UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The political ecology of ethnicity : the case of the South Tyrol Rossi, Pierre


Unlike ethnies defined by genotype, religion or socio-cultural traits, ethno-linguistic groups require a structural basis that is territorial. Only in such a context can they exist and survive. The coexistence of three distinct ethno-linguistic groups - indigenous Germanophones and Ladins and recently-settled Italophones - in the South Tyrol is proof of this. This structural imperative stems from the societal changes of the last few centuries which made capitalist relations of production and statist institutions the dominant structural bases of social organization. The changes reshaped infrastructural mechanisms of social organization, their structured properties and the superstructural knowledge that guides human agency in instantiating such properties. The consequences for the South Tyrol and its peoples were their subordination to external centres. Under fascist rule this subordination created a bifurcated spatio-functional order which, under conditions of democratic rule and political autonomy, enabled the indigenous periphery or complementary region to assert its centrality vis-a-vis the territory's Italophone-controlled vital centre by using autonomous political institutions located in the same vital centre.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.