2018 Volume 2018 Issue 38 Pages 219-223
The unifying theme of this book is the nature of separation and integration of the EU and its new members from Eastern Europe. Although they rejoined Europe after the conclusion of the Cold War, they still found a barrier between them and the original members of the EU. Professor Haba calls the barrier a dividing line. It is usually used among nations and peoples, but what Haba calls the “dividing line” ultimately means separating “us” from “you”. It contains both physical and psychological divisions. The return of Eastern Europe to Europe produced a new dividing line and new problems in the EU. Following the principles of human rights, liberty and diversity, the EU has positively received immigrants and created an excellent system allowing the free movements of individuals within the EU. Yet, native workers of the host countries often lose their jobs because new immigrants will work for lower wages. Some of these often hate newcomers and run to xenophobia and nationalism. On the other hand, some second-or third generation members of immigrant families are disillusioned with discrimination in the host countries. The influence of exclusion becomes stronger and the voice of inclusion weakens. The EU seems to be falling in disruption. Haba stresses the importance of the attitude of inclusion and coexistence, diversity and tolerance. The question is, however, how do people possibly attain and maintain that frame of mind? Haba shows the contact zone theory of cultural anthropology as a possibility. This theory was discussed at the International Conference on Minority Races or Groups held at Aszód in Hungary, on 25-27 of August 2004. Haba attended the conference and discovered the theory. Contact Zone is the term applied to social places and spaces where diverse cultures and races meet and attempt to coexist and cooperate with each other. This concept also applies to frontiers, those border areas once considered to be conflict zone. Frontiers are, in fact, where the coexistence of peoples of different races and religions occurs, according to the cultural anthropologists at the conference. Haba stresses that the contact zone theory is not the theory of sollen, but based on the historical sein in the long term. People of different races and religions have continued to coexist, cooperate and harmonize with each other at the frontiers. Haba inspires us to learn about and to study this kind of “historical facts of daily lives”. I appreciate those words and I highly value this book.