Ethnic Boundaries and Ethnic Inequality: A Second-Order Observation from a Perspective of Niklas Luhmann’s Social Systems Theory
本文嘗試由魯曼社會系統理論的觀點對「族群」這個語意進行二 階觀察。由於民族將「國家的人民」定義為訂立社會契約的同質性公 民，使得在民族界線內的群體差異以及它們之間的不平等必須用另外 的範疇進行觀察。而族群做為一種群體範疇，是民族「再進入」的結 果。民族以民族的形式觀察自身，分化出民族內的民族（即族群）。 並且因為觀察者看見了族群分類的弔詭，使得族群以「反身性」（建 構論）進行自我指涉。另一個去弔詭化的策略則是轉向「認同」研 究，將個體性引入族群溝通，族群身分反成為建構個體性的材料。最 後，族群不平等的論述是以族群間的差異銜接溝通。但因不平等成為 偶連的，統計學被使用來銜接個體不平等與群體不平等的描述。
This article tries to make a second-order observation of ethnicsemantics based on Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory. Because “nation” defines itself as the homogeneous people of a state who have entered into a social contract, the variety of different peoples in a nation and the inequality among them cannot be described. Therefore, other categories are needed to analyze these two phenomena, and one among them is ethnicity. However, “ethnicity” is the result of “nation’s” re-entry in itself. In other words, “nation” observes itself with the distinction of system and environment. Observably, “nations” emerge in “nation,” and each of them is the so-called “ethnicity”. Moreover, since observers have noticed the paradox of the ethnic classifications, the so-called constructionism enables “ethnicity” to make self-reference based on ethnic reflexivity. Meanwhile, ethnic identity is an alternative to resolving the paradox of the classifications by incorporating individuality into the ethnic semantics. Ethnic identity then turns out to be the material for the construction of individuality. Finally, the argument of ethnic inequality reproduces itself with ethnic differences. However, as social inequalities are now contingent, statistics play the role of connecting the discourse of individual inequality and that of ethnic inequality.