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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To quote from the back-cover blurb for Michael Ignatieff's account of his journeys
into the new nationalism: 'modern nationalism is a language of the blood: a call to
arms that can end in the horror of ethnic cleansing' (1994). Such concerns lead ...
... that is determined by neither race, language, land, interests nor history: that
analysis can deny, but which nonetheless resembles, as by its proven all-
powerfulness, passionate love, faith, one of those mysterious possessions which
lead man ...
For them, the nation is formed out of people who share a common spirit (
Volksgeist) which manifests itself in their language, their customs, their myths and
their culture. In its romantic guise, the idea that nations represent a transhistorical
On the other hand, many nations share the same language. Repeatedly, in South
America and in Africa, nation-building goes on in the language of the old colonial
administrators and without the question of a national language even being an ...
In more modern terms, this translates into the argument that language, character,
culture and so on are consequences of common ethnicity. To take the argument
in its crude form, the existence and the membership of nations can be identified ...
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8 Changing Categories and Changing Contexts
9 Nationalist Psychology and the Psychology of Nationhood