Essay On National Identity

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This search for defining nation and nationalism goes along with the concept of identity. People need to know where they come from and what they share, in order to know who they are. It is a way of escaping uncertainty. As Stuart Hall observes, “Though they seem to invoke an origin in a historical past with which they continue to correspond, actually identities are about using the resources of history, language and culture in the process of becoming rather than being; not 'who we are' or 'where we have come from' so much as what we might become, how we have been represented and how that bears on how we might represent ourselves. Identities are therefore constituted within, not outside representation” (4). Consequently, what creates a nation,…show more content…
Heroes are persons, alive or dead, real or imaginary, who possess characteristics which are highly prized in a culture, and who thus serve as models for behaviour. Rituals are collective activities, technically superfluous in reaching desired ends, but which, within a culture, are considered as socially essential: they are therefore carried out for their own sake. Ways of greeting and paying respect to others social and religious ceremonies are examples”(7-8). “Symbols, heroes and rituals have been subsumed under “practices”. As such, they are visible to an outside observer; their cultural meaning, however, is invisible and lies precisely in the way they are interpreted by insiders. The core of culture is formed by “values”. Values are among the first thing children learn – not consciously, but implicitly” (7-8). Hofstede also argues that as almost everyone belongs to a number of different groups and chooses several identities as aforementioned. Therefore people also belong to different levels of culture: - A national level according to one’s country; - A regional and/or ethnic and/or religious and/or linguistic affiliation level, as most nations are composed of culturally different regions and/or ethnic and/or religious and/or language groups; - A gender

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