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My people right or wrong?: a comparative analysis of national sentiments and their meaning
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In a world of presumed nation-states, nation has been, and still is, an intrinsic part of political legitimization and identity formation. Thus, it is clear that the understanding of nationality and people's relationship too it is of great importance for our understanding of how a stable society, partly built on nationality, can prevail in a world of migration consisting of individuals with diverging moral, religious and cultural conceptions. This thesis examines national sentiments in a cross-country comparative perspective. It consists of an introductory chapter and five articles.

The first objective is to study the relationship between policy regimes and supposedly related national sentiments. The question is whether there are differences in national sentiments that can be derived from differences in policy regimes or whether there are more universal features to be found. In examining this we have the possibility to further understand what factors that help to create and sustain national sentiments. The second objective is to study the relation between different national sentiments and other complex attitudes such as xenophobia and protectionism. This includes the study of national identities as well as of nationalism.

The following conclusions are drawn. First, it appears that we need to reconsider the almost taken for granted assumption of a correspondence between regime types prevalent in a certain society and people's sentiments towards such a society. Second, there exist substantial cross­country similarities in the effect that different national sentiments have. It is shown that people who have more civic forms of national sentiments are clearly less inclined to hold derogatory preconceptions about people perceived as not belonging to the group, compared the ideas held by those who have more ethnic national sentiments. Moreover, the findings also supply empirical evidence supporting the notion that a clear-cut positive nationalism can never exist.

All in all, it is shown that multicultural ideas are something worth striving for on an individual level. Moreover, the results seem to indicate that a liberal form of multiculturalism is preferable to a more communitarian version, which is explored and supported in the normative exposé of the two forms of multiculturalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2000. , 51 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 13
Keyword [en]
national sentiment, national identity, nationalism, attitudes, multiculturalism, nation, xenophobia, comparative research
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84718ISBN: 91-7191-759-4OAI: diva2:688674
Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Hjerm, Mikael
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