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SPP 285

Author: Terry D Clark
Description: Primordialists argue that ethnic identity is historically determined and rooted in group consciousness; it is therefore emotional and symbolic. Contextualists assert that identities arise in consequence of specific institutions and structures causing grievances; national identity is therefore a rational response to a specific problem. Each view is sometimes used to explain the identity of Lithuanians. The Russian population in Lithuania today may regard itself as a "threatened" minority, since its situation has changed radically with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the achievement of national independence by Lithuania. This paper analyzes public opinion data about Lithuanians and Russians in Lithuania, drawn from the New Baltic Barometer II survey, to test alternative explanations of the identities of these respective groups.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland