Dr Martin Ehala

Institute of Estonian and

General Linguistics

University of Tartu

Ülikooli 18

Tartu  50090







Call for papers

Hot and cold ethnicities in post-Soviet space

The sustainability of ethnic groups and communities depends, to a large extent, on their ability to act as distinctive collective entities in intergroup settings, and this is called ethno-linguistic vitality (Giles et al. 1977: 308; see also Ehala 2010a, 2010b). This property is related to the strength of the identification with the ethnic group, which “appears to be the key aspect of social identity which drives the tendency for people to behave in terms of their group membership”, according to Ellemers et al. (1999: 386). Based on the strength of the emotional attachment of members to their group, ethnicities can be categorized into two prototypes: “hot” and “cold” (Ehala 2011). A “hot” ethnic group is one whose members have a high emotional attachment to their group. “Cold” ethnic groups are those whose members’ emotional attachment to the group is low, absent or latent.
It is hypothesised that for ethnicities of equal size, groups that are hot are more vital and sustainable than cold ones. An excellent opportunity to test this hypothesis is provided by the post-Soviet space. The collapse of the Soviet Union has created a number of Russian-speaking minority communities in newly independent states; the ethnic processes have intensified in post-Soviet Russia, too. The shared historical experience makes these groups very comparable, although they also have important differences. Both similarities and differences make it interesting to examine the phenomenon of ethnic temperature as the key factor in group vitality, as well as the processes of “temperature change” and their effects on social relations in respective societies. The workshop will synthesise existing insights and offer proposals for further analysis.
The immediate results of the seminar are intended to be published by an international publisher in an interdisciplinary collective peer-reviewed volume exploring the issues of hot and cold ethnicities and the processes of changing the moods of ethnic groups. The long-term goal of the seminar is to promote the interdisciplinary study of the moods of the operation of ethnicities and their ethnolinguistic vitality, to initiate a long-term networking collaboration, to launch joint research proposals for funding schemes at the international, national and local levels, and to provide practitioners and political decision makers a framework for conceptualising and managing ethnic processes.
Although the working languages of the conference are English and Russian, all abstracts and papers must be submitted in English.
Prof. Martin Ehala (University of Tartu) and
Dr. Anastassia Zabrodskaja (University of Tartu/Tallinn University)

Conference venue: Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
Time: 28-29 October 2011

Important details:
•    The deadline for abstracts (not more than 500 words; do not forget to include your name, university affiliation and contact details) is 30 April 2011. The abstracts should be sent as e-mail attachments (.rtf or .doc formats) to the email address anastassia.zabrodskaja (at) gmail.com
•    Notification will be sent out before 31 May 2011. The selection of abstracts will be made by anonymous peer reviewers.
•    The first version of the paper should be submitted by 31 September 2011.
•    The final version of the paper should be submitted by 31 December 2011.

Ehala, Martin 2010a.
Ethnolinguistic vitality and intergroup processes. Multilingua, 29(2), 203 - 221.
Ehala, Martin 2010b.
Refining the notion of ethnolinguistic vitality. International Journal of Multilingualism, 7: 4, 363-378.
Ehala, Martin 2011.
"Hot and cold ethnicities: modes of ethnolinguistic vitality." Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 32(2): 187-200.
Ellemers, Naomi, Kortekaas, Paulien and Jaap W. Ouwerkerk 1999. Self-categorisation, commitment to the group and group self-esteem as related but distinct aspects of social identity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 371–389.
Giles, Howard, Richard Y. Bourhis, and Donald M. Taylor.1977. Towards a theory of language in ethnic group relations. In Language, ethnicity and intergroup relations, ed. by Howard Giles, (pp. 307–348). London: Academic Press.