Iran is a multi-ethnic society. The quality and quantity of relationships between ethnic groups can be regarded as one of the crucial aspects of its integration and cohesion. This paper argues that cultural relationships and exchange of ideas and values among various ethnic groups in Iran gradually leads to the formation of universal values, norms and the broadening of an intellectual viewpoint. This paper reports the results of a survey study conducted on eight ethnic groups in Iran. It illustrates that cultural relationships between ethnic groups promote universalism amongst different ethnic minorities. This study examines the hypothesis that “an increase of inter-ethnic cultural relationships leads to the development of universalism”. Meanwhile, discrimination and ethnocentrism will be especially regarded as prerequisites for establishing inter-ethnic cultural relationships.
Key words: Inter-ethnic relationships, universalism, particularism, multi-ethnic society, ethnicity, intra-ethnic relationships.
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