Nationalism And Its Impact On National Identity

1412 WordsMar 23, 20166 Pages
Nationalism can be defined in two dimensions. First, the feeling of having a sense of national identity. This “national identity” is often confronted with a dilemma as to how to draw the boundaries of what creates a nation. This pre-requisite often comes in the form of either similarities in origin, ethnicity, culture and willingness to partake in the membership of a “nation”. This is contrasted with the concept of “states” as states such as the Native American Iroqouis, whom although are a “nation” have no presiding political autonomy over themselves. Second, nationalism is defined as active conscious decisions made by members of a “nation” when aiming to maintain their national sovereignty and independence. The key focus in this definition is sovereignty, and its prerequisites (needing absolute control over internal and external decisions, otherwise known as full statehood or quasi-statehood) is sufficient. Hence, geographic dominance over a nation’s territorial parameters has been seen as a necessary feature to achieving “full statehood”, which inevitably results in nationalistic prerequisites being fulfilled for sovereignty & nationalism. This is contrasted with the first definition of nationalism, based on the notion of culture and values versus geography. History has itself shown many examples of socially cohesive nations as well as socially conflicting nations. This leads to the formation of the debate as to whether nationalism is a source of social cohesion or of
Open Document