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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Although the story was presented as a sudden, stunning declaration, no
background explanation was offered to say why Flemish-speakers might wish to
establish their own state. By the omission, the paper was indicating that readers
could be ...
Thus, if the Flemish-speakers are feeling insecure, then it is little surprise that
they are wishing to stick together and to establish a state, in which all citizens
speak the same language. John Edwards has observed that "language is still ...
Suppose one stipulated that speakers of the same language understand each
other; and that speakers of different languages do not. This would imply that all
the variants (or dialects) of a single language are mutually intelligible, and that ...
In order not to alienate speakers of any variety of Sardinian speech, the leaders
of the pre-war Sardinian nationalist movement downplayed the importance of
language (White, 1991). The case of the separatist Lombard League is
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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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