Ethnicity and Nationality

It’s even harder through the eyes of communities (Frisian-, Turkish-, Catholic-, and Socialist-Dutch) to see how social systems work and how they reproduce cultural and transgenerational.

Ask, as I did many times, Dutch families with a migration background and Dutch families from regional (peripheral) minorities in which contexts they feel Dutch and when/where do they feel Turkish, Moroccan, Frisian and Limburgian, you get to hear impressive different stories.

The ‘old diversity “is much more like the’ new diversity ‘than ordinary citizens, the media, our history books tell us. What binds minorities is their marginalization by ‘dominant Dutch. It can take a long time but sooner or later you may as ‘foreign’ or ‘regional’ can be put in your place.

Very subtle and doxic (hidden by power) these ‘real Dutch’ can make, in thousands nuances, clear that they ‘originate in the Holland areas’, ‘speak/write the right Dutch’, ‘have the right skin colour’. Hence are ‘they’, the minorities are ‘different, unequal and less’. That’s why you have to blame yourself that you got the wrong end of the stick.

Ethnicity and nationality are slippery concepts that anthropologists already a century romp. Check to what processes and exclusion refer these terms?

National states according anthropologist Benedict Anderson ‘Imagined Communities’ (1983) differ from actual communities because they do not operate on the basis of daily face-to-face interactions between the members. So national states as Second States are of a different logical type than First Nations. The latter are descendants form ethnic communities such as the Frisian-Dutch, Turkish-Dutch, Moluccan-Dutch and Limburg-Dutch communities.

Simple rational basis for this replacement is: tribal societies were previously are evolutionarily older than national societies. Canadian original minorities call themselves First Nations while they are the first who settled in what is now called Canada. Logical that we, nation states, from now on (70 years decolonization) can call ourselves ‘Second Nations’.

By introducing this twin concept another gaze on ethnicity and nationality becomes possible. Under the sub-button above, for example, I wrote that from an anthropological gaze individuals-families-communities (trias cultura), as reproductive-necessarily in each other embedded, systems are the norm. Nation states, evolutionary and from cross-cultural-comparison, are the exception.

In an English article on First and second Nations (forthcoming) I combine and connect ideas of Benedict Anderson, Michel Foucault, James Scott and Krishan Kumar and Gregory Bateson and replace outdated (dualistic) concepts such as primitive-civilized, traditional-modern, open-closed societies by ‘First and Second Nations’. In that paper I conceptualize on the basis of ethnographic vignettes of Amet (Roma Dutchman) and Pieter (Moluccan Dutch) where intergenerational (existential) purposes are compatible and incompatible. In Paris, in August 2014, I presented these findings for the first time (Incompatibilities Between First and Second Nations 2014) and in 2015, again in Paris, I presented again from another angle on this topic (First Nations and Second Nations: Purposes, Similarities and Differences)

This reconceptualising of ‘immigrant and native communities’ into ‘First and Second Nations’ all kinds of tensions and conflicts within and between young men, their families, their communities and their national loyalties become visible and verbalized in a complementary perspective. Closer to the life-worlds of young men and their families.

Read HERE an abstract I prepared of this First & Second Nations story in for a congress in 2015 in Paris.