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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The first step is to investigate the world of nations in a little more detail, for we can
only assess the adequacy of our explanations by grounding them in a thorough
knowledge of what we seek to explain. This might seem self-evident. However ...
Whether those acting on the national imagination seek to create a new state,
defend an existing state, re-order state structures, oppose the existence of a
nation-state, seek to ban immigrants, boycott foreign products or whatever, in
each and ...
It may be futile to seek uncontroversial answers to such questions as 'does this
population constitute a nation?' or 'what is the identity of this nation?' However
there is much to be gained by asking 'what are the consequences of constituting
People seek to achieve a positive understanding of who and what they are.
However, since the self is defined at a collective level, this can only be achieved
by establishing the ingroup as better than the outgroup on the things that matter.
They expect agreement and they seek agreement with others who are included
within the collective self-definition. In specific terms, members of any given group
will behave in the terms on which the relevant self-category is defined.
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8 Changing Categories and Changing Contexts
9 Nationalist Psychology and the Psychology of Nationhood