Most interpretations of ethnicity concentrate either on particular societies or on specific dimensions of a world societya . This work takes quite a different approach, arguing that variations within and across societies are vital for understanding contemporary dilemmas of ethnicity. The author aims to develop a new analysis of the relation between the nation on the one hand, and ethnicity and citizenship on the other. Oommen conceives of the nation as a product of a fusion of territory and language. He demonstrates that neither religion nor race determines national identities. As territory is seminal for a nation to emerge and exist, the dissociation between people and their a homelanda makes them an ethnie. Citizenship is conceptualized both as a status to which nationals and ethnies ought to be entitled and a set of obligations, a role they are expected to play. Analyses of three historical episodes -- colonialism and European expansion, Communist internationalism and the nation--state and its project of cultural unity -- are examined to provide the empirical content of the argument.
This book will be essential reading for second--year undergraduates and above in the areas of sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.
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(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Polity Press
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Author Biography - T. K. Oommen
T. K. Oommen is a Professor at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, and former President of the International Sociological Association.