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  Minorities in Transition

In this research cluster entitled Minorities in Transition there are three main research areas, within which are included individual and group projects run by the Institute:

1.     Constructing Ethnicity and the Institutional System of the Minorities from Romania
2.     Traditional culture: Ethnochoreology in Transylvania; Gypsy / Roma musicians in Transylvania
3.     Migration 

Until these days, some of the 18 officially recognized national minority groups from Romania used to live in relative isolation. There were only a few domains through which they got into contact with other cultures and religions, and within these communities the ways of life and mentalities displayed generally traditional features.

The aim of this research cluster is to deal within the same interpretative framework with ethnic/religious minority groups that have not been integrated at all in modern national movements, or were only partially affected by these movements, as well as those minority groups that are mobilized to represent themselves as autonomous communities, aspirations that are manifested preponderantly through symbolic gestures and practices.

The research cluster proposes to analyze the impact of intensive modernization processes on the life and culture of minorities, processes that alter culture, strategies of identity and language usage, phenomena of migration and transnationalism, as well as push forth the coexistence and conflict of traditional and modern.

Migration is a process that affected significantly the size of ethnic groups from Romania, consequently, the ethnic composition of the population. At the beginning of the 90's, most of the emigrants were members of an ethnic group. Germans, Hungarians and Jews were firs to take advantage of the possibilities related to migration moving to Germany, Hungary and Israel, respectively. Recently, members of other ethnic groups became massively involved too in emigration.

RIRNM research projects focused on migration propose to understand the mechanisms of migration and the social reorganization of those localities from Romania that display high rates of migration. More specifically, these inquiries deal with strategies and targets of migration, as well as with economic and social factors that lead to the restructuring of social relations and the reinterpretation of values, ethnic and social solidarity. The approach is multidisciplinary, inspired by the literature of migration, transnationalism and globalization of anthropology and sociology, as well as politics and regimes of migration, citizenship and participation developed in the field of political science.