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(3,414 words)

Author(s): Britz, Gabriele | Baumann, Martin | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Wendehorst, Stephan | Malik, Jamal
[German Version] I. Social Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Christianity – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Social Sciences Minorities are groups whose members perceive themselves or are perceived by others as a (related) portion of society distinct from the rest. The distinction is based on actual or supposed features divergent from the characteristics of the rest, often with negative connotations. Sometimes relative powerlessness in comparison to the dominant group, exclusion, and discrimination are considered constitutive. The term is used in different ways. (1) I…

Minorities, Protection of

(385 words)

Author(s): Britz, Gabriele
[German Version] Protection of minorities is intended to safeguard their legal, political, and economic equality in relationship to the remainder of the population. Such protection can be limited to a guarantee of universal human rights, possibly in combination with specific prohibitions against discrimination, but it can also extend to protection against assimilation and encouragement of a special identity (in the case of national or ethnic minorities, e.g. particular ¶ rights in the realm of education, culture, and religion). At the end of the 15th century, the…