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Christina070's avatar

What is meant by this sentence regarding ethnic conflicts?

Asked by Christina070 (111points) April 3rd, 2012

The sentence is:

Nationalism may be one of the factors leading to a confrontation between two or more ethnicities when the goal of the conflict is to establish a political entity between both groups.

I am doing research about ethnic conflicts, and I am a little bit stuck on this sentence. Could anyone explain to me what it means?

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7 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

At face value, it is saying nationalism can be a factor when two conflicting ethnicities are trying to establish separate political parties against each other.

Maybe an example would be Israel and Palestine?

gailcalled's avatar

Check out the recent history of Rwanda and the conflicts between the various Moslem sects in Bosnia.

wundayatta's avatar

I see your problem. The sentence suggests that you could have a conflict (such as a war) that is supposed to result in a political entity that includes both groups. It’s a crazy notion that war would be used to bring people together. I suppose you could see the American civil war that way, but I would argue it didn’t really bring the nation together in any way other than in terms of territory. In other words, the civil war is still going on.

Nationalism, in my opinion, leads to separation, not togetherness. There are conflicting notions of the nation. Mostly people want ethnically pure nations, so they fight to kick out people of other ethnicities. This is called ethnic cleansing.

I don’t know where that sentence comes from, but it is apparantly trying to embrace inherent incongruities. You can’t fight to bring togetherness. It doesn’t work.

thorninmud's avatar

It’s a confusing sentence

Nationalism tries to create a sense of national identity that supersedes the various ethnic identities within the nation. This is saying that trying to do this can lead to conflict among the ethnic groups as each tries to assert its identity through political organization.

Iraq is a classic example. The British created the nation of Iraq without any consideration of the ethnic divisions within the territory. They just thought that the Kurds and Arabs and Turkoman should all just now become Iraqis. But each of these groups now had to vie for power within the new nation or risk being overwhelmed by the other groups, a situation which didn’t exist before. This created conflict, which eventually led to battles between the Arabs and Kurds.

PhiNotPi's avatar

In the sense of ethnic conflict, nationalism is defined as loyalty and devotion to a group of people who have / want to have control of a state.

Here’s an example of what I beleive the sentence is talking about. I’m going to use shapes and colors to represent various groups.

There is a place called triangle country. In it, there are two groups of people, red triangle people and blue triangle people. Both groups have an intense feeling of nationalism, such that the blue triangle people have a feeling of pride towards having a blue triangle country, while the red triangle people have a lot of pride towards having a red triangle country. The groups will be in conflict about which group gets to control triangle country, even though it will contain both groups.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t see what the second instance of “between” is supposed to mean here, and the sense of it is crucial to the sense of the sentence. It certainly doesn’t mean what “between” is usually supposed to mean. You can’t establish a political entity situated at the boundary that divides two groups. “Encompassing”?

If you read it with “encompassing,” it does make sense: “when the goal of the conflict is to establish a political entity encompassing both groups.” But that’s guesswork.

If I were editing this document, I would post a query right here and ask the author to clarify. There’s not enough information in the sentence to warrant a confident change. The burden of clarity is on the author.

letmeknow17's avatar

when two people have pride in their own people it can cause problems when trying to get the groups to pick one person from either side as the leader.

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