Ein Land, nur Opfer? Zu Gruppenstereotypen in der Auseinandersetzung um die lettische Sprachenpolitik am Beispiel des Sprachreferendums von 2012
AbstractOn February 18th 2012 the referendum on the Draft Law ‘Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia’ took place in Latvia. Its purpose was to decide whether or not the Russian language should be made the second official language of the Republic of Latvia. But this referendum was just the preliminary climax in a chain of events that exposed the relations between the ethnic Latvian and the ethnic Russian parts of Latvian society. The burden of historical events concerning the loss of Latvia's independence after World War II and its as-similation in the Sowjet Union including deportations and the repression of the Latvian national identity still effects the relations between Latvia’s citizens, especially when it comes to political decisions. This article gives an overview over the chain of events leading to the referendum including observations about the perticular importance of language in terms of national identity. The main focus, however, will be on the analysis of relations between ethnic Latvians and ethnic Russians based on Niklas Luhmann's concept of trust. Mistrust as the downside of trust is constitutive for many parts of Latvian public life, which is widely discussed in all social sectors and even passed on through the generations. Considering the trust issues within Latvian society severe consequences for everyday life can be detected: long-term stereotypes and prejudice between the ethnic groups. In this article the kind and content of the stereotypes and prejudices are named and analyzed. This leads to the question, if it is even necessary to use Erving Goffmans concept of stigma to describe the relations.
Langer, S. J. (2016). Ein Land, nur Opfer? Zu Gruppenstereotypen in der Auseinandersetzung um die lettische Sprachenpolitik am Beispiel des Sprachreferendums von 2012. Linguistik Online, 79(5). https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.79.3336