chapter  9
10 Pages


WithEvandro Camara

This chapter attempts to demonstrate how the conception and treatment of minority-group difference, and the broader aspect of sociocultural formation, were fundamentally mediated by the dominant religion of the society. Religion furnished the basic ideological materials from which were formed the worldview of the collectivity and, ultimately, the society's cultural system. A culturalist form of analysis effectively unveils the mechanics of the dominant society's relation to minority difference, and thus has greater heuristic acuity and value than the more conventional and substantive political-economy or empirical approaches. In multiethnic contexts in general ethnic minorities suffer varying degrees of victimization at the levels of culture, depending on the extent of their exclusion from the cultural mainstream, and social structure, depending on the extent of their economic and political marginalization. In light of the developments in Western intellectual life, proposals for cultural unification such as this one are likely to cause passions to surge to a high tide.