Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Specifics of Ethnic Tolerance in Small Social Groups

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Specifics of Ethnic Tolerance in Small Social Groups

Article excerpt


The relevance and novelty of the study

The matter of interethnic cooperation of Russian nations is in many aspects related to the implementation of the tolerance principle implying mutual understanding, acceptance of independence and worthiness of other nations as well as coordination of various paradigms, orientations and life motives of various ethnic groups. The adoption and distribution of that principle is the most important condition for transition to new public relations allowing various nations to reveal new problem areas and gain new forces to solve the tasks of successful transformation of the Russian society [1,2].

In those conditions, it is feasible, first of all, to give historical and theoretical reasoning of tolerance notion in the sociological theory, second, to learn the level of its methodological usefulness for interethnic cooperation practices analysis, third, to conceive the ethnic tolerance notion, fourth, to submit the results of authors' sociological research reflecting the specifics of ethnic tolerance in views of mono- or polyethnic regions' population [3,4].

Development of sociological approaches to tolerance

Sociologic analysis of tolerance notion was first represented in works by foreign sociologists of XIX century. As opined by Marx K., history of mankind is the history of gradual human estrangement. A specific feature of estrangement kingdom is that its life spheres are not interconnected (economy and morals, etc.): each one is living in the circle of own estrangement and no one is bothered by the estrangement of others (other people's pain). Therefore, intolerance is developed in society in general. The source of social intolerance is related to socio-economic conditions of human existence. Having created the concept of estrangement as the source of social intolerance, Marx K. simultaneously offered the theory for overcoming it by revolutionary changes of ownership relations [5].

Tolerance/intolerance is manifested in the course of social cooperation of individuals. The problem of human cooperation as a generic social phenomenon was studied in the works by Sorokin P. By cooperation the author meant any act by which one person in a semi-tangible way effects transparent acts or states of mind of the other. In Sorokin's work it is noted that the cooperation between individuals of the same race, nationality, tribe, territorial group, family, etc., and especially between those possessing the same sociocultural values is always different in many aspects from the cooperation between individuals differing in the above parameters. Multivariate relations of the cooperating parties are reduced by Sorokin P. to the four main forms: those effecting via the knowledge about party's/parties' existence (catalectic form); via transparent acts; via restrain from transparent acts; via active tolerance. In general, as opined by Sorokin P., tolerance may require rather serious internal effort, often much more serious than required for transparent acts [6].

Merton R. doubted the principle of functional unity of the social system (in the concept of the social theory by Parsons T.) revealing the opportunity to build more flexible social theories which enabled to create the idea on the ambivalence of tolerance, on the ability to create tolerance paradigm via various social instruments in various cultures, also putting forward the issue of international tolerance cooperation to solve which the modernist sociological theory does not have developed theoretical means.

Within the symbolic interactionism represented by Mead G.H. and Cooley C.H., the advantage of tolerance studying is caused by the fact that within the above paradigm the study of that phenomenon is possible not only on the personal level but also on the level of social groups. Also, interactionism concept is rather efficient for the study of some aspects of ethnic relations and cooperation. First, accounting for hard self-view and selfidentification by individuals is important for the study of socalled ethnic anomalies or enthnocultural misfits. …

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