Changing Identities Since 1500, when the local and world
economies were still agrarian-based
16th and 17th centuries
>European and Mid-Eastern (Islamic)
Religious (for God and King, the Royal Empire -- empire as multi-ethnic)
>Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese)
Secular/Religious combination (Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist, Shinto)
18th century (after healthy cross-cultural interaction)
>>"Universal" Enlightenment (Rights of Man), "noble savage"
>>Religions, Christianity especially, begins to respond to the new cross-cultural contacts and their implications (De Las Casas initiates debate about Slavery in the Americas) Early, limited Liberation Theology in Latin America. Islam under the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires can still remain relatively consistent with trends established during the previous centuries. Before the European naval/military/economic challenges, Islamic empire tended to be more progressive regarding women's rights, and even civil/religious rights for their multi-ethnic, multi-religious populations. Islam, from 19th century, European "Great Game" competition for colonies, except for Turkey, a generally non-secular, fundamentalist (Wahabist) version of Islam arose.
"the long 19th century" (to the First World War)
>>>Enter the Industrial Revolution, factory production, Social Darwinian-nationalism, moral imperatives of child labor, abhorrent working conditions
>>>Religious identity crisis: since it did not respond progressively enough to deal with these issues, Karl Marx, among many others began to question its legitimacy altogether and propose new, more universal, less class biased approaches to social organization and production. Confucian identity is not effective in China at least. Islam, except in Turkey, did not yet respond very positively or constructively to the European challenges
>>>Western European and American secular values as exemplified by the victors of the First World War appeared bankrupt. Communism, to many, offered some human alternative to deal with the social-economic issues.
Twentieth Century (1914-1989)
>>>Second World War: Social Darwinian National-Racism implodes; the United Nations (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and Civil Rights Movement give some hints at a new moral backbone to international economic relations and inter-ethnic relations. New non-governmental organizations like the International Red Cross (American/Western European bases) and the International Red Crescent (Islamic based)
>>>Oil as a factor in the Mid-East and in North and South Africa continues to perpetuate 19th century neo-colonial policies in support of questionable dictatorships (Iran, Saudi Arabia) and/or fundamentalist movements to counter Communism (Afghanistan, where we supported the militant Islamic (Wahabist-like) mujahadeen which became the Taliban and Al Quada)
Late Twentieth Century (1989-2006)
Evolving and Contesting Identities in the late twentieth and twenty-first century
Religious: attempts to reconcile past deficiencies (leads the labor movement in Poland against the Communists, apologizes to Latin America, Jews, visiting mosques, synagogues, Orthodox churches, in attempt to reconcile conflicts and contradictions. All religions, including Confucianism is now making a comeback in Communist China, and non-government organizations are taking the lead there in environmental cleanup and urban renewal campaigns. The World Conference of Churches is holding meetings between all of the sects Christianity and opening meetings to Muslim clerics as well to seek the common ground that links them. (think Gandhi's I am a Christian, Hindu, and Muslim approach). Judaism is also evolving and its identity is contested by a number of branches that include Orthodox, Reconstruction, and Reform. And contrary to popular belief, a majority of Israelis are against an exclusive Zionist religious state status for Israel. Evangelic Christianity has surged significantly over the last fifty years and now competes with the Catholic church for Christian identity in Latin America.
Secular: more and more non-government organizations and global awareness events to spotlight issues and campaign for change. Many governments in the communist and non-communist world are relying on non-governmental, citizen based entities for taking action and providing information on the state of health, education, and welfare of citizens. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Women's' Health Organization
Regional/Economic/Ethnic identities: Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism, and Pan-Asianism are having some economic cooperation organizations in a similar form that the EU has taken. Creating regional quality standards and approaches to social-economic problems that require regional cooperation. The American illegal immigration problem is bound with the economic issues of the whole region and one will not be solved without addressing the other.
The phantom of the corporate identity is the joker of all identities because it constitutes perhaps the most influential force in countries that in turn affects the allegiances of the other identities. Many companies now operate outside the jurisdiction of any country so their actions are not as easily monitored. China first came to visit Bill Gates before George Bush.