Citizenship and Nationhood
Seen examination discussion (and reassurance?)
Modular movements: from division to cohesion
National identity and nationalism
Exam review format
Select two questions from seven options
Under standard exam conditions
One A4 page of notes allowed (both sides)
This is not a memory test!
The basis of your discussion should be a demonstration of your understanding of the core themes of the course
Try to integrate knowledge from different lectures
Link this understanding to the world around you
Demonstrate your understanding of the link between social differences and social divisions
Evaluate the causes of social divisions and the possibilities for political resistance
Consider how social cohesion is achieved
Use evidence to support your ideas http://www.hefce.ac.uk/ http://www.ucas.co.uk/ http://www.offa.org.uk/
Critically discuss the future impacts of increases in university fees upon class stratification and social exclusion in Britain. (Lectures 2,3 and 4) What are the likely future impacts of fee increases? What evidence is there for this? What is the importance of university education?
How do you define class and social exclusion? Marx, Weber and social mobility
How will the impact of fee increases influence upon this
Why might some ethnicities in Britain be less likely to study science at university? (Lectures 2, 3 and 4)
Are some ethnicities less likely to study science?
Biology? (explain the distinction between race and ethnicity)
Culture? (what factors are relevant family, class?)
To what extent would it be justifiable to promote affirmation action policies to encourage more men to participate in British higher education? (Lectures 4, 9 & 10) What is the difference in participation rates between
genders and what is the context for this difference? Why might this have occurred? Introduce distinction
between sex and gender What is affirmative action (positive action/discrimination)
and why would it be justified? Are there other factors to be considered?
Discuss the factors that influence the proportional over-representation of former public school pupils at Oxbridge universities (Lectures 2,3 and 4)
Is there an over-representation of public school pupils
Why are these inequalities reproduced? (class, ethnicity)
Is it a matter of (generational) meritocracy, or discrimination?
Critically discuss what it would mean for universities to treat disabled students less favourably (Lectures 6, 9 and 10)
What does less favourably and equality mean in regards to disability?
When is positive action justifiable?
Why would governments seek to promote wider participation in higher education? (Lectures 9, 10 and 11)
What is widening participation?
Are there inequalities in access to universities?
What is the importance of education for mobility?
Why would governments seek to achieve social cohesion and minimise inequalities?
Critically discuss the impact of digital exclusion upon higher education in the 21st century (Lecture 11)
What is digital exclusion?
Why is it importance in regards to higher education?
Inequality or social mobility?
Is class relevant?
Social Differences Social Divisions
Solidarity and Cohesion
Identities and societies are distinguished by social differences, but these differences often produce divisions
These divisions are political rather than natural
Why, and how, are they reproduced so consistently?
What are the mechanisms through which social cohesion is achieved?
National identity (Week 8)
State control (Week 9)
Community identification (Week 10)
What are the primary mechanisms through which
social cohesion is reproduced in Britain?
Turning to the nation
Social divisions are flattened when members identify with a (limited) larger cause
These identifications are often passionate and provide a sense of belonging
But they also define who belongs and who is excluded
Defining the nation
Nations are a people with a shared identity
Nations differs from ethnic groups because they seek political autonomy as well as cultural unity
Nations produce social solidarity through belonging and identification
A sense of belonging
The question of nationhood is one of belonging
Who is part of the nation and why?
Blood links and shared history?
Commitment to shared values?
Any understanding of belonging is also one of exclusion
Who is excluded from the nation (or the state)?
How is this exclusion managed politically (by the state) and justified culturally?
People can be formally included but still divided
A patriotic identification with the nation over other forms of identity We are all English
Nationalism is a powerful tool for achieving social solidarity and mediating against social divisions
Appeals to nationalism and unity are a common political device, particularly when social cohesion is threatened
Types of Nationalism
Nationalism is the desire of a people to assert their autonomy, identity and unity
There is no fixed sense of nationalism it can be attached to other political ideologies
Primordialism suggests that nations are rooted in biological similarities
Primordial nations are based on shared geography, languages and heritage
Often constructed around founding myths and traditions that have bound together the people
Our shared heritage
The primordial perspective is conservative in the sense that it identifies an essence to identity
This essence is fixed and naturally excludes those who do not fit often violently
In large scale societies, this homogeneity is difficult to achieve and the politics of conservative nationalism are generally retrospective
Politicians often seek to return to this time British citizenship tests
An imagined community
Benedict Anderson (1991) argued that the nation was an imagined community
National identities are not based on biological similarity but on a socially constructed image nations are built, not born
They are imagined on the basis of identification with national symbols
Symbols of imagination
Whilst our national imaginations are based on shared symbols and ideas, they cannot be fixed
Instead national identity is always an ideological point of struggle
What defines us from them?
What does it mean to belong to this nation?
These struggles are often passionately expressed
Why are we so passionate about nationhood, but not
other aspects of our identity?
Should this be encouraged?
A limited imagination
Our sense of nationhood is defined by its distinction from other nations
We know who we are because we are not them
Whilst nationhood flattens differences between members, it sharply defines those who belong
These distinctions are established through the state
Nations and states
Nations might be imagined, but they are also built
Modern nations are generally coupled with states (the nation-state)
Nations are cultural constructions, states are political institutions
We will focus on the state next week, but
Introducing the State
States are primarily defined by their monopoly over physical force within a given territory based on a centralised authority
Weber: A human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory (Pierson, p.7)
The state of national identity
The role of the state is to manage the political affairs of the nation
In regards to our discussion, this is a matter of managing differences and divisions between groups
Those who seek to move beyond the boundaries of identity
Social divisions within the nation.
Western nation-states have sought to manage these struggles by;
Fostering national identity
Defining the rights and obligations of those who belong
Encouraging formal equality of participation
National identification is actively developed through education, a primary mode of socialisation
Nationalism is most prominently displayed during sporting events
But is also encouraged through the arts and media
Do you think that nation-states should actively seek
to develop national identity?
Liberal nationalism suggests