Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim

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However, Durkheim overestimated the uniformity of nations when he wrote about the national character. He also replicated national prejudices when he described Germany as an example of bad nationalism. The author of 'The Division of Labour in Society' was not the only one to underestimate the national phenomena and giving in to some nationalistic beliefs. This is a broader phenomenon, which needs to be explained.

Emile Durkheim

However, in Durkheim's works there are many views, which were developed later, such as the thesis about the historical evolution of nations, indication of the role of ethnic ties in the modern world, and particularly the emphasis placed on the significance of rituals and symbols for social integration, which became an inspiration for the study of national holidays. Durkheim's discussion of the division of labour and its relation to the social cohesion have been most fully developed in Ernest Gellner's theory of nationalism.

Physical description. Document type. Jaskulowski, Uniwersytet Wroclawski, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, Wroclaw, Poland. Document Type.

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YADDA identifier. In addition to evolutionary development of mental and physical traits, Darwin and other evolutionary theorists emphasize the influence of the types of environment upon behaviour. First of all there are ancestral environments that are typically long-term and stable forms of situations that influence mental development of individuals or groups gained either biologically through birth or learned from family or relatives, which cause the emphasis of certain mental behaviours that are developed due to the requirements of the ancestral environment.

In national group settings, these ancestral environments can result in psychological triggers in the minds of individuals within a group, such as responding positively to patriotic cues. There are immediate environments that are those situations that confront an individual or group at a given point and activate certain mental responses. There are proximate environments where individuals identify nonimmediate real or imagined situations in combination with immediate situations that make individuals confront a common situation of both subjective and objective components that affect their decisions.

As such proximate environments cause people to make decisions based on existing situations and anticipated situations. In the context of the politics of nations and nationalism, a political leader may adopt an international treaty not out of a benevolent stance but in the belief that such a treaty will either benefit their nation or will increase the prestige of their nation. Nations that are angry with circumstances imposed on them by others are affected by the proximate environment that shapes the nationalism of such nations.

Pierre van den Berghe in The Ethnic Phenomenon emphasizes the role of ethnicity and kinship involving family biological ties to members of an ethnic group as being an important element of national identity. Van den Berghe states the sense of family attachments among related people as creating durable, intense, emotional, and cooperative attachments, that he claims are utilized within ethnic groups.

George Simmel

Van den Berghe identifies genetic-relatedness as being a basis for the durable attachments of family groups, as genetic ties cannot be removed and they are passed on from generation to generation. Van den Berge identifies common descent as the basis for the establishment of boundaries of ethnic groups, as most people do not join ethnic groups but are born into them.

Rogers Brubaker

Ethno-national and religious identity and violence dominate modern politics, from Northern Ireland to terrorism in Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslavia or. 2 Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim and outwardly expansionist experience based on industrialisation, imperi- alism (including the American frontier).

Berghe notes that this kinship group affiliation and solidarity does not require actual relatedness but can include imagined relatedness that may not be biologically accurate. Berghe notes that feelings of ethnic solidarity usually arise in small and compact groups whereas there is less solidarity in large and dispersed groups.

After Durkheim

There are functionalist interpretations of the primordialist evolutionary theory. This is resolved by the formation of a clan group that defines who is accepted within the group and defines the boundaries within which the resources will be distributed. This functionalist interpretation does not require genetic-relatedness, and identifies a variety of reasons for ethnic or national group formation.

The first reason is that such groups may extend group identity and cooperation beyond the limits of family and kinship out of reciprocal altruism, in the belief that helping other individuals will produce an advantageous situation for both the sender and receiver of that help; this tendency has been noted in studies by Robert Axelrod that are summarized in his book The Evolution of Cooperation The second reason is that such groups may be formed as a means of defense to insure survival, fears by one group of a hostile group threatening them can increase solidarity amongst that group, R.

Paul Shaw and Yuwa Wong in their book The Genetic Seeds of Warfare identify this as the foundation of xenophobia that they identify as originating in hunter gatherer societies. The modernist interpretation of nationalism and nation-building perceives that nationalism arises and flourishes in modern societies described as being associated with having: an industrial economy capable of self-sustainability of the society, a central supreme authority capable of maintaining authority and unity, and a centralized language or small group of centralized languages understood by a community of people.

Modernist theorists note that this is only possible in modern societies, while traditional societies typically: lack a modern industrial self-sustainable economy, have divided authorities, have multiple languages resulting in many people being unable to communicate with each other. Karl Marx wrote about the creation of nations as requiring a bourgeois revolution and an industrial economy. Maine saw the development of societies as moving away from traditional status societies to modern contract societies.

While he recognized the advantages of modern societies he also criticized them for their cold and impersonal nature that caused alienation while praising the intimacy of traditional communities. Durkheim identified mechanical solidarity as involving custom, habit, and repression that was necessary to maintain shared views. Durkheim identified organic solidarity-based societies as modern societies where there exists a division of labour based on social differentiation that causes alienation.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Symbolic boundaries and national identity in Australia. A modern state is one which is able to enhance individual life and protect it from despotic or tyrannical developments and a modern individual finds ethical fulfilment in collective life organised around the state. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. The central problem for all those who see things this way is that they are trapped in the type of mythical portrayals that modern forms of social and political organisation constantly create Cassirer , Chernilo b. All individuals, as fellow citizens in a political society governed by a state, are attached to two sets of rules. In my view, the key problem this poses is that in all cases, the second term stands in opposition and comes to replace the first analytically as well as historically.

Durkheim claimed that social integration in traditional society required authoritarian culture involving acceptance of a social order. Durkheim claimed that modern society bases integration on the mutual benefits of the division of labour, but noted that the impersonal character of modern urban life caused alienation and feelings of anomie. Max Weber claimed the change that developed modern society and nations is the result of the rise of a charismatic leader to power in a society who creates a new tradition or a rational-legal system that establishes the supreme authority of the state.

Émile Durkheim (1858—1917)

Civic nationalism also known as liberal nationalism defines the nation as an association of people who identify themselves as belonging to the nation, who have equal and shared political rights, and allegiance to similar political procedures. According to the principles of civic nationalism, the nation is not based on common ethnic ancestry, but is a political entity whose core identity is not ethnicity.

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Civic nationalism is a kind of non-xenophobic nationalism that is claimed to be compatible with liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. Civic nationalism lies within the traditions of rationalism and liberalism, but as a form of nationalism it is contrasted with ethnic nationalism. Civic-national ideals influenced the development of representative democracy in countries such as the United States and France see the United States Declaration of Independence of , and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of Some nationalists exclude certain groups.

Sometimes a mythic homeland is more important for the national identity than the actual territory occupied by the nation. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many Polish nationalist leaders were in thrall to the Piast Concept. It held there was a Polish utopia during the Piast Dynasty a thousand years before, and modern Polish nationalists should restore its central values of Poland for the Poles.

There was no place in the Piast Concept for a multicultural Poland. The Jagellon Concept was the official policy of the government in the s and s. After the Communist regime wholeheartedly adopted the Piast Concept, making it the centerpiece of their claim to be the true inheritors of Polish nationalism. Many nationalist movements are dedicated to national liberation, in the view that their nations are being persecuted by other nations and thus need to exercise self-determination by liberating themselves from the accused persecutors.

Territorial nationalists assume that all inhabitants of a particular nation owe allegiance to their country of birth or adoption. A sacred quality is sought in the nation and in the popular memories it evokes. Citizenship is idealised by territorial nationalists. A criterion of a territorial nationalism is the establishment of a mass, public culture based on common values, codes and traditions of the population.

Pan-nationalism is unique in that it covers a large area span. Pan-Slavism is one example of Pan-nationalism. The goal was to unite all Slavic people into one country. They did succeed by uniting several south Slavic people into Yugoslavia It is often characterized by authoritarianism, efforts toward reduction or stoppage of immigration, expulsion and or oppression of non-native populations within the nation or its territories, demagoguery of leadership, emotionalism, fomenting talk of presumed, real, or imagined enemies, predicating the existence of threats to the survival of the native, dominant or otherwise idealized national ethnicity or population group, instigation or extremist reaction to crack-down policies in law enforcement, efforts to limit international trade through tariffs, tight control over businesses and production, militarism, populism and propaganda.

Prevalent ultranationalism typically leads to or is the result of conflict within a state, and or between states, and is identified as a condition of pre-war in national politics. Fascists sometimes promote ethnic or cultural nationalism. Fascism stresses the subservience of the individual to the state, and the need for absolute and unquestioned loyalty to a strong ruler.

This form of nationalism came about during the decolonization of the post war periods.