The Role Of Industrialisation, The Modern State And Ethnicity

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One of the most interesting, and sometimes most frustrating, traits of the phenomenon of nationalism and the nation is the fact that it has no single, clear definition for the subject upon which all authorities in the field agree. From what a nation is to what kindles the flame of nationalism that gives birth to them, every scholar to pick up the pen on the topic has their own view and their own answers to the various questions. This essay will be looking at some of those views and examining the role of industrialisation, the modern state and ethnicity in nation-building. Some of the approaches outlined will be illustrated through the real world cases of Britain and the Kurds.
In the study of nationalism, one of the major schools of thought is the Modernist one, represented by scholars such as Michael Mann, John Breuilly and of course Ernest Gellner. As their name suggests, modernists adamantly claim that nationalism is something that is entirely a feature of modern society. More specifically, modernism argues that nationalism emerged with the birth of the modern nation-state, which is to say, following the French Revolution of 1789. Modernism claims that nationalism will not take root in societies that lack a supreme authority to maintain the unity and stability, and a strong industrial economy. In the view of most modernist scholars, nationalism and the symbols it utilises in the process of nation-building are but a method of top-down control.
Gellner’s primary hypothesis
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