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Surak, Kristin (2012) 'Nation-Work: A Praxeology of Making and Maintaining Nations.' European Journal of Sociology, 53 (2). pp. 171-204.

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This article bridges the literatures on nationalist projects and everyday nationhood by elucidating a repertoire of actions shared by both. Analysis of such “nation-work” contributes to the cognitive turn in ethnicity and nationalism research by showing how ethnonational categorization operates. The author distinguishes three types of categorization processes at play: (1) we-they distinctions are made across ethnonational groups, (2) these ethnonational distinctions are further specified by linking them with non-ethnonational categories such as gender and class, and (3) differentiations are made within the same ethnonational category by distinguishing exemplary from less exemplary members of the category. Through historical and ethnographic analyses of the tea ceremony in Japan, the author shows how distinctions drawn across national boundaries help select the characteristics of national membership. Yet while nationalism may project an image of a homogeneous “we,” internal heterogeneity is crucial for refining the experience and performance of membership in the nation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: nationalism, ethnicity, culture, categorization, Japan
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
ISSN: 00039756
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2014 13:37

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