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ETHNICITY民族特性

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  人們常說美國是個大熔爐,能熔化移民到美國的各個種族和民族。據本文作者介紹,英國簡直也是一個種族和民族的熔爐,現在的新生兒,每五個中至少有一個是黑人和白人的混血兒。種族主義并未銷聲匿跡,而是隨著經濟形勢的好壞時起時落。作者預計50年后英國少數民族的特性大部分將會喪失。作為一個"對自己的文化根源深感自豪的民族社區",英國華人能保持自己的民族身份嗎?

  I find it easiest to look forwards by looking back, to the "Great Labour Migration"1 of 1948-55, seenat the time as a matter of2 black guests coming to a white host. It's a quasi-imperial3 perception that4 has shifted since the 1970s, but the social problems and deficiencies it engendered dog5 us still.

  It's highly questionable whether Britain is an open society even now. Against6 the upward trend in the 1980s of ethnic minorities breaking into the professions and the media must be set objective evidence of a very racist society7. Since the Stephen Lawrence affair8 the government has at least been talking about the existence of racism, but it's always the case that racism diminishes in times of prosperity. When the economic going gets tough9, people want someone to take their feelings out on10.

  The social landscape11 seems to me at a surreal crossroads. Britain fosters images of itself as homogeneous12 ?to be white is no longer the central defining feature?but there remain various kinds of "Britishness". So I can envisage the future in two very different ways.

  The first is broadly the way Britain is at the moment: a mosaic of communities13 ?Bangladeshi, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese or Jewish holding fast to a strong social identity, but lumbered also with14 a whole raft of15 benefits and disadvantages, most of them defined in economic terms16. It's possible that will still be the pattern in 50 years time, but not very likely.

  Instead17, I expect the old duality of a "host community" and "immigrants" whose bad luck it is to be excluded and disadvantaged to have vanished18. Some ethnic communities may make a point of19 survival, but only those who are most proud of their cultural roots.

  The alternative20 is a pick-and-mix social landscape. At the moment ethnic minorities are moving in different directions at different rates, with personal and social engagement across ethnic boundaries increasing all the time. One crude indicator is the level of mixed-race marriage: one in five Bangladeshi and Pakistani men born in Britain now has a white wife, and one in five babies born in Britain has one Afro-Caribbean and one white parent.

  This implies a Britain in which people will21 construct multiple identities defined by all sorts of factors: class, ethnicity, gender, religion, profession, culture and economic position. It22 won't be clear-cut. Not all ethnic minorities, or members of an ethnic minority, will be moving in the same direction or identifying the same issues at the heart of their identities. It's about deciding who you are, but also about how other people define you.

  That's what will be at the heart of the next 50 years: enduring communities linked by blood through time versus23 flexible, constantly shifting identities. Identity won't be about where you have come from; it will be a set of values you can take anywhere that is compatible with24 full participation in whichever society you live in.

  民族特性

  我發覺展望未來的最簡便方法是回顧過去。1948-55年的"勞工大遷移"在當時被視為黑皮膚客人來到白皮膚主人家。這種帶有帝國意識的看法自20世紀70年代以來已有轉變,不過它產生的諸多社會問題和缺陷依然跟隨著我們。

  即便到現在英國是不是個開放社會仍令人懷疑。鑒于少數民族打入專業性職業和媒體在20世紀80年代已呈上升趨勢,必須拿出客觀證據才能說社會上有嚴重的種族歧視。斯蒂文·勞倫斯事件后,政府至少一直在談論種族主義的存在,但情況總是:每逢經濟繁榮,種族主義問題便減少;每逢經濟不景氣,人們就想拿什么人撒氣。

  在我看來,社會形勢正處于一個超現實的十字路口。英國總讓人覺得它是個單一民族國家--盡管白皮膚不再是英國人的核心定義性特征,但仍存在各種"英國人特性"。因此我可以把未來設想成兩種截然不同的局面。

  一種大體是英國目前的樣子:馬賽克式的多元社區--孟加拉人、非洲裔加勒比人、華人或猶太人,各自保持其牢靠的社會身份,但也受一大堆好處和壞處的拖累,這些利弊大多是經濟方面的。五十年后可能仍是這種格局,但可能性不太大。

  相反,我預計"主流社區"和"外來移民"那種老的二元結構到時候將會消失。一些少數民族社區可能會力求生存,但只會是那些對自己的文化根源深感自豪的社區。

  可能性較大的是出現一種拼湊式的社會局面。少數民族目前正以不同速度朝不同方向發展,個人及社會跨越民族界線的交往一直在增加。一個顯而易見的標志就是異族通婚的程度:英國出生的孟加拉裔和巴基斯坦裔男子現在有五分之一娶了白人妻子,英國出生的嬰兒有五分之一父母一方是非洲裔加勒比人另一方是白種人。

  這就意味著在英國人們將構建由階級、民族、性別、宗教、職業、文化和經濟地位等各種因素界定的多重身份,結果不會一清二楚。并非所有少數民族都將朝同一方向發展,或認定同一些問題構成他們身份的核心。這關系到決定自己是誰,也關系到別人如何界定自己。

  這就是今后五十年的核心問題:一方面是靠長期血緣關系而延續的各個社區,一方面是靈活而不斷轉變的各種身份。身份將不是你來自哪里的問題;而是一套你可以帶到任何地方的價值觀,不論你生活在哪個社會,它都不妨礙你完全加入。

  1. Great Labour Migration:英國在二戰之后由于缺乏勞動力,從海外,特別是加勒比地區、孟加拉和巴基斯坦,招募了大量勞工,史稱"勞工大遷移"。

  2. a matter of:這里'一件……事'的意思不必譯出。

  3. quasi-imperial perception: '準帝國觀念'也就是"帶有帝國意識的看法"。

  4. It's ... that...:這里如按定語從句來譯,中文讀起來不自然。

  5. dog:動詞,意思是'尾隨,纏'。

  6. against:這里的意思是'在……的背景下',可以譯成"鑒于"。

  7. Against ... society:這是一個倒裝句,正常語序是Objective evidence ... must be set against the upward trend ...。作者顯然不認為英國存在嚴重的種族主義,因此這句話得譯成"鑒于...,必須拿出客觀證據才能說社會上有嚴重的種族歧視。"

  8. Stephen Lawrence affair: 1993年4月22日英國黑人青年斯蒂文·勞倫斯在倫敦街頭被一伙白人種族主義青年殺死。由于執法機關破案不力,提不出充分證據起訴犯罪嫌疑人。這件事在英國引起強烈反響。1997年7月31日,英國內務部宣布對"勞倫斯事件"進行公開調查。1999年2月公布的調查報告認為執法機關內部存在"機構性種族主義"。犯罪嫌疑人至今仍逍遙法外。

  9. When ... tough:英語有句俗話When the going gets tough, the tough get going.,這里套用了其前半句,意思是'經濟形勢變困難時',可以譯成"每逢經濟不景氣"。

  10. people ... on:相當于people want to take out their feelings on someone。take sth. out on sb.的意思是'拿某人撒氣'。

  11. landscape:與political、social等詞搭配時,意思是'形勢、局面、格局'。

  12. fosters ... homogeneous: foster images的意思是'促使樹立形象/給人印象',homogeneous的意思是'同質的,單一的',合在一起,意思是"讓人覺得它是個單一民族國家"。

  13. a mosaic of communities:馬賽克是用小色塊拼成的圖案,'社區拼成的馬賽克'就是"馬賽克式的多元社區"。

  14. be lumbered with:受……的拖累。

  15. a whole raft of:一大堆,大量。

  16. defined in ... terms:是從...角度考慮的。這里譯成"是經濟方面的"更簡單一些。

  17. instead:這是一個話語標記,承接前面的否定句,引出下面表示肯定的句子。漢語在某種程度上與之對應的是"倒是"、"相反"。

  18. I expect ... vanished:這個句子中間加了一個定語從句使得結構有些復雜,去掉定語從句后,句子的主干是I expect the old duality of a "host community" and "immigrants" to have vanished,定語從句whose bad luck it is to be excluded and disadvantaged限定的是immigrants。

  19. make a point of:后面接動名詞或表示動作的名詞時,意思是'刻意,力求,力爭'。

  20. the alternative:前面說了"可能性不大",另一個選擇就是"可能性較大"。

  21. This ... will:按定語從句譯,譯文會很別扭。這里可以按This implies that in Britain people will譯。

  22. it:從上下文來看,其所指應當是構建的結果。

  23. versus:這里按通例譯成"對"不容易把意思表達清楚,不妨用"一方面……一方面"表示對立的雙方。

  24. be compatible with: '與……相容'就是"不妨礙"。
 

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