How Ethnic Identities Change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter uses the distinction between attributes and categories to synthesize several variants of constructivism in a common framework. "Constructivists" disagree on key questions such as the speed and frequency of ethnic identity change. One set of constructivist arguments suggest that ethnic identity change takes the form of a "punctuated equilibrium" with rare moments of change followed by long stretches of stability. Others argue that ethnic identities are in a state of permanent instability. Resolving these disagreements is important, since each leads us in distinct theoretical directions. The distinction between "attributes" and "categories" of membership provides the basis for a resolution. Those variants of constructivism which imply that ethnic identities change slowly and rarely can be read as referring to changes in the underlying repertoire of descent-based attributes. Those variants which suggest that ethnic identities change frequently and quickly usually refer to the categories which can be activated from within the constraints set by our descent-based attributes. These different positions are not contradictory but refer to different components of a common process of change. The chapter builds on this synthesis to introduce a set of general, logically consistent, mechanisms by which ethnic identities change in the short and long term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConstructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199980079
ISBN (Print)9780199893157
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013

Fingerprint

ethnic identity
constructivism

Keywords

  • Category
  • Census
  • Constructivism
  • Hybridity
  • Institutions
  • Modernization
  • Passing
  • Primordialism
  • Reclassification
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Chandra, K. (2013). How Ethnic Identities Change. In Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004

How Ethnic Identities Change. / Chandra, Kanchan.

Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Chandra, K 2013, How Ethnic Identities Change. in Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004
Chandra K. How Ethnic Identities Change. In Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. Oxford University Press. 2013 https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004
Chandra, Kanchan. / How Ethnic Identities Change. Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. Oxford University Press, 2013.
@inbook{edaf683bbb4249d2982adfd944ed74a0,
title = "How Ethnic Identities Change",
abstract = "This chapter uses the distinction between attributes and categories to synthesize several variants of constructivism in a common framework. {"}Constructivists{"} disagree on key questions such as the speed and frequency of ethnic identity change. One set of constructivist arguments suggest that ethnic identity change takes the form of a {"}punctuated equilibrium{"} with rare moments of change followed by long stretches of stability. Others argue that ethnic identities are in a state of permanent instability. Resolving these disagreements is important, since each leads us in distinct theoretical directions. The distinction between {"}attributes{"} and {"}categories{"} of membership provides the basis for a resolution. Those variants of constructivism which imply that ethnic identities change slowly and rarely can be read as referring to changes in the underlying repertoire of descent-based attributes. Those variants which suggest that ethnic identities change frequently and quickly usually refer to the categories which can be activated from within the constraints set by our descent-based attributes. These different positions are not contradictory but refer to different components of a common process of change. The chapter builds on this synthesis to introduce a set of general, logically consistent, mechanisms by which ethnic identities change in the short and long term.",
keywords = "Category, Census, Constructivism, Hybridity, Institutions, Modernization, Passing, Primordialism, Reclassification, Violence",
author = "Kanchan Chandra",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "24",
doi = "10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780199893157",
booktitle = "Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - How Ethnic Identities Change

AU - Chandra, Kanchan

PY - 2013/1/24

Y1 - 2013/1/24

N2 - This chapter uses the distinction between attributes and categories to synthesize several variants of constructivism in a common framework. "Constructivists" disagree on key questions such as the speed and frequency of ethnic identity change. One set of constructivist arguments suggest that ethnic identity change takes the form of a "punctuated equilibrium" with rare moments of change followed by long stretches of stability. Others argue that ethnic identities are in a state of permanent instability. Resolving these disagreements is important, since each leads us in distinct theoretical directions. The distinction between "attributes" and "categories" of membership provides the basis for a resolution. Those variants of constructivism which imply that ethnic identities change slowly and rarely can be read as referring to changes in the underlying repertoire of descent-based attributes. Those variants which suggest that ethnic identities change frequently and quickly usually refer to the categories which can be activated from within the constraints set by our descent-based attributes. These different positions are not contradictory but refer to different components of a common process of change. The chapter builds on this synthesis to introduce a set of general, logically consistent, mechanisms by which ethnic identities change in the short and long term.

AB - This chapter uses the distinction between attributes and categories to synthesize several variants of constructivism in a common framework. "Constructivists" disagree on key questions such as the speed and frequency of ethnic identity change. One set of constructivist arguments suggest that ethnic identity change takes the form of a "punctuated equilibrium" with rare moments of change followed by long stretches of stability. Others argue that ethnic identities are in a state of permanent instability. Resolving these disagreements is important, since each leads us in distinct theoretical directions. The distinction between "attributes" and "categories" of membership provides the basis for a resolution. Those variants of constructivism which imply that ethnic identities change slowly and rarely can be read as referring to changes in the underlying repertoire of descent-based attributes. Those variants which suggest that ethnic identities change frequently and quickly usually refer to the categories which can be activated from within the constraints set by our descent-based attributes. These different positions are not contradictory but refer to different components of a common process of change. The chapter builds on this synthesis to introduce a set of general, logically consistent, mechanisms by which ethnic identities change in the short and long term.

KW - Category

KW - Census

KW - Constructivism

KW - Hybridity

KW - Institutions

KW - Modernization

KW - Passing

KW - Primordialism

KW - Reclassification

KW - Violence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84922160405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84922160405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004

DO - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199893157.003.0004

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:84922160405

SN - 9780199893157

BT - Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics

PB - Oxford University Press

ER -