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Ethnicity: Perspectives

Ethnicity has become an important field of study for social scientist. There are some scholars who see the ethnic problem in terms of assimilation and integration where in an ethnic group is absorbed into the mainstream group or a dominant ethnic group: an assimilation of this kind in effect is homogenization to create a nation state. To diffuse tension and to protect the dominated group it is also suggested to co-opt the marginalized group.

According to Geertz ethnicity is a natural bond between people immutable or primordial. Thus the formation of political identity is seen by them as stemming from this loyalty. For Berge there is no difference between class interest and ethnic interest. For him ethnicity is another alternative avenue for mobility.

According to Dipankar Gupta the manifestation of ethnicity in Indian politics is not so much an outcome of popular grass root passions as it is creation of vested political interests. He uses the term conspiracy to ethnic politics in India to draw attention to the deliberate and calculated manner in which such politics is fashioned.