The drives of white nationalism in the US and Hindu nationalism in India are found to be significantly similar in aim and methods. Witnessed in two large nations that are alike too in diversity and in constitutions, the two drives violate statutory norms as also the norms of democracy and equality acknowledged by the world. Contrasting these drives with Gandhi’s vision of partnership and mutual respect among communities and races is illuminating. It may be seen, in addition, that both white (...) nationalism and Hindu nationalism rest on a falsification of history. Stirring up and employing a sentiment of majority victimhood, and another sentiment of dislike for the minority “other,” the two drives present a challenge to all who regard humanity as one and human beings as equal. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall discuss Danish perspectives on nature, showing the interdependence of conceptions of ‘nature’ and ‘nationhood’ in the formations of a particular cultural community. Nature, thus construed, is never innocent of culture and cannot therefore simply be ‘restored’ to some pristine, pre-lapsarian state. On the other hand, invocations of nature are effectively calls to action, often of a sort that involves a degree of restoration and conservation.
Mahatma Gandhi and Sun Yat-sen are regarded as the respective founding fathers of modern India and China. Given this shared significance, their writings ought to be duly considered as the basis for comparative thought on postcolonial nation-building. Yet a survey of the literature points to the paucity of such study. The article is therefore an attempt to fill in this gap by juxtaposing Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj and Sun’s San Min Chu I as treatises on postcolonial nation-building. Such juxtaposition yields important (...) contrasts between the two regarding postcolonial nationhood at the crossroad of non-western civilization and modernity. Beyond identifying these differences, the author uses the lack of comparative study on the subject as an occasion for pondering over the contrasting contemporary global legacy of the two figures. At stake are two visions of postcolonial nationhood that are lost to the ubiquity of global development. (shrink)
This book opens fresh ways of rethinking colonial nationalisms, qualifying derivative, political and modernist paradigms. Introducing the category of samaj , it shows how indigenous socio-cultural origins were reconfigured in modern Bengali-Indian nationhood to conceptualise unities and mediate fragmentation.
This article focuses on the study of online communities and introduces an empirical study of social media production involving an online group called “Arab Canadians”. The study builds on Anderson’s concept of ‘imagined communities’ and argues that Facebook provides the platform for an online nation in which users, whether Canadians or prospective immigrants, interact and exchange ideas about a country whose imagined concept varies from one user to another. Facebook here is a virtual nation that offers the community members an (...) imagined sense of identity and belonging which they aspire to get. The results of the study revealed that the majority of comments carry highly positive sentiments towards Canada and its people, yet there is evidence that some comments are moderated. The study concludes that the Facebook administrator functions as a centralized gatekeeper who filters online chatter and leads the discussion to a certain direction. Building on the theory of networked gatekeeping, the study argues that vertical and horizontal flows of communication shape the online debate that takes place in this virtual space. Through a close analysis of these practices, the article sheds light on the role of social media in shaping online identities constructed around virtual nationhood. (shrink)
The design of democratic institutions includes a variety of barriers to protect against the tyranny of the majority, including international human rights, cultural minority rights, and multiculturalism. In the twenty-first century, majorities have re-asserted themselves, sometimes reasonably, referring to social cohesion and national identity, at other times in the form of populist movements challenging core foundations of liberal democracy. This volume intervenes in this debate by examining the legitimacy of conflicting majority and minority claims. Are majorities a legal concept, holding (...) rights and subject to limitations? How can we define a sense of nationhood that brings groups together rather than tears them apart? In this volume, world-leading experts are brought together for the first time to debate the rights of both majorities and minorities. The outcome is a fascinating exchange on one of the greatest challenges facing liberal democracies today. (shrink)
A study probing the ambiguities of German nationhood. Berman takes a theoretical perspective of cultural studies, exploring such themes as: the constitution of nationhood; what holds a citizenry together; and history's role in providing a framework for current identities and institutions.
Observers of German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt often disagree on her politics, yet many view her as a staunch early critic of Zionism. Whereas her criticism of Israel rendered her unpopular in the American-Jewish and Israeli communities for many decades after 1948, commentators more recently have come to see her perspective as a prescient assessment of the ills of Jewish nationalism. This interpretation, however, fails to grasp the complexity of Arendt?s political views of Zionism in particular and of Jewish (...) class='Hi'>nationhood in general, which evolved over time and remained ambivalent from her early to her late works. (shrink)
The papers collected in this volume, although dealing with several different themes, congeal around a debate about the ways and extent of the dominance of linear time and progressive history and the concomitant delineation of the nation in Chinese and Japanese historiography.
Religion plays a vital role in the formation of conscience and therefore is very important in determining how people co-exist in a society. Nigerian citizens live in regions other than their ethnic geographical areas, but they are not recognised as people of the same destiny and subjects of equal rights. The long period of military dictatorship that truncated the country’s democracy since the civil war gave Nigerians a constitution which adopted the Sharia legal system within a purported secular state. This (...) encouraged a wide range of religious fanaticism and led to various demands for human rights, which has become a worrisome issue to concerned Nigerians. This article used secondary sources of data, such as newspaper publications and journal articles to examine the impact of religion on the state of the Nigerian nation today. The article calls for the harmonisation of Christianity and Islamic teachings in line with the secularity of the Nigerian state in order to reduce the increasing tensions in the country and make the journey to nationhood more realistic.Contribution: This article proposes that the secularity of the Nigerian state has to be maintained by political and religious leaders in order to attain purposeful nationhood and achieve sustainable and genuine development of the country. (shrink)
In 1876, Brazilian physical anthropologists De Lacerda and Peixoto published findings of detailed anatomical and osteometric investigation of the new human skull collection of Rio de Janeiro’s Museu Nacional. They argued not only that the Indigenous ‘Botocudo’ in Brazil might be autochthonous to the New World, but also that they shared analogic proximity to other geographically very distant human groups – the New Caledonians and Australians – equally attributed limited cranial capacity and resultant inferior intellect. Described by Blumenbach and Morton, (...) ‘Botocudo’ skulls were highly valued scientific specimens in 19th-century physical anthropology. A recent genomic study has again related ‘the Botocudo’ to Indigenous populations from the other side of the world by identifying ‘Polynesian ancestry’ in two of 14 Botocudo skulls held at the Museu Nacional. This article places the production of scientific knowledge in multidisciplinary, multiregional historical perspectives. We contextualize modern narratives in the biological sciences relating ‘Botocudo’ skulls and other cranial material from lowland South America to Polynesia, Melanesia, and Australia. With disturbing irony, such studies often unthinkingly reinscribe essentialized historic racial categories such as ‘the Botocudos’, ‘the Polynesians’, and ‘the Australo-Melanesians’. We conclude that the fertile alliance of intersecting sciences that is revolutionizing understandings of deep human pasts must be informed by sensitivity to the deep histories of terms, classification schemes, and the disciplines themselves. (shrink)
This paper explores the ways nationalism has been theorised in classical and contemporary sociology. More specifically, the author analyses the relevance of Randall Collins’s contribution to theories of nationalism. Since Collins’s work is firmly rooted in the classical tradition, including the reinterpretation and synthesis of Weber, Durkheim and Goffman, the first part of this paper zooms in on the classics of sociology and their treatment of nations and nationalism. The second part of the paper outlines the key features of Collins’s (...) approach and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of this position. The final part builds on the footsteps of Collins and others to articulate an alternative approach focused on the coercive organisational, ideological and micro-interactional grounding of nationalisms. (shrink)
This article examines the discourses of the Indian state and of community élites during battles for the custody of a young Muslim girl, Ameena, who was ‘rescued’ from a marriage with an elderly Arab. The battles for Ameena's custody were fought as much in news reports, opinion columns, and letters to the editor of metropolitan and vernacular newspapers, as in courts. Questions were raised about Ameena's age, the viability of her marriage, the applicability of secular laws to Muslim communities, and (...) the political economy of the sexuality of girl-children. In these representations, Ameena became a symbol of minority identity, and was transformed into an unwilling and unwitting object of protection. Why did Ameena's story attract so much attention? What were the different positions underlying the arguments made for Ameena's ‘protection’? Without dismissing the protection of children and the advocacy of their rights, this article analyses the agendas shaping the discourses of the Indian state and national and community élites during the battles for Ameena's custody. The article situates the controversies surrounding Ameena in the wider context of the increasing polarization between Hindu and Muslim communities in India in the early 1990s, and focuses on the relationship between notions of childhood and discourses of community, gender and nation. The article argues that there was a synecdochic relationship between the purity of girl-children and the purity of the Indian nation: far from being ‘pre-cultural’ or apolitical, discourses of childhood were profoundly implicated in the politics of gender, sexuality, community and nation. What are the implications of Ameena's predicament for feminist epistemology and praxis? In pointing to the ways in which feminist critiques of modernist regimes of power and knowledge can enable us to understand the multiple positionalities of children in the contemporary world, the article explores the spaces available for feminist theorists and activists to engage in a politics of vigilance and intervention with regard to the state's positions towards children. (shrink)
Nostalgic, socially privileged ideals of childhood have actively contributed to the formation of Australian national identity, as well as modern subject-formations more broadly. This paper argues that, while such nostalgia has been drawn on for normative ends—in the service of the management of the modern individual—nostalgia also has the power to disrupt our conceptions of the normal. In the context of the contemporary “crisis” of childhood particularly, opportunities to reconstitute ideals of “childhood” and “family” differently have become available to communities (...) such as Aboriginal Australians, who previously have been denied access to these nostalgic forms. (shrink)