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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
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Full article in PDF format | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2011.1.02

Aune Valk, Kristel Karu-Kletter, Marianna Drozdova


The article reports the results of a comparative study of the relationship between the ethnic and national identity of different ethnic groups residing in Estonia. The aim of the study was to identify aspects of the Estonian national identity that are acceptable to all ethnic groups in Estonia – the Estonian Open Identity (EOI). Ethnic Estonians’ national and ethnic identity are intertwined, supporting the majority group dominance perspective (Sidanius et al. 1997), while the minorities’ ethnic identity was independent of the Estonian national identity, thus corresponding to the bidimensional acculturation model.

    Within the EOI a distinction was made between the concepts of national pride and multicultural national identity whose relevance for different groups varied. Analyses related to the EOI showed that the development of an identity shared by the majority and the minorities is only possible if the groups have low ethnic differentiation and accept the idea of multiculturalism on a personal level. Multiple identities, as well as self-identifica­tion as a European, appeared to strengthen the EOI. The part of the Russian-speaking sample who chose to categorize themselves as Russian-Estonians could be seen as an exemplary group with regard to the EOI.

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