Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Ethno-diversity and bio-diversity: Methods and measurement

Evers, Hans-Dieter and Yusoff, Anis and Shamsul, A.BB. (2010): Ethno-diversity and bio-diversity: Methods and measurement.

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Biology and Anthropology/Sociology have dealt with issues of diversity for a long time, developing different concepts, theories and methods. In recent years there has been, if not a convergence, but at least a recognition that problems in nature and in society are interrelated. This paper attempts to use concepts and methods of biodiversity research and test their applicability for a study of ethnic relations. It is noted that the preservation of biodiversity ranks high on the agenda of researchers and politicians, whereas ethnic diversity is often associated with unrest, conflict and economic decline. We try to reverse this tendency by emphasizing social cohesion and the social and economic value of ethnic diversity. An “ethnic diversity index” is proposed and used in the analysis of Malaysia’s plural society. This index is based on Simpson’s diversity index, commonly used in biodiversity research. Further research on the interrelation of bio- and ethnic diversity is advocated.

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