荷兰阿姆斯特丹自由大学教授 彼得•佩弗雷里 （赵一帆 摄）
对于这段引述，建构主义者首先会注意到“这个世界中的原住民”（the world's indigenous peoples）当中的定冠词“这个”（the）。语言在人们对这个世界的理解中起到至关重要的作用。对于该文件所使用的英语语言，定冠词的使用表明作者们认为存在一种客观现实，在这之中，这个世界的原住民具有清晰的界定。这同样适用于他们的权利，即作为原住民生来享有的权利。
尽管相对主义对于“族群”(Fearon e.a., 2000; Valdez, 2013)和“人权”(Donelly, 2011; Gregg, 2011; Zwart, 2012)存在定义，但实证主义观念仍是主流,在学术界如此，在政治舞台上更是如此。在这两种语境中，人们似乎都专注于对族群进行界定，而后将其独有的立场作为唯一真理，予以坚决捍卫。每天，媒体都充斥着关于族群冲突的新闻报道，它们时常与暴力有关，这之中有人因捍卫族群而丧命。族群经常与生活中一些不太令人愉快的方面挂钩:歧视性立法、财富分配不公、课本中存在偏见的历史等等。人们固执己见、变本加厉，而另一方也没有显示出让步的意愿。许多卷入此类冲突的学者感到自己义无反顾，倾向于利用学术话语支持他们偏好的一派。学者和政治活动家因此成为亲密盟友，彼此巩固对方的立场。
The Social Construction of Ethnic Identity and Rights
– the case of Koreans in China
Peter J. Peverelli
This paper intends to rethink the notions of ethnicity and human rights in the framework of social constructionist organization theory.
In 2007, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration describes their ‘rights to build political, economic, and social systems, and participate in economic and traditional activities’. It was adopted by a majority of 143 states in favour, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstentions (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa and Ukraine). According to Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, ‘The Declaration establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world's indigenous peoples.’ (OHCHR, 2016).
The first cue a constructionist will notice in the quoted statement is the definite article ‘the’ in the term ‘the world’s indigenous peoples’. Language plays an essential role in the way people make sense of the world. In English, the language selected for the document, the use of the definite article indicates that its authors believe that there is an objective reality in which the indigenous peoples of the world are clearly defined. The same applies to their rights, i.e. the rights that come with their being indigenous peoples.
This simple observation already gives us ample ammunition to pinpoint the flaws in such a perception. First of all, the construction of any concept automatically constructs its opposite. The construction of the notion of indigenous peoples, thus simultaneously creates the notion of non-indigenous peoples. So, what are those nonindigenous peoples and what are their rights? The Declaration fails to address those issues. This paper will try to fill that gap by redefining ethnicity and the notion of rights derived from ethnicity from a social constructionist perspective.
Although more relativist definitions of ‘ethnicity’ (Fearon e.a., 2000; Valdez, 2013) and ‘human rights’ (Donelly, 2011; Gregg, 2011; Zwart, 2012) do exist, positivist perceptions continue to be the mainstream, in academia and even more so in the political arena. In both contexts, people seem to be preoccupied with determining what ethnicity is and then fiercely defend the own position as the only truth. Every day the media are fraught with news of ethnicity-related conflicts, often of a violent nature, with people dying in defence of their ethnicity. Ethnicity is frequently mentioned as a factor playing a role in many of the less pleasant aspects of life:
discriminatory legislation, unfair distribution of wealth, biased historiography in textbooks, and more. People put their feet down and do so more strongly, as the other side shows no sign of willingness to make concessions. Many academics involved in such conflicts tend to feel obliged to support the party of their preference with academic discourse. Academics and political activists thus become close allies, mutually reinforcing their position.
Ethnic strife is the order of the day in many parts of the world and measures by governments to deal with those issues are often criticised by opponents as violating the rights of the people involved. As ethnicity is not based on codified legislation, the rights people claim on the basis of their ethnicity is usually referred to as (part of) human rights. Human rights is another term with a heavy emotional loading and the combination of human rights and ethnicity forms an explosive cocktail.
If the academic world wants to play a more active role in breaking that vicious circle, it is imperative to put down the positivist thinking and adopt more relativist perspective. In this paper I intend to make a first step towards a relativist approach by redefining ethnicity and ethnic rights from a social constructionist point of view. In the social constructionist perspective, people who see ethnicity as a cause for violent conflicts and those who accuse attempts to quell such conflicts by governments as violations of human rights are reifying ethnicity and human rights respectively. Their views are based on a fixed perception of these terms and anyone with a different view must therefore be wrong. The aforementioned UN declaration is an example of such reification. We can break open these reifications by proposing a model in which all definitions are regarded as, literally, equivalent, i.e. in which all definitions are right in their own social context.
The Social Integration (SI) model of social constructionist organization theory is an academic model that pairs high explanatory power of human behaviour with extreme simplicity. Moreover, it integrates the emergence of social structure with people’s making sense of the world, and can show how one and the same person can hold different views about the same topic in different social contexts.