Ethnicity Studies 2013/2

Andrius Marcinkevičius,Vita Petrušauskaitė. Foreword. Research of ethnic groups in southeastern Lithuania: history and present

Article in Lithuanian.

Monika Frėjutė-Rakauskienė, Andrius Marcinkevičius, Kristina Šliavaitė, Irena Šutinienė. Trends of the ethnicity and identity research in the social sciences and their application for the investigation of ethnic processes in southeastern Lithuania

The article outlines certain theoretical and methodological perspectives in social sciences, which address the issues of ethnicity and identity. Particular attention is paid to the critical approaches towards the term ‘identity’, which discuss the scientific validity of the concept. The authors discuss the possibility of application of some theoretical perspectives for the investigation of ethnic processes in Southeastern Lithuania. A short survey of certain trends in the investigation of the ethnic processes in southeastern Lithuania in terms of history, sociology, political science, linguistic sciences is presented. Analysis of the studies conducted in Lithuania after 1990 allowed to draw a conclusion that so far there was a lack of investigation of ethnic processes and ethnic minority identities in the eastern and southeastern region of Lithuania. Analysis of the theoretical approach to the identity led us to the conclusion that addressing structural premises is very important for the analysis of ethnic processes. The authors of the article single out such key spheres for the analysis of ethnic processes as education, social memory, political and civic participation in southeastern Lithuania. It is argued that to analyze the ethnic processes and ethnic identity formation it is necessary to investigate the process whereby historical (social) memory is transmitted on the level of individuals (different generations) and institutions (museums, organizations); how social memory is employed for the identity formation in different ethnic groups; if and how ethnicity becomes important in the processes of the selection of school with a certain language of instruction; how ethnicity and ethnic identity become important for the mobilization of ethnic groups in the sphere of politics and what characteristics of group self-organization in civic sector are.

Article in Lithuanian.

Donatas Burneika, Rūta Ubarevičienė, Gintarė Pociūtė, Edis Kriaučiūnas. The impact of Vilnius city on the transformation trends of the sparsely populated EU East border region

This paper analyses the general trends of the socio-economic development of the multicultural Vilnius city region. It is located in South-East Lithuania, which stands out as the poorest area of Lithuania in terms of its socio-economic situation. Moreover, in a broader context, Vilnius city region is also located in the middle of the international Central European region, which is often perceived as one of the most “depressed” areas of the contemporary EU. Together with the systemic reforms of the early 1990s the profound economic and social changes have started, in which the Vilnius city region has been experiencing one of the most significant transformations throughout Lithuania. It is obvious that at present the main factor of the intense development of South-East Lithuania is the presence of Vilnius city. It has been growing very fast during the recent decades, thus a significant impact on the population structure and the economy of the surrounding areas has been made. The main questions of this paper are: what is the effect of Vilnius’ development on the surrounding region and how profound this impact is. The process of transformations of the rural area into the urban one, changes of the population structure, ethnic landscape and economic processes are of greatest concern in the given paper. The Vilnius city region is the area of very dynamic changes, where socio-economic tension of various kinds is almost inevitable, while the means of planning and sustainable development are quite limited.

Article in English.

Ingo W. Schrӧder, Vita Petrušauskaitė. Pluralism of traditions in a Catholic majority society: Catholic hegemony vis-a-vis nationalism and ethnic experience

Anthropological studies of state-making have stressed the need to analyse the creation of a hegemonic notion of culture and nation, which must overcome heterogeneity in terms of ethnic and cultural diversity. The article seeks to highlight some aspects of historical processes through which the Catholic Church has struggled for the establishment of a consensual discourse of a homogeneous Catholic Lithuanian nation. Based on the Gramscian analysis of hegemony, the authors present two examples of contestations of Catholic hegemony in Lithuania – the complex understanding of the role Catholicism plays in the idea of the Lithuanian nation and its cultural heritage and the national antagonism between Polish and Lithuanian ethnic groups within the Catholic community.

Article in English.

Aistė Račkauskaitė-Burneikienė. Protection of national minorities under the international law

Protection of national minorities is a constituent part of the international protection of human rights. Although the League of Nations started to create protection of national minorities on the basis of treaties, the protection of national minorities after the World War II was concentrated on the equality and prohibition of discrimination. Universally applied international documents devoted to the protection of human rights directly or indirectly mentioned the particular questions regarding national minorities: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), UN Declaration on Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992). The documents of regional application are of particular significance for the protection of national minorities as well: even though in a narrow sense, on the basis of Art.14 the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) still remains a theoretical background for the protection of persons belonging to the national minorities. European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992) is a significant international treaty for the linguistic identity of a national minority while the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995) is the main international document establishing special notions for national minorities.

This article focuses on the international legal grounds that create the system of protection of national minorities. In this context the impact of general human rights on the protection of national minorities is briefly introduced. The analysis presented in the article confirms that international human rights law safeguards national minorities on the basis of equality and prohibition of discrimination in the context of general human rights that are supplemented by the special legal notions devoted to national minorities. The article consists of four chapters. The first chapter introduces the particularities of the protection specialized by the League of Nations and the Permanent Court of International Justice. The second chapter focuses on the protection granted under United Nations documents. The third and fourth chapters analyze the regional documents adopted by the Council of Europe and by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. At the end of the article the conclusions that were arrived at on the basis of the analysis are presented.

Article in Lithuanian.

Darius Staliūnas. Anti-Jewish pogroms and Polish-Lithuanian conflicts on language in churches:a comparison of two cases of collective violence

This article deals with the comparison of two forms of collective violence, which took place in the 19th century Lithuania, namely anti-Jewish pogroms and Polish-Lithuanian conflicts in churches. It is claimed that there were some similarities between these two types of violence. In both cases such violence occurred most often in situations when the authority of either political institutions or Catholic church diminished. Moreover, in both cases threats to kill as a rule were not put into practise and this allows to conclude that Donald Horowitz‘s thesis that „rumors of aggression is often a reliable predictor of the magnitude of the aggression to follow“ cannot be confirmed in either of these two cases. But at the same time, it should stressed that there were more differences between these two cases. First of all, in Polish-Lithuanian conflicts on the language of auxiliary services in Catholic churches the main trigger was nationalism, which did not play a significant role during pogroms, while anti-Judaism was the cause that turned hatred into pogroms. The character of violence differed significantly as well: during pogroms it was unilateral, Jews never assaulted Christians as a group and violence usually spread in the inhabited areas while Polish-Lithuanian conflicts discussed in this article usually failed to trespass the boundaries of the church and violence was resorted to by both parties.

Article In Lithuanian.

Vladas Sirutavičius. The politicization of ethnicity in Lithuania: the movement of Polish autonomists, Sąjūdis and the official policy of Lithuania in 1988 – early 1990

The paper discusses the reasons of ethno-political conflict between Lithuanians and Poles in Lithuania in 1988-1990. The paper is based on the analysis of the archival documents which are little examined by the academic community. The author investigates the reasons that enabled the mobilization of the Polish minority of Lithuania and the development of the movement for the territorial autonomy. The author comes to the conclusion that competition between various informal political groups representing Polish ethnic minority were the key drivers to support the autonomy of the Polish community. The demand for national-territorial autonomy by the Polish politicians was an effective means to consolidate the community and achieve political influence. The consensus reached between the Lithuanian Communist Party and the Lithuanian Reform Movement Sąjūdis on the most important questions such as state language, territorial autonomy and other national Issues made an impact on the political mobilization of the Polish community and its aspirations for autonomy. The active members of Polish ethnic minority perceived that consensus as a threat to their national interests.

Article in Lithuanian.

Katarzyna Korzeniewska. Local (tutejszy), Pole, Catholic: ethno-religious identity of residents of southeastern Lithuania (research in Dieveniškės, Kernavė and Turgeliai)

The paper presents the analysis of the empirical data collected during the qualitative research conducted by the author in Southeastern Lithuania (Dieveniškės, Turgeliai, Kernavė) in 1994. The paper was originally published in Polish in 1997 (see Katarzyna Korzeniewska (1997) Tutejszy, polak, katolik. Tożsamość religijno-etniczna mieszkańcow południowo-wschodniej Litwy. Badanie empiryczne w Dziewieniszkach, Kierniowie i Turgielach, Przegląd Polonijny. Kwartalnik. Rok XXIII-1997-z.1 (83). Krakow: Zakład Wydawniczy „Nomos“. P. 59-86). The paper addresses the identity issues of the inhabitants of Vilnius region. This area has been in the centre of macro geopolitical processes, the political affiliation of the area has changed a number of times (Russia, Poland, the Soviet Union, Lithuania) and local residents were subjected to the ethnic policy implemented by different states. The author refers to the theoretical approaches which make a distinction between the ethnic and the national identity. Different types of the identity of local residents – identification with locality, ethnic and religious identities are analyzed. Interconnecton of religious and ethnic identity is demonstrated and the author presents numerous empirical examples when the ethnic identity (Pole) is equated with religious identity (Catholic). The transformation of the ethnic identity into the national one is related with the historical consciousness and the development of historical memory. Numerous empirical examples from southeastern Lithuania are presented. The author comes to the conclusions that the identity of residents of the region could be described more as „local“ and ethnic than Polish or Lithuanian, however, certain tendencies of national identity construction are identified.

Article in Lithuanian.

Vita Petrušauskaitė. Ethnic and social groups in Lithuania: societal attitudes and their changes in 2013

The article presents the most recent results of the public opinion survey conducted annually by the Institute for Ethnic Studies. On the basis of the 2013 survey results, social distance between the Lithuanian residents and various social and ethnic groupsis analysed by discussing changes that occurred in the last few years. Social distance was measured by means of three variables: willingness to live in the same neighbourhood, to work at the same workplace and to rent an apartment/house. The survey respondents were also asked to evaluate changes in their attitude towards various social and ethnic groups in the last five years. The most recent survey results are analysed by comparing them with the previous research data (public opinion surveys have been conducted since 2005). Some aspects of public attitudes towards the Polish ethnic group in Lithuania are highlighted.

Article in Lithuanian.