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Nationalism: Atheoreticaloverview


  • Emre Gokalp

    () (Anadolu University)


This study aims to theoretically overview the most significant contemporary literature on nation and nationalism. In other words, it focuses on the theoretical approaches to the nature of nation and nationalism, and discusses the following questions: Are nations ancient, or of modern provenance? What is the relationship between civic and ethnic nationalism? What is the relationship between “ethnicity†and “nationality†? What is the rhetoric of nationalism? Why should one see nationalism as a discursive formation? What is the symbolic dimension of nationalism? What is national identity? How is it conceptualised? In this context, it tries to analyse the crucial role that nationalism played in the modern social, cultural and political life. As a conclusion, this study underlines the argument that nation should be conceptualised as a ‘modern’and ‘constructed’phenomenon rather than a ‘natural, ‘given,’‘fixed’and ‘timeless’ entity. Nations and national identities should be questioned as perpetually reproduced categories since nationalism is a discourse or a system of representation which signifies the social world. This study concludes that each nationalism has been made of discourses of nationalism that differ from and conflict or compete with each other, while presenting permeability to an important extent

Suggested Citation

  • Emre Gokalp, 2007. "Nationalism: Atheoreticaloverview," Anadolu University Journal of Social Sciences, Anadolu University, vol. 7(2), pages 279-298, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:and:journl:v:7:y:2007:i:2:p:279-298

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    Nationalism; Nation; National Identity; Ethnicity;

    JEL classification:

    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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