Pojęcie narodu oraz mniejszości narodowej i etnicznej w kontekście geograficznym, politycznym i socjologicznym
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As the term „nation” can be understood in different ways, the issues of nationality are problematic and ticklish. There is a variety of definitions of „nation”, none of them, though, is commonly accepted. Many different branches of science deal with this matter e.g. geography, sociology, history, psychology, ethnography, political science and international law. The answer to the question: What is the nation? greatly depends on to whom it is addressed, in what circumstances and in what historical epoch. The question would be handled differently by an ethonographer, demographer, politician, historian and sociologist. There are two main approaches to the definition of „nation” based on two different theories of nation: an objective and a subjective one. The former suggests that nationality is determined by comon origin, living in a given territory, culture, language, religion, economy, physiognomic characteristics, the are objective factors not dependant on one’s will. The latter theory claims that belonging to a nation results form one’s will and conviction. Most often, however, definitions of „nation” combine both approaches. It should be stated that if only objective criteria are applied many communities which definitely from a nation are not recognised as such. Therefore it seems more appropriate to determine one’s nationality according to subjective criteria, particularly those referring to individual feelings, willing, and self-consciousness. This approach is at present widely recognised, especially in developed democratic countries. This question gains in importance in the areas of national borderlands where different nations interpenetrate and ,,mingle”. The „national minority” is most often defined as a group smaller then the larger, controlling group of the nation; its members are citizens of a given state but differ as to ethnic background, language, culture, religion, they have a national identity, accept and emphasise their distinctness. Another term of similar meaning is „ethnic minority” (ethnic group). Generally the „ethnic minority” is a group of people differing in some respect from the dominant group living in a territory. In this sense the notion of „ethnic minority” comprieses the notion of „national minority” and at the same time is its synonym.