The Threat to Ethno-Linguistic Diversity in the Valcanale (Italy). Survival Strategies for Small Ethnic Minorities

Nowhere else in Western Europe is there a greater ethno-cultural diversity than in the Alps - especially in the region of the Eastern Alps, with its small ethnic cultural patterns. In terms of ethno-diversity there is no doubt that the Valcanale represents the core area. Situated in the extremely northeast part of Italy the Valcanale/Kanalska dolina/Valcjanâl/Kanaltal is the region Italy claimed from Carinthia in 1919. In this area Europe’s three most important language families meet each other - the Slavics, Romans and Germanics - and no fewer than five distinct ethnic groups have settled next to each other and mixed in an overlapping pattern: the Friulians, Ladins, Italians, Slovenes, and Germans. This “Little Europe” offers itself as a good example to analyze multicultural problems. While there is a bewildering variety of academic literature which addresses key questions about the German and Ladins in South Tyrol - the region Italy claimed in  the same way from Austria after WW I - we find a lack of scientific syntheses of the Valcanale which explicitly focuses on the current ethno-linguistic changes, it means the threat to the ethno-linguistic diversity. Specifically, regional analyses about the consequences of current assimilation, identity and demographic problems as well as a comparative view of the Valcanale’s minorities, however, are rare - a deficit which is to be reduced by a new research endeavor beginning in May 2004.

Leitung: Steinicke, Ernst

MitarbeiterInnen: Vavti, Stefanie

Finanziert durch: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)

Laufzeit: 2004 - 2007

Kooperationspatner: Inštitut za narodna vprašanja/ Institut of Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana (Slowenien)

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