Michael Billig presents a major challenge to orthodox conceptions of nationalism in this elegantly written book. While traditional theorizing has tended to the focus on extreme expressions of nationalism, the author turns his attention to the everyday, less visible forms which are neither exotic or remote, he describes as `banal nationalism'.
The author asks why people do not forget their national identity. He suggests that in daily life nationalism is constantly flagged in the media through routine symbols and habits of language. Banal Nationalism is critical of orthodox theories in sociology, politics and social psychology for ignoring this core feature of national identity. Michael Billig argues forcefully that with nationalism continuing to be a major ideological force in the contemporary world, it is all the more important to recognize those signs of nationalism which are so familiar that they are easily overlooked.
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Boundedness and possession of the means of violence are key components, for
the modern nation-state is "a bounded power-container" (Giddens, 1985, p. 120).
Most importantly, nation-states do not exist in isolation, but "in a complex of ...
In so many respects, the mediaeval world of Europe looks to modern eyes as an
unbelievably messy, disorganized place. Throughout the Middle Ages, the mass
of inhabitants, living in what is now known as France or England, did not think of
Shonekan is another figure, who himself possesses little lasting historical
significance, but who follows the modern courtly protocol: political leaders must
claim to act in the interests of the nation, variously described as 'the people', 'the ...
This essentialism, by contrast, is insinuated into the core of modern common
sense about language. We would want to know whether the speech of Montaillou
should be categorized as a dialect of Occitan and whether the inhabitants of San
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Michael Billig mounts a critic to orthodox theories in sociology, politics and social psychology by arguing that although nationalism continues to be a major ideological force in contemporary world ... Read full review
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