This post is expanding a bit on my mention of a language being ‘a dialect with an army and a navy.’ The relevant point I’d like to make about English nationalism is that a characteristic of a dominant group which exerts its influence upon surrounding groups becomes seen as general to all of them, and ultimately the central group, now lacking anything specific to them in that category, is seen as missing part of an identity.
Archive for January, 2011
Whilst national teams are often held up as embodying national pride and spirit, they ofte divide opinion. As an Indian cricket fan I was keen to find out which players would be sent to the forthcoming World Cup. That I was not alone may be seen in the 1,600+ comments on one site alone. Amongst the many offerings, this one stood out:
by Kartik Prasad on (January 18 2011, 06:08 AM GMT)
This is not the Indian team, this is north Indian team.
This led me to wonder how many (if any) teams really represent their countries. can you think of examples?
There is a rich literature for those with an interest in such questions. The following is a nice place to start:
Qadri Ismail “Batting Against the Break: On Cricket, Nationalism and the Swashbuckling Sri Lankans.” Social Text No. 50 Spring 1997 http://www.jstor.org/stable/466813
This being Burns’ day/night, the on-line Guardian devoted its regular food blog to a discussion of haggis:
While the article and many of the comments dwell (understandably) on the culinary merits (or demerits) of the dish, a fair bit of the debate also relates to the national dimension rather than the food itself. What does it mean to have a ‘national dish’ and what, if anything does it say about a nation? Along with national days (and arguably Burns’ birthday is as much that as is St Andrews day), national dress, etc., is having a ‘national’ dish an important element of national expression, or is it in fact a sign of a lack of national self-confidence? A judicious skim of the comments on the article raises some interesting questions, not least, do you go for the meat or veggie version, or neither?
Part of our conversation today about nationalism as allegedly purely political phenomenon in pursuit of the ultimate goal of statehood let me recall the article I’ve read about the referendum in Sudan. In case secession is successful, there are whole bunch of problems to arise from the new state and its border. Possibly one of the most interesting is the fate of the semi-nomadic Misseryia (not sure if they classify as tribe or some other term in sociology, being a primarily political science student). Again, does nationalism necessarily imply a path to statehood? Can another perception of it exist? As the Misseryia will suffer from the decisions of other (so far still) Sudanese, it seems to me that another (non-secessionist) form of nationalism that does not pursue statehood would be favourable and worth studying as scholars have already done (although from the top of my head I cannot think of any right now, sorry). What do you think?
Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2011| Leave a Comment »