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
However, he wishes to discard 'the ethnic folklore that has clouded Europeans'
perception of one another for far too long: the rude frivolous Frenchman, the idle
pretentious Spaniard, the dull humourless German (not forgetting his archetype, ...
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 ...
... and incurably dangerous was inculcated by the Serbian intelligentsia in order
to create the conditions for ethnic cleansing: 'Psychoanalysts explained why,
thanks to the specific character of certain peoples, things had to happen that way.
As Cornevin (1980) says of South Africa: Although the specificity of each of the
nine South African ethnic groups is ... communities, there are two other ways in
which one might defend the idea that ethnicity remains central to nationhood.
Apart from the controversies surrounding the historical evidence, there is a
conceptual difficulty at the heart of Smith's argument. If nationhood depends upon
the mobilization of an ethnic past, then it becomes necessary to define ethnicity in
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8 Changing Categories and Changing Contexts
9 Nationalist Psychology and the Psychology of Nationhood