Ethnicity Studies 2008/1-2

Natalija Kasatkina, Andrius Marcinkevičius Russians in Lithuania According to the 1897 and 1923 Censuses: Comparative Analysis

This article analyses essential factors for the rate of Russians and their territorial distribution in independent Lithuania in 1918ñ1940. The first general population census of the Russian Empire in 1897 and the first general population census of the Republic of Lithuania in 1923 are the two statistical sources that underlie the comparative analysis. Rather than summarising major statistical figures of the censuses, the priority of this research is to comprehensively reveal how the particular numbers came about and how census categories and figures were constructed. The authors deliberately took into account the trends of the political construction historically occurring during the general censuses. What are the interests of the power institutions during the census? With an eye on this question, the article scrutinises the criteria for constructing the ethnic (and partially religious) categories in the multinational and mono-ideological Russian Empire on one hand, and in the Lithuanian-dominated nation-state of Lithuania, on the other. What was the position of the “Russian” category on the list of the ethnic categories in the 1897 and 1923 censuses? This research reveals the link between the census results and the expectations of the state authorities.

Article in English

Peter Ratcliffe ‘Ethnic Group’ and the Population Census in Great Britain: Mission Impossible?

This paper will review the reasons why it was felt necessary (for the first time) in the 1991 Census of Population in Britain to insert a question on ‘ethnic group’ and at the same time ask why it took so long for this to happen. It then questions whether it is possible to generate a valid and reliable measure of ‘ethnicity’/ethnic group in such an exercise, especially given that conflicting pressures/agendas mean that the resulting question(s) is inevitably destined to be deployed to meet disparate and competing ends (therefore inevitably becoming ‘Janus-faced’). Focus then turns to the specific form the question has taken, first in 1991 and then in 2001. As the author was a member of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Working Party on the ethnic group question, an insight is given into the forces constraining those who wanted a more radical shift in question structure and content. It also outlines briefly how samples of data from the Census can be used to enhance research. It concludes with an assessment of the potential use of data generated in 2001, especially in light of the fact that religion was also added to the Census agenda at this time (and looks forward to the 2011 Census and beyond). Above all else, it reveals the difficulties inherent in generating data on an extremely complex concept that is amenable to multiple competing interpretations.

Article in English

Peter Dráľ Symbolic Processes of Social Exclusion of Roma in Slovak Public Policy Discourse

The article examines discourse about causes of Roma poverty that, since 2000, developed in Slovak scholarly literature, and later transgressed into policy and popular discourse. The paper discusses the influence that a concept of culture of poverty played reinforcing negative reactions towards the poor, eventually turning largely against the Roma population in Slovakia. This discourse demonstrated itself in the most exclusionary forms in February 2004 in a period of the so-called ëRoma riotsí, when New Social Policy reduced welfare benefits and evoked public protests involving Roma. It also explains that the public representation of social unrest ethnicised laziness and justified exclusion of unemployed Roma from the redistribution mechanisms as undeserving poor.

Article in English

Karolis Žibas The Analysis of Social Resources of Foreigners Who Have Been Granted the Refugee Status or Temporary Protection in Lithuania

This article analyzes obstacles for successful social integration of foreigners who have been granted the refugee status or temporary protection in Lithuania. It also focuses on the analysis of social resources of refugees as well as on the impact of these resources on individual and collective integration experiences (integration to labour market, access to housing and other sectors). Article discusses social resources which are (un)successfully used by refugees in order to tackle the problems they face during social integration programme, as well as identifies social ties that have big significance in the process of integration of refugees in
Lithuania. The article also focuses on social resources and social ties of particular refugee groups as well as different access to social services and different attitudes towards using these services. The analysis is based on the data from 2007 research “The evaluation of effectiveness of government’s support for foreigners who have been granted the refugee status or temporary protection in Lithuania”.

Article in Lithuanian

Aistė Balžekienė, Audronė Lapienienė, Gediminas Merkys, Audronė Telešienė The Influence of Multilingual and Multicultural Environment for Educational Process in Vilnius Region

The main aim of the paper is to answer the questions: how (if) is it possible to implement multicultural and multilingual education in Lithuania; what background and/or obstacles are there for multicultural and multilingual education in Lithuania and what background and/or obstacles are there for development of the positive outcomes of multicultural and multilingual environment. The paper is based upon secondary analysis of empirical findings of a research on “Accessibility of education in Vilnius region”. In the beginning of the paper the concepts of multiculturalism and multilingualism are theoretically discussed, the positive influences of such a cultural environment are highlighted. Further in the paper, based upon data from Vilnius region, authors analyze: (a) background features that (could) encourage the development of the positive outcomes of multicultural and multilingual environment in the region; (b) obstacles and negative factors, under influence of which tensions arise in ethnic relations of the region, and multiculturalism and multilingualism emerges as problems rather than stimulus for region’s development. The main conclusion of the article: multilingualism and multiculturalism, as well as multilingual and multicultural education bring benefits to the development of the region and are to be acknowledged in Lithuania; Vilnius region is a good environment for implementation of such an education; but ethnocentrism and ethnic intolerance (manifest in the relations of ethnic groups and sometimes expressed by nongovernmental organisations and bodies of self-governance) are hardly tackled problem so far.

Article in Lithuanian