. Proponents of this school of thought include B.Anderson, E.Gellner, B.A.Tishkov [12–15]. One of the main themes of research in this school of thought is the process of reproducing ethnicity, the role of elitism in the construction of communities and the maintenance of their borders.3.Instrumentalism is one of the variants of constructivism. Proponents of this school of thought include, M.N.Guboglo, Yu.V.Arutyunyan, V.A.Yadov, A.Cohen, and other researchers [16]. Membership in an ethnic group is viewed by these researchers as a means of achieving a more comfortable condition, a way of overcoming alienation and as one of the most powerful resources in the political mobilization of a given group, helping the ethnic elite (ethnocracy) to advance their own private interests. Instrumentalism as a scientific paradigm contends that physical and cultural characteristics of the ethnic group form a resource with which a group of people can articulate and pursue their interests.

The group prefers to identify himself as an ethnic group, because it is profitable for various reasons. Among the members of the ethnic communities there's (the diaspora), some innate psychological attachment, dominated by utilitarianism and pragmatism. Thus, ethnic identity is used as a tool of private or group needs, which implies absolute mobility of ethnic ties, and no other objective prerequisites for the formation of diaspora.The given approaches all have certain limitations, which is precisely why we are seeing the emergence of analytical work aimed at the integration and synthesis of primordialist, instrumentalist and constructivist methodology. Many researchers have written about the necessity of such an integrated interpretation of the phenomenon. These include M.O.Mnatsakanyan, I.U.Zarinov, B.E.Viner, and others [17–19]. However, we should note that the integrated methodology is only in the initial stage of its formation.The lifestyle of communities is based on the interaction of tradition and modernity, experience and memories, histories, cultures and languages, as well as the orientations of three factors: the diaspora, the host and the historical motherland. In addition, the serious impact of migratory flows, to redraw the borders, the disintegration of state structures, etc. They determine the geographic dispersion of ethnic groups represented a minority in the other society and raised in poor conditions determine their interests and the search for identity, arising from the dual affiliation.

The formation of diasporas is ethnocultural identity. For example, M.Dabag and K.Platt considers the diaspora as a social model that creates identity, institutions, as well as introduces collective guidance [20]. According to M.Dabag and K.Platt, this position leads in point of debate about the meaning of identity. This follows from the assumption that the diaspora lifestyle is based on the interaction of tradition and modernity experience memories; as well as the interactions of histories, cultures, languages, and orientations of three actors: diaspora, the host country and the country of origin. Because within the host society group, belonging to the diaspora always recognized as alien body. Life in the diaspora refers to the need to be in the field of tension of various historical experiences and social reality. It is important to emphasize that the diaspora creates identity not only on the basis of their memories, but also on the basis of the new elements of the real society.

Diaspora keeps alive memories of their country of origin, forming, however, identity, created on the basis of the new elements in the real society, and which is the criterion for designation of its own distinctiveness. In this regard, the Armenian diaspora is a prime example of the ethno-cultural group that has managed to preserve its national identity. Armenians across the world brings together the community of destiny «, which defines the modern ideological paradigm. Most Armenians fled their native land in the early 20th century did not voluntarily. As a result of the genocide Armenians suffered significant loss of life.

The most important consequence was the loss of the historical native land, forcing them to seek refuge in other nations. The memory of a historical home, the struggle for recognition of the genocide, the desire to return the Armenian lands is the subjective motivation and general idea, which slows the assimilation of Diaspora Armenians, did not allow them to forget their roots, history, language and religion. Moreover, some specific cultural and national traits continue to exist and develop in the diaspora. A lot of Armenians never had been in Armenia and doesn^t speak in Armenian language and consider themselves to be a citizens of the United States, France, Russia and Kazakhstan, they still have a strong national retain their national identity. Many researchers have noted the fact of multiple identities of members of diasporas: Diaspora involves the mixing of various cultural, social, political, economic plants, at the same time, both the country of residence and country of origin. For the diaspora is not the problem of choosing an alternative direction in shaping identity and self-determination, and the problem of synthesis of selected cultural landmarks and create a special type of a diaspora identity.

Diaspora identity as marks of M.A.Astvatsaturova, is more dynamical, situational and scale in comparison with identity radical minority. In her opinion, migrated ethnic minority is capable in a greater degree to vary ethnocultural characteristics, than native ethnos [21]. Thus, plural ethnic identity is understood as reference of by the individual or group to two and to more ethnic cultures which is caused by structure of diaspora and differs dynamism, as well as reflects regional features.

The phenomenon of diaspora have been the subject of considerable interest of numerous researches, but the concept of «diaspora» not devoted till now. The explanation of this that diaspora is subject of the different sciences and disciplines — history, sociology, political science, cultural science and each researcher treats by own way to give definition of that term.In the scientific literature we can found various   definitions of diaspora. For their basis sign took a different criteria: ethnic, religious, economic and political. Three basic signs are allocated: 1. Actually dispersion — moving of people or its part outside the basic ethnic territory (the historical native land) as a result of migrations of various types of frontiers. The given sign is necessary, but insufficient to define ethnic minority as diaspora. 2. Saving ethnocultural identity during several generations. Such identity is often supported by the branched out networks of support and the colleges connecting group both with the native land, and with related communities in other countries. 3. Particularly relevant to a real or imaginary homeland, which continue to be emotionally and politically members of the diaspora.

The term «diaspora» is used to refer to the dispersion of religious or ethnic groups from their homelands, either forced or voluntary. The word is also used to refer to those people as a collective group and community. Human history has included a number of diasporas, and some historians have made the phenomenon a focus of study. Being uprooted from one's native land and culture can be a huge event in the life of an individual and his or her culture, so the study of diasporas is very important Most of the dictionaries and encyclopedias define the word «diaspora» by describing the Jewish experience. The term diaspora comes from an ancient Greek word meaning «to scatter about». And that's exactly what the people of a diaspora do — they scatter from their homeland to places across the globe, spreading their culture as they go. The Bible refers to the Diaspora of Jews exiled from Israel by the Babylonians. But the word is now also used more generally to describe any large migration of refugees, language, or culture.

Encylcopedia Britannica give next definitation of diaspora: Diaspora is the dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile; or the aggregate of Jews or Jewish communities scattered «in exile» outside Palestine. Although the term refers to the physical dispersal of Jews throughout the world, it also carries religious, philosophical, political, and eschatological connotations, inasmuch as the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israil [22]. Most of the modern authors agree that under the current circumstances, the above definition is out of date. However, it stresses the important element of the special relation to ancestral homeland for people in exile. It has not lost relevance and thus emphasizes the particular perception of people of their past, the memory of a lost homeland.

Other dictionaries added that over time, the term was used to refer to ethnic and religious groups living outside their countries of origin, in the new field [23]. The definition proposed by Zh.Chaptykova and T.Toshchenko were formed in the ethno-cultural identity of the diaspora; «is a collection of single ethnic origin of people living outside of their historical homeland (outside the range of settlement of their people) and with social institutions for the development and functioning a community.

However, this definition emphasizes only the ethnic and institutional characteristics of diasporic groups and does not take into account psychological characteristics of perception of their situation, the relationship to the host country and to the historical native land [24]. According to T.Poloskova: «the definition of the concept of diaspora should start with the selection of strategic indicators, which are: 1) ethnic identity; 2) commonality of cultural values; 3) socio-cultural antithesis, in an effort to preserve the ethnic and cultural identity; 4) presentation (most often in the form of archetype) of a common historical origin. In terms of political analysis that defines the place of diasporas in the system of political institutions is important not only for understanding ourselves as a part of the diaspora of the people living in a given state, but also its own strategy for relations with the state and the homeland (or its symbol); the formation of institutions and organizations whose activities are aimed at the preservation and development of ethnic identity. In other words, diaspora, unlike ethnic group, always have institions and carries not only ethnic, but also the ethnopolitical content «[25]. A reputable researcher V.Dyatlov understand diaspora as a special type of human relations as a specific system of formal and informal relationships, life strategies and practices, which based on common origin with historical homeland on efforts to maintain the way of life in the diaspora as a national minority in different society.

This definition is acceptable to most modern diasporas as emphasizes the cohesion and the special relationship between their representatives.Thus, using the term diaspora, we mean a set of communities of a specific ethnic group, for various objective and subjective reasons they left their historic homeland and living in different countries, but they keep to saving as native language, national customs and traditions as national identity. Definition of diaspora is offered: the diaspora is a local stable cultural generality of people of uniform mentality and the ethnic origin, having the general locations, but living outside the native land in an environment of global culture. Essential signs of diaspora are: conservation of ethnocultural identity and selfidentification, as well as availability of special colleges for progress and functioning of the generality. The diaspora by virtue of its specified specific character is transnational ' structure.The specific character of   formation of ethnocultural identity educational and cultural colleges consists that in extremely serious degree depends on an educational level and culture of diaspora members. Therefore diaspora for maintenance of ethnocultural identity given attention to cultural and educational programs.

In structure of the ethnocultural identity diaspora are allocated: the self-name, conservation of the native language, participation in ethnic cultural colleges and expression in their frameworks of ethnic activity. For conservation of ethnocultural identity, individual identity has fundamental importance.Conservation or revival of national culture of people assumes active (within the capability) participation in a cultural life of the ethnic native land and the country of residing. Besides the ethnic culture of diaspora contains elements of culture of region and the country of residing. Consequently, being carriers of several cultures, diaspora play a role of transnational ethnocultural systems.

Today in Kazakhstan are living representatives of more than 120 nationalities, each of them have a storing customs and traditions, which is making own contribution to the development of our young sovereign country. Processes of formation and progress of diasporas — one of challenges problem in historical sciences of Kazakhstan and the countries of the Central Asia. First of all it is connected with various interpretations of historical past of Kazakhstan, as well as disintegration of the USSR when millions people who are considered up to 1990 by uniform family of people, have appeared outside of the state formations, and in a number of the countries they turned to national minorities. It necessary to remember that in days of existence of the Soviet state the term «diaspora» practically was not used also scientific development in the given direction it was not conducted almost.In the Kazakhstan historiography we can named some authors who make research of diasporic problem: Kim G.N., — about korean in Kazakhstan; Mendikulova G.M., — about Kazakhs outside of Kazakhstan; Kriger, Burgart L., — about Germans of Kazakhstan; Baratova G.S., Kamalova A., — about Uigurs of Kazakhstan [26–30]. The published works represent only the first attempts of judgement of stages of formation and progress of diasporas in territory of Kazakhstan and the Central Asia. Republic of Kazakhstan have a special model of relationships between all citizens, which based on principles of respect of the rights and freedom of the person, strengthening of an interethnic agreement and mutual cooperation.

In Kazakhstan support of diasporas have a goverment level. 1st of March President N.Nazarbaeva formed Assembly of people of Kazakhstan which in the further has been renamed into Assembly of people of Kazakhstan. Chairman of Assembly became N.Nazarbaev [31].

Today to become actual studying of an ethnic idetichnost of separate diasporas in the territory of Kazakhstan. 



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Name of author: K.K.Abdrahmanova, M.D.Zhankoshkarova
Year: 2014
City: Karaganda
Category: HISTORY