The Construction of Minorities: Cases for Comparison Across Time and Around the World

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André Burguière, Raymond Grew
University of Michigan Press, 2001 - History - 345 pages
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How does a minority come to be? In an unusual project, a notable group of French and American scholars take the view that minorities are socially constructed. Their original studies of specific historical examples produce a series of stimulating and provocative essays useful and enjoyable for specialists and the general reader alike.
Spawned from a conference organized by the journals Annales and Comparative Studies in Society and History in concert with the Center for Historical Research at l'EHESS in Paris and the Department of History at the University of Michigan, this collection contrasts studies of Afro-Americans in the United States, French Protestants, notables in Renaissance Florence, religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire, Muslim and Chinese traders in Southeast Asia, the native peoples of Spanish America, lower-caste Indians, ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union, Australian aborigines, and American and French responses to AIDS to reveal valuable information about how minorities come to be constructed within societies. Some of the minorities considered are identified primarily in terms of their ethnicity, some by social class, and some by religion (Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim); a final essay asks whether the victims of AIDS constitute a minority at all.
With its cross-cultural emphasis, this book will be a valuable addition to courses on diversity, ethnicity, and cultural comparison. It is destined to be a useful reference for undergraduate and research libraries and a much-consulted work for specialists on each of the societies considered.
André Burguière is Research Director, l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (l'EHESS) in Paris. Raymond Grew is Professor of History Emeritus, University of Michigan.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Constructing African Americans as Minorities
15
Comment
39
Nobles or Pariahs? The Exclusion of Florentine Magnates from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Centuries
45
Imagining the Huguenot Minority in Old Regime France
65
Comment
89
Intercommunal Relations and Changes in Religious Affiliation in the Middle East Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries
99
Comment
121
Constituting the Majority as a Minority
171
Comment
194
The Postcolonial Politics of Caste in India
213
The Politics of National Boundaries in the Soviet Experience
245
Comment
265
BloodRace History and the State in Australia
269
Comment
288
AIDS in French Society
299

Europe 17891945
127
Comment
147
Muslim Minorities in China Chinese Minorities in Islamic Southeast Asia
153
Comment
165
Comment
322
Contributors
327
Index
333
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