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Author: Subject: Scholze, Dietrich: Assimilation as a Threat to Sorbian Ethnic Identity
mersiowsky
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 09:53 PM
Scholze, Dietrich: Assimilation as a Threat to Sorbian Ethnic Identity


Lětopis Abstract 2015 2: Scholze, Dietrich: Assimilation as a Threat to Sorbian Ethnic Identity

In this context assimilation means a process in which ethnic groups gradually adapt to other mostly larger communities by assimilation or fusion. This process of adaptation is expressed above all in the adoption of markers such as language, culture and identity. In relation to the Lusatian Sorbs this assimilation means as a rule complete absorption into the German nation; corresponding tendencies can be observed – with differing intensity – over the last approximately thousand years.

In sociological research a distinction is made between voluntary, ‘natural’ and forced, essentially violent assimilation. Natural assimilation includes mostly structural assimilation to demographic, political or cultural conditions in a certain historical period. After the defeat of Germany in the Second World War the period of forced Germanisation of the Sorbs by the state ended. Despite state support the ending of the assimilation of the Lusatian Sorbs was also not achieved in the GDR. The influence of social, political, economic and cultural factors carried on in Lower Lusatia and in the Protestant part of Upper Lusatia, and this also applies to the 25 years after the political turning point of 1989/90. By contrast the fact that amongst the approximately 12-15,000 Catholic Upper Sorbs of today only a low level of assimilation by the German majority has occurred since 1800, as a result of their double demarcation by nationality and religion, can be regarded as an ethnic-cultural phenomenon

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