Presentation on theme: "Theories of nationalism Week 17 Ethnicity and ‘Race’"— Presentation transcript:
Theories of nationalism Week 17 Ethnicity and ‘Race’
Recap Considered complexity of concepts Considered the contested nature of the idea of institutional racism. Looked at ‘whiteness’ to explore the relationship between ethnicity and identity
Outline What is nationalism? Explore Anderson’s theory of ‘imagined communities’ Look at how nationalism is gendered and the consequences that this has for women in particular
What is Britishness? Talk to the person sitting next to you about what you think it is?
Definitions of Nationalism Nationality is often taken as a given –Most people have one –Rarely questioned –But what are they?
Definitions of Nationalism Nation, Nationalism, and Nationality can be difficult to define exactly Related to the rise of the Nation-State But not reducible to it (Kurdish, Basque)
Imagined Communities Anderson suggests that nations are: –‘Imagined political communities’ –Imagined as limited and sovereign –But they usually feel ‘natural’ not chosen
Why ‘imagined’ Most members will not know all the other members Yet connections are imagined Ideas of common destiny are constructed Constructed ideas specific to each ‘nationality’
Why limited and sovereign Usually associated with an claim for political representation for the collective Bounded by other similar constructions and may be developed in opposition Often tied geographically Nationalists fight to maintain or develop borders rather than for mergence with other nationalities
Why community? Regardless of inequalities within nations, nation is imagined as ‘comradeship’ People willing to die to protect this imagining But how is it created?
Imagined communities? Do you think Anderson’s notion of imagined communities is plausible?
Cultural Constructions For Anderson, the idea of nationalism is created and maintained through symbols and ceremonies of the nation –Tomb of the Unknown Soldier symbolises unity and national sacrifice (yet nationality unknown) –Museums, State Occasions, Traditions
Symbols of Britishness? Patterns of Celebrations? –State Opening of Parliament –Trooping of the Colour –Remembrance Sunday –Guy Fawkes Night –FA Cup Operate both to bind the nation together and re/create image of national identity
(Be)Longing These imagined communities can be dispersed Migrants may ‘belong’ to a Mother Country Diaspora may take steps to communicate notions of nationalism Nationalism is related to ethnic origin but not reducible to it
In what ways do you think nations control the ‘reproduction’ of themselves?
Reproducing the Nation Genetic Inheritance often a strong factor in imagined communities –Being born into it, may be the only way in Physical reproduction of the nation is through women’s bodies Sexuality and reproduction become crucial factors in the reproducing the nation
Reproducing the Nation Women are both part of the collective and subject to specialist rules These often relate to ‘risky’ physical reproduction of the nation Behaviour becomes a marker of cultural politics
Cultural Imaginings of Gender Notions of nations as female (Mother India) Women subject to direct controls over sexuality and reproduction Women become to symbolic bearers of ‘honour’ –‘Honour’ crimes linked to breaches in behaviour (extra-marital sex, consulting with the ‘enemy’)
Population Agendas Women may be required to populate the nation –Bans on contraceptives, abortion –Incentives to bear more children Examples include –Awards for ‘heroic mothers’ (Nazi Germany) –Demographic races (Israel/Palestinians) –State demands (‘populate or perish’ Australia)
Eugenicist Agenda Fixations on the quality rather than quantity of nation’s ‘stock’ –State programmes of sterilisation of ‘unfit’ women –Encouragement of contraception for welfare mothers –Mass rape in war as a strategy of miscegenation
To what extent do you think that nationalism is gendered?
Inclusion/Exclusion Nationalist and racist ideologies may be interwoven –Nazi laws –based on how ‘pure blood’ was contaminated by Jewish Ancestry –US was fixated by measuring extent of Blackness –Bans on interrelated marriage in Apartheid South Africa
Summary Nationalism is a constructed notion of community It is (re)produced through symbols and ceremonies of nationhood It is gendered and may have particular consequences for women
Next week Slavery and unfree labour Rise of the international slave trade and its ongoing effects Modern day forms of forced labour