With the pursuit of ethnic idenitity as an example, we deduce some testable propositions on ethnic mobilization and polarization from a graphic analysis of a purposive action model. The method allows incorporation of identity in collective action models. In a village of two ethnic groups, people pursue two idenitities, their own ethnicity and a shared villager identity. Pursuit of their identities is constrained by the inter- and intra-ethnic organization of the village. We show that under fragile" inter-ethnic village organization, small changes in ethnocentrism can precipitate much change in the ethnic relations, whereas when inter-ethnic organization is "robust, " inter-ethnic relations change little, even when ethnocentrism changes a great deal. The effects of ethnic mobilization are studied, as when ethnic moderates close ranks with extremists to create polarization. The pursuit of political identity (dissidents, pragmatists) in repressive regimes can be similarly modeled and studied for predicting opposition to the regime.
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Research Article| February 21 2006
Identity and Action
Mobilization: An International Quarterly (1996) 1 (1): 63–85.
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Anthony Oberschall, Hyojoung Kim; Identity and Action. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 March 1996; 1 (1): 63–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.1.1.02845r073686838u
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