Программа первая международная студенческая Интернет-конференция «Разнообразие культур в полиэтничном регионе», 24 Марта 2009

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Conflicts and culture
Цепляева Тамара Эльхановна

старший преподаватель кафедры ОГСЭД филиал ГОУ ВПО «Саратовская государственная академия права» в г. Астрахань
When we speak about culture we mean a specific sphere which differs from our everyday life and which is identically to art and literature. This point of view is fixed in the expressions such as “the man of culture”, “the worker of culture”, when we mean poets and writers, musicians and actors.

In 18-19 centuries the culture was interpreted in the aristocratic spirit. People who were well-conducted, who had good manners were considered to be cultural persons. Such understanding has been kept till our times. From the modern philosophy’s point of view the culture is a reformed world. It includes just the same notions of the society and civilization.

Culture embodies the originality and specificity of the society, people, social group, that is the subject to which it belongs. From this point of view we may represent the culture as the portrait of social community. That is why the culture contains more typical, repetitive and extended traits and behavior of social community.

The general figure of the cultural content is the tradition. It can be found in all elements of culture forming its originality. But on the surface of the social life it may exist in a form of a habit.

It may be said that every culture has the mechanism of selection due to which it leaves only some elements as cultural models, standards, cannons. They become common and compulsory for all members of the social community. These elements (models, standards, cannons) must be effective and appropriate, and must help the social community to maintain its existence as a whole body in spite of changing circumstances. But it is noteworthy to mention that these new elements must conform to its fundamental values, rules, models and traditions. For example, there is such important component of culture as language. Its existence is connected with the permanent advent of new words, but in general the vocabulary remains the same. Thus, the mechanism of selection helps to keep the originality and peculiarity of every culture.

Like any social phenomenon the culture is changeable, conflicting, and dynamic; it arises numerous social conflicts or it may accompany them.

We often meet cultural conflicts in our lives, for example, the well-known conflict of generations (or in other words the conflict of “fathers” and “sons”) and the national conflicts. But a lot of cultural conflicts are based on the main contradiction of culture. We mean the contradiction between the traditions and the innovations. The basic content of any culture is comparatively stable and firm; however under the influence of different factors (the development of culture, for example) new cultural phenomena appeared which try to take place. It may look like the efforts to introduce new rules and laws and in that way to set up new ideas, notions and values.


Naturally the conflicts between traditions and innovations may have different issues. The most favorable and contributory development of culture is in the selection and adaptation of new elements to the content of the culture, to its normative system. In fact the culture and the society lose the necessary for their normal existence the solidarity, unity and integrity.

The other type of the conflict is that one in which different subcultures are merged: national, regional, generational, etc. Here we can see the dynamics of social changes, - for example, the change of social classes or various strata of the society. Another variant of this conflict’s development we can observe in our country now: it is the penetration of the subculture of the criminal world into the economical and political spheres and later into all other spheres of the society.

And one more conflict is between the public development and the evolution of the culture. The essence of this conflict is in the fact that people with the help of the basic elements of culture can’t adopt themselves to the changing circumstances and practice because new elements of understanding and adaptation haven’t been worked out yet.

In conclusion it is necessary to point out that our culture has been formed during the historical ages, it is our “past-in-the-future”. It’s our memory about the past, which is fixed in the stereotype of our consciousness and behavior, symbols and traditions. It reflects the specific features of a concrete historical age.

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Multiculturalism as a historical form of ethnic’s co-existence and as modern consequences globalism.
Дахин Сергей, студент

Астраханский государственный университет
Multiculturalism, that is life of different ethnic groups on a common social area, exists quite a long time and has its historical roots. This traditional multiculturalism can be called more correctly poly-civility. An example of such social area is Astrakhan where ethnic groups with different religious orientations have been living in peace for several centuries.

Astrakhan was always an outpost of Russia on The South-East. From the very beginning it was multicultural and poly-confessional. Three world religions such as Islam, Buddhism and Christianity have been making the matrixes of peaceful co-existence, without which survival in the region was impossible.

The data of statistical provincial committee shows that in the end of XIX century there were 66 per cent of Christians (including Orthodox, Protestant and Orthodox members of sects), 25 per cent of Buddhists and 8 per cent of Moslems. It was not parity but in such a deal the stability in the region was a guarantee. Accordingly the tolerance was provided. For a long time Astrakhan was considered to be a standard of tolerance on the South of Russia. It was obtained firstly with the help of economical levels distribution between different nationalities.

Until 90’s of the XX century the main ethnic groups were Russians, Kazakhs, Tatars, Ukrainians and Kalmyks. According to census of 1989 there were 72 per cent of Russians, 13 per cent of Kazakhs, 7.2 per cent of Tatars, 1.9 per cent of Ukrainians, 0.8 per cent of Kalmyks and 0.8 per cent of Chechens. Dew to the history of settlement of these territories no ethnic group living in Astrakhan region can declare its native-born priority. They all considered themselves to be native people and had their economic and territorial niche. As the process of the main ethnic groups forming in Astrakhan there wasn’t a so-called encapsulation (M. Savva’s term) of ethnic groups. Ethnic groups didn’t make closed Diasporas. Russian was a native language as the number of Russians predominated (about 70 per cent).

All these factors became basis for peaceful co-existence of more than 170 ethnic groups on the same territory for a long time, which helped to form and maintain the fundamental tolerance of the citizens.

However, migration processes of the last decades step by step turn poly-civil situation into multicultural one. Poly-civility is a historical and static phenomenon. Large ethnic groups and nations, living close for a long time, were, on the one hand, strictly structured social community with its intellectual elite, which was open for communication dew to the historical and economical reasons. Each ethnos occupied its own economical niche, that’s why all labour-markets were fixed since historical times. Russian was the international language. There were some areas where compactly lived a separate nation, as, for instance, Tatars. But they were not pronounced closed communities. In order to survive, all ethnic groups accepted rules of play which declared any other nation equal.

Multiculturalism is later phenomenon. It doesn’t have historical roots. It’s connected with modern economical processes and migration waves from Asia to Europe in search for work or escape from local wars. This process firstly was called an official declared tolerance of a taking part (as, for example, in France), Yet, coming ethnic groups, accumulating in critical amount, were becoming more encapsulated and refused to accept rules and traditions of taking part.

The problems of modern multiculturalism excite foreign researches. The fundamental investigations in the sphere of multiculturalism are following: Zubrzycki J. Public Policy in a Multicultural Australia (1987), канадского Kymlicka, W.: Multicultural Citizenship (1995), Isseman A.M. Lost in space? On the History, Status, and Future of Regional Science (1993), Ceaser J. Multiculturalism and American Liberal Democracy (1998). Here the problems of multiculturalism functioning as an official policy of the USA, Australia and Canada are analyzed. The experience of Australian multiculturalism is given in detail in the book Foster, Lois E.; Stockley, David Australian Multiculturalism: A Documentary History and Critique.

Not everything is smoothly on the West in the sphere of multicultural integration in the European society. McGhee D. in the book The end of Multiculturalism: terrorism, integration and human rights discusses about this question raising the problem of terrorism and human rights.

Russian researchers are also interested in this problem. A. Kuropyatnik gives in his work theoretical ground of the concept “multiculturalism”, in the works by S. Malakhov all pro and cons of practical multiculturalism are shown in concrete examples and it’s proved that there is no any need to state multiculturalism ion Russia because of specific development of Russian society. A. Borisov in his work “Multiculturalism” investigates the embodiment of the multicultural model in American and Canadian society.

However the problems of multiculturalism begin to touch Russia and Astrakhan far the last several years.

New migrants, especially from Central Asia, Transcaucasia and Northern Caucasia, who live on the territories of the South of Russia (under 1 per cent of citizens in one ethnic group), including Astrakhan region, increasing in number without accepting of living stereotypes, tern into closed Diasporas and oppose themselves to other ethnic groups. Intellectual potential of the migrants is not very high, as the majority of the intellectual elite stays in the homeland or, as Chechens, comes back home when an opportunity occurs. As tolerance depends in many ways on personal education and culture, multiculturalism is fraught with intolerance. Since the process of multiculturalism can’t be interrupted, increase of the migrants’ intellectual level is one of possible ways to save tolerance.
Секция: Проблема межэтнических отношений в поликультурном регионе.
To be or not to be… British?
Стебкова Анна, Шапиро Екатерина

Астраханский государственный университет

A seven-year-old boy has been attacked in Edinburgh for wearing an England football shirt, the latest in a string of cases to highlight the acrimony between England and Scotland…”

(20 April 2008, “Daily Telegraph”)

Is anti-English – or anti-Scottish – behavior akin to racism? Should there be more emphasis on being British, as opposed to English or Scottish?

The beginning of May 2007 was marked as the 300 anniversary of the Anglo-Scottish Union. Having celebrated (celebrating) this jubilee, the Scottish made a step in the direction of independence . At the election to the Scottish Parliament (Holy Rood), the biggest fraction became Scottish National Party ,which policy target was independent Scottish government. The head of SNP Alex Salmond declared that he would put to the referendum a question of independence of Scotland by 2010.

The interest of Scotts in the issue of independence has risen increasingly in the course of time. Still after World War II, only 10 % of the population of Scotland preferred to call themselves the Scots, not Englishmen. Now the number of people, who support this view, has reached 80%.

The tendency of the Scots to separation seemed to be an amusing incident for Britain, and has always been commented on with a puzzling intonation. Famous British Oscar-nominated movie “Trainsprotting” based on the novel of Irvine Welsch shows scornful relationship of Scottish youth to Britain quite comically. Even now, in the modern world, Mass Media and the most up-to-date filmmaking broach the problem of Anglo-Scottish relations. Obviously, today this question is being discussed a lot more serious…

Let’s make a little review and try to see it in a proper perspective.

In 1603, James VI King of Scots inherited the throne of the Kingdom of England, and became King James I of England, and left Edinburgh for London. With the exception of a short period under the Protectorate, Scotland remained a separate state, but there was a considerable conflict between the crown and the Covenanters over the form of church government. After the Glorious Revolution, the abolition of episcopacy and the overthrow of the Roman Catholic James VII by William and Mary, Scotland briefly threatened to select a different Protestant monarch from England. On 22 July 1706 the Treaty of Union was agreed between representatives of the Scots Parliament and the Parliament of England and the following year twin Acts of Union were passed by both parliaments to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain with effect from 1 May 1707.

One shouldn’t leave out of account, ethnical and civil traditions of Scottish society were never repressed. Scotland has always been keeping independent judicial, scholastic and ecclesiastical organization- Church of Scotland or Kirk.

To tell the truth, their historical language was practically forgotten, but it happened because of their active participation in all spheres of British life. And while talking about notorious Scottish independence no one even touches upon language revival.

The cultivation of national Scottish symbols came into collision with the lack of resources. Notably, it turned out to be that there was not any remarkable Scottish antiquity. And the symbols were ought to be reinvented. Indeed, the famous Scottish kilt was cut out in the XIX century, the celebration of New Year (in the Russian manner) achieved the status of national tradition in the XX century e.t.c….

Meanwhile the national Scottish pride has been cultivated through the latest years. Besides the heroic past (3/4 of which was invented), Scottish are especially proud of the fact that their schools are better than British ones and consider themselves to be more civilized, and, if you wish, more intelligent than Englishmen. It throws back to the Age of the Enlightenment when Edinburgh was one of the main European cultural centers. Adam Smith himself, the godfather of English capitalism, lived and worked in Edinburgh.

The Scots also like to recollect that a lot of their representatives moved to America and Australia and that they made a major contribution to the American civilization. Political observers consider that this ethnical narcissism harms their creative and enterprising potential.

Probably, understanding the lack of peculiar cultural identity and capacity of historical greatness, make them tell that they are dissatisfied with London paternalistic relations.

In all probability… ethnical jealousy, like in Ireland? It is possible to argue.

Indeed, Anglo-Scottish relations much differ from Anglo-Irish. Ireland was conquered by force. In the middle of XIX century it suffered from hunger and still reminds that this event was a conscious subversive act of London. English landocracy was imposed on Ireland. Scottish landocracy remained intact and easily inserted in the mechanism of British political governance. The Irish remained to be strong Catholics, while the Scots were persistent puritans.

Economic arguments towards the independence are not convincing as well. Formerly, the union with England was economically sound for Scotland. The removal of customs tariffs opened enormous market for Scotland, at first English, then the whole imperial one.

It’s not fortuitous that a great amount of Scots could move to England in search of job, which could be easily found. Today’s English population mainly consists of Scottish gene pool.

It’s interesting to note that after the traditional English industry had declined, Scotland couldn’t rebuilt its economy properly. Its economic lag from England is increasing . However the main question is, if Scotland could develop more successfully, when it becomes independent?

To tell the truth, Scottish inferiority complex still seems to be farfetched and doesn’t look convincing. What’s the matter? Maybe it’s enough for the autonomy?
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