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Mobilization, Flexibility of Identity, and Ethnic Cleavage

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  • Kazuya Yamamoto

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Abstract

In modern states, mobilization policy has been used to awaken people to new ideas such as national identity, industrial capitalism, and civic society. However, it has long been debated whether mobilization in new countries or in countries under reconstruction creates an integrated identity or results in fragmentation of various ethnic groups. Although the idea that identity is not immutable but malleable is now widely accepted in political science, sociology, and other social sciences, the degree to which identity can be reconstructed once it has been mobilized remains unclear. This study employs an agent-based model to address questions regarding the relationship between governments’ mobilization and the integration of identity in countries. The analysis suggests that more rapid mobilization by governments stabilizes a greater ethnic cleavage. This result is found to be robust by changing parameters and by modifying the specifications of the model. In addition, the analysis presents two other implications. The first is that a spiraling fragmentation of identity might occur if governments fail to accommodate people. The second is that in an age of advanced communication, governments need more assimilative power than before in order to secure integration. The analysis suggests that future research about identity formation in countries should consider the rigidity as well as the flexibility of identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazuya Yamamoto, 2015. "Mobilization, Flexibility of Identity, and Ethnic Cleavage," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 18(2), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2014-21-2
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    File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/18/2/8/8.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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