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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... claims concerning the omnipresence of questions about national phenomena.
However, of equal importance is his illustration of the ways in which these
questions are asked and the presuppositions that allow them to be asked in this
While this debate may have seemed of almost unsurpassed importance to those
living in Scotland, we fully recognize that it may have seemed far less significant
to those living further away. However, our aim was not to be parochial. Our logic ...
As Gellner (1994) observes, nationalism may be an important and pervasive
force, but it rarely leads to violent disruption. If we limit our concern with the
phenomena to those moments when people are preparing 2 Selfand nation.
One is dealing with the ways in which people understand who they are, the
nature of the world they live in, how they relate to others and what counts as
important for them. It is not only nationalism and national identity that invoke
140–1). This is the background against which we will address what sort of
psychology is needed to be fit for the nation. If it indicates how far there is to go, it
also indicates how important it is to undertake the journey. The first 6 Selfand
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8 Changing Categories and Changing Contexts
9 Nationalist Psychology and the Psychology of Nationhood