National Expression and Diversity in Europe: Nationhood and Belonging

By Gabriella Elgenius.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The ‘national day’ is one of many collective ceremonies by which nations and states project and advertise themselves to members as well as to non-members. Though public festivals have always existed, the embrace between the nation and the state produced a novel and unique kind of ceremony in honour of the perceived birth of the national community. National days have therefore come to constitute containers of institutionalized practices engaging national communities in reviving their mythology and golden ages. The link between collective identities and collective ceremonies is central in this context, as the study of national ceremonies provides us with insight into the construction and re-construction of nationhood. This article will explore the diversity of national expressions and the appeal of belonging to national communities.

Keywords: Nationalism and Nationhood in Europe,, National and Ethnic Symbolism,, National Rituals,, Dominant Cultures and Multicultural Societies

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.153-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 914.559KB).

Dr Gabriella Elgenius

Research Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, University of Oxford, UK

Gabriella Elgenius, BA, MSc PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology at University of Oxford, where she has also given the postgraduate course in Qualitative Research Methods. Gabriella is currently working with Professor Anthony Heath (Nuffield College) on an ESRC funded project evaluating whether or not traditional identities are in decline. She was previously a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, and gave the courses on Politics of Identity: Culture & Conflict and Nationalism, Racism and Ethnic Conflicts. As a Marie Curie Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science, Gabriella completed her PhD entitled Expressions of Nationhood: National Symbols & Ceremonies in Contemporary Europe under the supervision of Professor Anthony D. Smith. She is currently preparing to submit her book – Symbols of Nationalism –to Palgrave Macmillan. Gabriella’s main research interests include: nationalism, ethnicity, national and ethnic identities in Europe, collective symbolism, Diaspora communities and the transformation of class and national identities in Britain. Publications include: (with Heath and Martin) “The Decline of Traditional Social Identities”, British Social Attitudes: The 22nd Report (National Centre for Social Research, 2007); “The Appeal of Nationhood: Celebrating and Commemorating the Nation” (Sturm & Young (eds.) Nationalism in a Global Era: The Persistence of Nations, Routledge, 2007); “From Pre-modern symbolism to National Symbolism: a study of flags over time” (Hylland Eriksen & Jenkins (eds.), National Flags, Routledge, 2007); “National Days and Nation-building: a contemporary survey” (Eriksonas & Müller (eds.), Statehood Beyond Ethnicity, Peter Lang, 2005); Forthcoming publications include the monograph Symbols of Nationalism (Palgrave-Macmillan); and several journal articles including: “Politics of Recognition and Independence: doing away with the ‘herring-salad’”, and “The Meaning of Class in Contemporary Britain” (with Anthony F. Heath).


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