Self and Nation
A `RARE BOOK' FROM LOCAL AUTHORS
`Here is a rare book, a truly helpful piece of work on the psychology of nationalism. Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins, of St Andrews and Dundee Universities, focus much of their study of recent Scottish experience, drawing on inter-views with political activists. The cast light on why our `Unionists' and nationalists feel so sure their side represents our national identity and the other lot doesn't. For once it is a compliment to say a book raises more questions than it answers. Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins open up large questions closer inspection' - Glasgow Herald
`In this impressive book Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins draw from a wealth of research to address issues of nationality, national identity and nationalism that lie at the heart of core topics in social psychology and its cognate disciplines. They have produced a powerful and scholarly text that interweaves an abundance of rich empirical data with a broad-reaching and timely theoretical statement. Moreover, the content is not confined to matters of national identity but also extends to treatments of stereotyping, prejudice, intergroup conflict, leadership, collective action, and the self .... For all these reasons, the book should serve essential and compelling reading for a very broad audience' - S Alexander Haslam, Australian National University
`Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins write with elegance and clarity, drawing the reader into their argument, without losing any of its complexity and nuance. This book deserves to make a major impact in studies of nationalism. It ought to become a classic.... I'm quite bowled over - it's really brilliant' - David McCrone, Edinburgh University
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If nationhood depends upon the mobilization of an ethnic past, then it becomes
necessary to define ethnicity in such a way ... Weber (1968) notes that ethnic ties
cannot be directly traced to kinship, but rather depend upon a presumed identity.
The distinction between the two is illustrated by Max Weber who rejected the
notion of ethnicity as objectively determining the nation but still claimed that any
concept of the nation depends upon a sense of common descent (Weber, 1968).
They exist within the French tradition, but they depend upon a more positive
interpretation than that employed so far. Just as ethnicity can be used as a theory
of nation formation or else an empirical claim about national consciousness, so
As a result, large communities in general depend upon acts of imagination,
indeed Balibar (1991a) makes this claim of all communities. What is important,
then, is not simply that the nation is imagined but the style in which it is imagined.
Or again, whether the Ossian story is regarded as an invention or not depends on
whether one thinks the essential significance of the story lies in the figure of
Ossian himself or in the establishment of a Scottish literary antiquity and, if the
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8 Changing Categories and Changing Contexts
9 Nationalist Psychology and the Psychology of Nationhood