Electronic Issue "Scientific Research"

ISSN: 1312-7535
Title Bulgarian Politics of Multiculturalism - uses and abuses
Authors Svetlana Hristova

Abstract

The text is an attempt to analyze diachronically the main manifestations of the present Bulgarian politics of multiculturalism on the background of one-century long history of complex and sometimes controversial ethno-cultural relationships between the Bulgarian majority and the Turkish and Roma minorities within the country. Given the numerous ups and downs in the ethnic relations and official politics to ethnic minorities since the end of the 19th C. till nowadays a conclusion can be drawn that although at the present moment the country is pointed out as 'an isle of stability' on the Balkans and the ethnic relations in the country have been cited as a positive example (named the Bulgarian ethnic model) there has been no continuous and consequent national strategy towards the minorities which has endured for more than 15 years (as referred to Bulgarian Gypsies) and for more than 20 years (as referred to Bulgarian Turks). At the same time the author does not regard multiculturalism just as a theoretical tool for certain politics, but it is conceptualized in a broader sense as cultivated public sensitivity towards various cultural differences and identities. From such a viewpoint the role of mass media is very important as a generator of public attitudes. Even in the present days there are numerous examples of double standard in this respect: very often the newspapers use politically correct language about ethnic minorities (and especially about Roma) but imply contextually hidden phobias. This reinforces the question of revision of the Bulgarian ethno-cultural politics in its broadest sense. Taking into consideration the negative demographic growth of Bulgarian population and the tendency of its 'gypsification', it can be generalized that the multicultural politics in the country should be reconsidered very carefully at the highest political level and should be applied more systematically especially in the sphere of education.


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