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Minority Groups: Coersion, Discrimination, Exclusion, Deviance and
the Quest for Equality
Prof. Dan Soen, Dr. Mally Shechory, Prof. Sarah Ben-David (eds.)
Society consists of numerous interconnected, interacting, and interdependent
groups, which invariably differ in power and status. The consequences of belonging to
the more powerful, higher-status majority versus a less powerful, lower-status
minority can be profound. It seems clear that inequqlity and conflict between social
groups entails not only economic, but also, and centrally, sociological and political
factors. The tensions that arise between these groups are the root of society's most
Ethnic and minority conflict is an inherent part of social life. The study of specific
ethnic and minority groups reflect the fact that people live in very powerful
competitive modern or traditional socities, and that group conflict and inequality is
generally the social norm rather than the exception.
Most countries are culturally diverse. According to recent estimates the world's
more than 180 independent states contain over 600 living language groups and 5,000
(!) ethnic groups. In very few countries can the citizens be said to share the same
language, or belong to the one ethnonational group.
This diversity gives rise to a series of important and potentially divisive questions.
Minorities and majorities increasingly clash over such issues as language rights,
regional and national autonomy, political representation, economic opportunities,
education curriculum, land claims, immigration and naturalization policy, even
national symbols, such as the choice of national anthem or public holidays.
Since the end of the Cold War, ethno-national-cultural conflicts have become the
most common source of political violence and social upheaval in the world, and they
show no sign of abating. Most organized political communities throughout recorded
history have been multiethnic and multicultural. Yet most Western political theorists
have operated with an idealized model in which fellow citizens share a common
To achieve this far-fetched ideal of homogeneous polity, governments throughout
history have pursued a variety of policies regarding cultural, national and linguistic
minorities. Some minorities have been physically eliminated, either by mass
expulsion or transfer (ethnic cleansing) or by genocide. Other minorities were
coercively assimilated, forced to adopt the language, religion and customs and social
norms of the majority group. In yet other cases minorities were treated as resident
aliens, subjected to physical segregation and economic discrimination and excluded in
The proposed book is meant to reflect this complex reality all around the globe.
The editors will welcome articles – both empirical studies, as well as theoretical
papers and literature reviews - dealing with various aspects of discrimination and
exclusion of minority groups; social problems resulting from cultural, linguistic,
religious and national diversity; criminological aspects as well as victimization
emanating from this diversity and heterogeneity. Articles whose focus is on the effect
of official and unofficial social policy on the life of minority groups are also
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit an extensive abstract of up to
1,000 words in English by December 1, 2010. The article itself should be 5,000-6,000
words long. The abstracts should be e-mailed to Prof. Dan Soen
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GUIDANCE ON CARETAKER CONVENTIONS DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET Note : This document is identical in most respects to the Guidance that was issued in 2010. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1.1 Successive governments have accepted that, during the period preceding an election for the House of Representatives, the government assumes a ‘caretaker role’. This
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