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Dimensions of Cultural Security for National and Linguistic Minorities

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Edited By Jean-Rémi Carbonneau, Fabian Jacobs and Ines Keller

Cultural security is a basic need for individuals belonging to national and linguistic minorities. Structurally exposed to asymmetric power dynamics, these minorities compete with the larger society for material and non-material resources, rendering their future perspectives particularly precarious. This book brings researchers from different social sciences together to examine the notion of cultural security and its meaning for different national and linguistic minorities through multiple case studies in Europe, Asia, North and South America. The cultural security of these minorities comprises various dimensions, including institutional and territorial arrangements, state stability, as well as different patterns of citizen belonging and participation. Through the prism of these dimensions, the contributors to this book present a variety of strategies of cultural resilience, societal structures and institutional frameworks allowing national and linguistic minorities to secure a certain degree of cultural autonomy and develop a sense of belonging to their respective states. Cultural security is an inescapable condition for the fair and sustained development of both minorities and majorities in today’s societies characterized by deep diversity.

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7 Cultural Security in Post-mining Landscapes: The Case of the Sorbs in Middle Lusatia

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The Case of the Sorbs in Middle Lusatia

FABIAN JACOBS

Abstract: What role does culture play in reclaimed mining landscapes? How is this handled in the Lusatian lignite mining area, which overlaps to a large extent with the settlement area of the Sorbian national minority? Resettlements as a result of mining, above all when they involve the destruction of whole villages, have a severe effect on the affected inhabitants. They not only effectuate an invasion of sociocultural structures but also of organic settlement structures within the cultural landscapes. This results in the loss of one’s homeland and sense of cultural security. This chapter illustrates a situation of such extreme crisis with the example of the Schleife Parish in Central Lusatia, an area straddling the Länder of Brandenburg and Saxony in East Germany. The chapter first discusses the impacts of lignite mining on the Sorbian community in general, before the sample region with the Schleife Parish and the Nochten lignite mine is introduced. It then examines the role that Sorbian culture plays in different official planning documents. Finally, the breadth of possibilities for regaining cultural security in a reclaimed mining landscape are assessed. The starting point of this analysis is an approach to the concept of cultural landscape, in which the bicultural nature of the region is taken into account and in which the Sorbian minority has the opportunity of following the paths of active involvement in planning processes.

Keywords: lignite mining, open-cast mining,...

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