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Sociological Research Online 1 (2) 1
Keywords: Multi-Cultural Societies; National Identity; Nationalism; Migrant Minorities
Abstract: It has been suggested that there is a crisis of national identity in the advanced welfare states of Western Europe following post-war immigration. The aim of this paper is, first of all, to clarify the concept of national identity in its application to these states prior to this immigration, secondly to analyze the concept of ethnic identity amongst immigrant ethnic groups, and, finally, to look at the kinds of institutions which have evolved to determine the relation of immigrant groups to the established national societies of settlement. The modern nation state is often thought of as part of a modernizing project in industrial societies. In this project the nation state is not thought of as being based upon a national identity, but is seen as having more universal aims. These include a modern economy, universal and uniform education and the compromise institutions of the welfare state negotiated between different classes and status groups. In some cases, on the other hand, the nation state may be established by a dominant ethnic group with its own values and institutions. In both cases the nation state will develop its own national ideology but will be corrosive of subordinate ethnicities and ethnic identities. New immigrant ethnic minorities have their own separate sense of identity. This should not however be thought of in essentialist terms as unchanging and clearly bounded. A more complex model of ethnic mobilization under conditions of migration is suggested. The response of established societies to the presence of these minorities might take one of three forms. It may involve attempts to assimilate the minorities on equal terms as citizens; it may seek to subordinate them to a dominant ethnic group as second class citizens or denizens; or, it may recognize cultural diversity in the private communal sphere while maintaining a shared public political culture. The new national identity of the host society will depend upon the outcome of processes which follow from the adoption of these different policies.
Sociological Research Online 1 (3) 1
Keywords: Nationalism, National Identity, Multiculturalism, Welfare State, Citizenship
Abstract: The crisis of national identity in Western Europe is related to the rise of a new nationalism which operates at many different levels, ranging from extreme xenophobic forms to the more moderate forms of cultural nationalism. Underlying the new nationalism in general is more a hostility against immigrants than against other nations; it is motivated less by notions of cultural superiority than by the implications multiculturalism has for the welfare state, which is being attacked by neo-liberal agendas. As a cultural discourse, the new nationalism is a product of social fragmentation. Therefore the most important challenge facing the democratic multi-cultural state in the context of European integration is to find ways of preserving the link between social citizenship and multiculturalism. Without a firm basis in social citizenship, multiculturalism will suffer continued attacks from nationalism, feeding off social insecurity.
Richard Kiely, David McCrone, Frank Bechhofer and Robert Paul Stewart
Sociological Research Online 5 (2) kiely
Keywords: Berwick-Upon-Tweed; Identity Markers And Rules; Local Identity; National Identity
Abstract: Through a systematic programme of research into national identity we have developed a sound understanding of the processes of identity claim, attribution and receipt. Central to these processes are identity markers and rules. We have always sought contexts where national identity is either salient or problematic as identity construction then becomes most clearly apparent. Berwick-upon-Tweed, a town in England but located close to the Scottish border, provides such a context.One would expect people from Berwick-upon-Tweed ('Berwickers') to claim an English national identity. They live in a town jurisdictionally in England and in the county of Northumberland. Moreover, one might think that, living only 3 miles south of the Scottish border, they would feel a heightened sense of their English national identity. However, our research shows that national identity in Berwick-upon- Tweed is complex and problematic. This is not simply due to close proximity to the border but a combination of unique forces - historical, cultural and demographic - that has led some Berwickers to avoid explicitly articulating a definitive nationality. Instead, they mobilise a specific identity strategy of localism. Context dramatically affects the willingness to claim a national identity.Key findings are presented from 70 household interviews conducted in Berwick-upon-Tweed and 48 divided evenly across Eyemouth, a nearby town in Scotland, and Alnwick, a town slightly further south in England. These data allowed us also to explore how Berwickers' identity claims are received, how national identity is attributed to them by others and how these attributions are in turn received. Two of the aims of our work are to demonstrate the fluid nature of national identity processes and the crucial importance of context to these. Our work in Berwick-Upon-Tweed has done much to meet and further these aims.
Sociological Research Online 7 (1) stevenson
Keywords: Citizenship; Cosmopolitanism; Cultural Identity; Difference; Multiculturalism; National Identity
Abstract: This paper argues that the study of citizenship needs to engage with both cosmopolitan and multicultural questions. Despite their difference social and political theory needs to find new ways to bring these concerns together. In particular it is argued that such a venture is only possible if cosmopolitanism opens questions of cultural identity, and multiculturalism decouples itself from specifically national concerns. These moves are likely to bring these approaches into a fruitful dialogue taking their arguments beyond mainstream liberalism, but maintaining a dialectic between universalism and difference. The paper ends by considering the challenge played by fundamentalism.
Bum Soo Chon, George Barnett and Young Choi
Sociological Research Online 8 (1) chon
Keywords: Global Culture, Hollywood Films, Cultural Zones
Abstract: This paper describes the shared structure of Hollywood film consumption based on data obtained from the Variety International Film Guide (1995, 1998, 2000). It focuses on the consumption of the top 10 films in over 30 countries, using a longitudinal study to explain the structure of cultural consumption, how it has transformed over time, and how it is related to cultural factors. The results indicate that the structure of film consumption is comprised of three cultural clusters: local film-based, strong and weak homogenization clusters. The results suggest that countries consume the Hollywood films in different ways and have different selection for foreign films. Also, the results suggest that the film consumption pattern was significantly related to cultural zone network.
Sociological Research Online 10 (1) leavy
Keywords: Collective Memory, Film, Hollywood, National Identity, Pearl Harbor, Social Memory
Abstract: In this paper I examine the fusing of collective memory, history and popular culture by analyzing current trends in American-made commercial films with historical events as subject matter that have also been distributed to a global audience. Pearl Harbor is the primary case study. Analysis shows that dominant historical narratives are reified by the use of what I term an 'anticipatory-driven' film experience where audience members engage in an interaction with pre-existing mainstream collective memory while their anticipation for impending climactic trauma is systematically heightened. Comparisons are made to other widely released US films about national and international events and 'non-events.' Questions are also raised about the increasing global importance of the memory-history-popular culture nexus post 9-11, and, how US produced films about 9-11 may or may not engage in the practices detailed in this analysis. In this vein the paper concludes with a discussion of how Pearl Harbor was marketed, edited and received in Japan, the second largest audience for Hollywood films and what this implies about social memory construction in a global commercial context.
Sociological Research Online 11 (4) mann
Keywords: English/British, Complicity, Discourse, Interviewer, Interviewing, National Identity, Reflexivity
Abstract: This article focuses on the reflexive dynamics of interviewing in the context of a recent qualitative investigation of ethnic majority views of national identity in England. There is now an established literature which specifies the routine mobilisations of national identity through the course of everyday social interaction. Discourse studies also have been centrally concerned with the interview-as-topic and there is considerable work here on ethnic and racial categorizations within the interview context. Taking such work as its departure point, this article will illustrate how and why the interviewer also matters in talking about national identity. While the role of the interviewer is increasingly acknowledged in qualitative research, there has been little attempt to consider this particular methodological dilemma in nationalism research. In highlighting this problem, this article argues in favour of a more reflexive approach to the study of nationalism and national identity, one which brings to bear the researchers' own unwitting assumptions and involvement.
Sociological Research Online 12 (6) 6
Keywords: Collective Memory, Mourning, Melancholia, Deindustrialization, Post-Industrial Community, Locality, Mining, Shipbuilding
Abstract: This paper seeks to examine the different relationship of two industries to their potential for representation and celebration in collective memory. Looking at case studies of mining and shipbuilding in the shared location of Wearside the paper compares and contrasts features of the two industries in relation to the divergent outcomes of the traces of their collective memory in this place. Using visual representations the paper makes the case that the mining industry has experienced a successful recovery of memory. This is contrasted to the paucity of visual representation in relation to shipbuilding. The reasons for the contrast in the viability of collective memory are examined. Material, cultural and aesthetic issues are addressed. Contrasts are drawn between divisions of labour in the two industries and the ways in which these impact upon community and trade union organisation which further relate to the contrast between industrial and occupational identity. Differences in the legacy of the physical occupational communities of the two industries are illustrated. There is also an examination of the aesthetic forms of representation in which mining is seen as characterised by the aesthetics of labour, whereas shipbuilding is represented more through the aesthetics of product. The way in which the industries were closed also becomes important to understand the variation in the differences of the potential of collective memory. All of these strands are brought together to conclude that in relation to the potential for collective memory, mining can be seen to have gone through a process of 'mourning' whereas melancholia seems to more adequately represent the situation with respect to shipbuilding. In illustrating these cases the paper is arguing for a more sophisticated understanding of the process of deindustrialisation and the potential for the recovery of collective memory.
Frank Bechhofer and David McCrone
Sociological Research Online 15 (3) 3
Keywords: National Identity Choice; Devolution; Moreno; England; Scotland; United Kingdom
Abstract: This paper examines national identity in England and Scotland, arguing that it is necessary to understand how people construe it instead of simply assuming that it is constructed from above by the state. It adds to qualitative data on this issue by discussing recent survey data, from the British and Scottish Social Attitudes surveys 2006, in which for the first time people are asked about their reasons for making a specific choice of national identity. In so doing it fleshes out the responses given to a well known survey question (the so-called 'Moreno' question) providing a greater understanding of what a large sample of people are saying when they make these territorial identity choices. The English and the Scots handle 'national' and 'state' identities differently, but the paper shows there is considerable similarity as regards reasons for choosing national identity. Both English and Scottish 'nationals', those placing greater weight on their 'national' as opposed to their 'state' identities, choose to do so mainly for cultural and institutional reasons. They are not making a 'political' statement about the break-up of Britain. At the British end of the scale, there are patterns in the English data which throw into doubt easy assertions about 'being British'. Simply assuming, as some politicians and commentators do, that 'British' has singular meanings is unfounded. The future of the United Kingdom as presently constituted may lie in the hands of those who describe themselves as equally national (English or Scottish) and British. Devolution influences which national identity people choose in all three sets of national identity categories but these effects are sociologically most interesting in this group. Devolution seems to have encouraged them to stress the equality of the two nations in the British state, recognising that they are equal partners, that one can be equally proud of a national and a British identity, and that it is not necessary to choose one over the other.
Robert Ford, James Tilley and Anthony Heath
Sociological Research Online 16 (4) 8
Keywords: National Identity, Comparative, Survey, Generational Change
Abstract: We investigate the reasons why some people, and some countries, place greater or lesser emphasis on the idea that membership of a nation is tied to ancestry. We test the influence of two key factors - economic development and ethnic division. Economic development is strongly associated with support for the ancestry criterion of national membership. Those who are more economically secure, who grew up in wealthier nations, or live in a wealthier nation currently, are less likely to emphasise ancestry as an important factor in national identity. Those who have grown up since mass immigration to a country begun are also less likely to emphasise ancestry. However, we find no evidence that historical conditions are correlated with current national identity beliefs.
Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim
Sociological Research Online 17 (3) 11
Keywords: Scottish, Diaspora, National Identity, England, Symbolic Ethnicity
Abstract: Scotland has often had an almost absent relationship with its diaspora, with expatriate Scots often viewed from the 'homeland' as being 'more Scottish than the Scots'. Expatriate Scottish identities are not only strong, but may be rooted in an overly romantic view of Scotland. Most research into the Scottish diaspora, however, has focused on North America and Australasia, although a diaspora exists much nearer home, elsewhere in the UK. Limited previous work suggests that the Scottish diaspora in England does not adopt the overly romantic view of Scotland characteristic of North American Scots and indeed, there is evidence that feelings of Scottish identity begin to fade within a generation of emigration to England. There is also evidence that Scottish organisations within England are declining. This paper therefore explores the continuing sense of a Scottish identity within the Scottish diaspora in England, through a series of interviews exploring the identities of second-generation 'Scots' - the offspring of Scottish migrants. The findings suggest that Scottish identity does indeed appear to weaken quite quickly in contrast to the overseas experience, perhaps because proximity to Scotland means that the preservation of an expatriate identity is considered to be relatively unimportant.
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 4
Keywords: Englishness, Britishness, 'Race', National Identity, Nationalism
Abstract: Analysing data from qualitative interviews, this article demonstrates how white people's constructions of national identity in England destabilise but ultimately reaffirm essentialist, exclusionary boundaries. The first set of findings presented demonstrate the ways in which normalised associations between whiteness and Englishness are regularly, temporarily unsettled through empirical, experiential and ethical processes of reflection, only to be finally regulated back towards dominant, racialised understandings. The second set of findings presented demonstrate that for a minority of white participants who construct the nation in ways that more effectively challenge and destabilise racialised understandings, they nevertheless still normalise difference in relation to the nation-state boundaries of Britain. While racialised boundaries of the nation are often, to varying degrees, problematised by many white people in England, essentialist nation-state boundaries remain virtually unchallenged in discussions of national membership.
Sociological Research Online 20 (3) 16
Keywords: Intersectionality, Citizenship, Britishness, Whiteness, Feminism, National Identity
Abstract: This article critically engages with the concept of intersectionality, beginning with an account of its roots in Black feminist’ theorizing and critical legal studies. The article argues that it is important to understand the origin and roots of the term in order to track its radical potential. Whilst intersectionality as a concept has been perhaps one of feminism’s most successful exports, the article also considers some of the potential pitfalls in the widespread usage of the language. It asks: has intersectionality lost something in its travelling and re-interpretation? The article argues that there is a risk that intersectionality has, in some contexts of its usage, lost its critical, anti-racist and feminist edge. Considering the campaigns against changes in the spousal visa regulations in Britain, the article tracks the production of whiteness and of citizens and non-citizens in Britain. This example is used to argue for the maintenance of a more flexible and complex range of vocabularies with which to examine exclusion and oppression.