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Ideas of Ethnicity from the Concept of Nation Essay

In order to start this question, it is necessary to try to explain some of the phrases within it. Multi-culturalism, nation and civic are all concepts that intertwine in different ways. Ethnicity and civic ideas in the nation can exist together and one incorporates the other. Multiculturalism is the civic nation in so far as a ‘nation’ is a modern, liberal concept but as a general rule, the state’s attempt to assimilate immigrants and national minorities into the culture of the dominant ethnie (multi-culturalism) have been met with little success.

For example, the state has managed to establish a national system of education and compel most minorities and immigrants to put their children through its uniform schooling system but on the otherhand, modern nations are civic and ethnic which constitutes multi-culturalism. Modern nations are both civic and ethnic and therefore ‘multi-cultural’ in theory however we shall see that multi-culturalism as a theory does not work to its full definition. The term,’Multi-cultural’ for Kymlicka represents ‘a broader way to encompass a wide range of non-ethnic social groups which have been excluded or marginalised from mainstream society.

‘1 For the purposes of this essay it means multi-clturalism which arises from national and ethnic difference. ENTER PG NO Another form of multi-culturalism is when different cultures insist that all citizens have the same relationship with the state which is a model that allows for a degree of diversity in terms of language and culture rather than seeking to assimilate different ethnic groups. (Wieviorka 1998. ) The theory of the national state has generally assumed a civic form of nationalism.

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The ideal of the sovereignty of ‘the people’ has always had a clear vision of the nature and boundaries of ‘the people’ who make up the citizens of the state. When one brings the idea of ethnicity into the debate, a conflict arises from the internal contradiction at the heart of the national state between a universal conception of citizenship with its uniform rights and a conception of ‘the people’ and the ethnic basis where national minorities demand their own rights as members of a community that shares a history which marks themselves off from the dominant ethnie.

Thus causing a difficulty in forming a multicultural nation. It is often assumed that ethnic communities in the nation breeds exclusiveness and intolerance to the concept of ‘nation’ however there is no one to one relationship between ethnic nationalism and exclusiveness for some ethnic groups live peacefully alongside one another such as the Catalan and Czech movements. (Smith. )

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