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Studia ethnologica Croatica, Vol.6 No.1 Prosinac 1995.

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Ethnicity and Rational Choice: from Identity Dynamics to Collective Action

Aleksandar Štulhofer ; Department of sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (583 KB) str. 173-182 preuzimanja: 382* citiraj
Štulhofer, A. (1994). Etnicitet i racionalni izbor: od identifikacije do kolektivne akcije. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 6(1), 173-182. Preuzeto s

The paper discusses the virtues and weakness of rational choice modeling of ethnic relations. It is argued that the success of recent economic colonialism of sociology - fairly noticeable in the field of ethnicity - is due to the empirical falsification of functionalist paradigm and unfalsifiability of primordialist logic. A parsimonious rational choice model, based on method¬ological individualism, deals with rational, maximizing actors whose choices are somewhat constrained by culture, institutions and experience (backward looking actors). Consequently, ethnic dynamic is explained in terms of collective action. A brief discussion of the limitations of such a concept concludes the first part of the paper.
The second part is an attempt to enhance the predictive ability of the model. A sociopsychological extension of the model is presented in which outgroup discrimination is the consequence of the pre-rational basis (language acquisition and cognitive mapping of ethnonational territory) of ethnic solidarity. Thus, ethnic identity is situational only in terms of its positioning within the complex individual identity. Closer to the central position it comes, more active it tends to be due to the fact that the face value depends on it. Following this logic, there testable hypotheses are offered to explain the negative correlation between the level of modernization and the level of ethnic violence. However, rational choice theory is still far from a clear picture of the necessary conditions for successful ethnic mobilization.

Ključne riječi
rational choice modelling; theory of collective (ethnic) action; primordialist logic

Hrčak ID: 68245



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