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Foundations of National Identity: From Catalonia to Europe

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Volume 19

New Directions in Anthropology

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Foundations of National Identity

From Catalonia to Europe

Josep Llobera†

226 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-612-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2004)

ISBN  978-1-84545-042-7 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (July 2005)

eISBN 978-1-78920-590-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Josep Llobera’s new book is an untypical addition to the literature on nationalism. A Catalan anthropologist writing about Catalonia and Europe, Llobera is analytical and engaged in about equal measures, exploring new opportunities for national identities within the emerging structural framework of the European Union…Llobera’s engaged and original book is a welcome addition to the macro-anthropology of European nationalisms, raising old questions with a new twist and combining, surprisingly successfully, the roles of anthropologist and national chronicler.”  · JRAI


Since it emergence in the 19th century in response to feudalism, nationalism has been a mixed blessing. Originally seen as a positive force, often enough it has resulted in warfare and persecution of minorities, so much so that, over time, it has been considered a social evil whose apparent decline has been greeted as a positive development. The author disputes this or rather, he maintains that the picture that emerges is more complex: nationalism is not disappearing but has taken on a different form. What we are experiencing is an increasing autonomy of ethnonations, i.e. nations without a state, in the wake of a weakening of the multinational states and the transfer of their sovereignty upwards, in the case of Europe to the federation of the European Union, and downwards to the "ethnonations."

Catalonia is the major case study in this book but it is embedded in a comprehensive theoretical framework as well as the historical and contemporary reality of Europe, opening up a new perspective. The author, one of the foremost scholars in this field, brilliantly succeeds in developing an original, clear and comprehensive vision of nationalism that is accessible to a wide readership.

Josep R. Llobera† was born in Havana and brought up in Catalonia. He made Britain his home in 1969. He was Visiting Professor of Anthropology at University College London and at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Subject: General Anthropology
Area: Europe




Chapter 1. The Building-blocks of Nationhood. A Theoretical Approach to Catalonia
Chapter 2. National Sentiments as the Ultimate Reality. A Comparison between Catalonia and Poland
Chapter 3. What's in a Name? Kinship, Religion and Territory in the Making of Catalan National Identity
Chapter 4. National Character: Myth and Reality. The Case of Catalonia
Chapter 5. God Giveth Them Glory, for They Speaketh the Native Tongue. Case Studies of French and English
Chapter 6. The Stuff that Culture is Made of. From the National to the Global
Chapter 7. Distant Splendours, Latter-day Miseries: the Role of Historical Memory in Catalonia
Chapter 8. Does Nationalism Lead Inevitably to Conflict and Violence? The Role of Political Elites in Catalonia
Chapter 9. The Future of Nations in a United Europe. A Comparison between Spain and the United Kingdom
Chapter 10. Explaining National Identity: a Theoretical Closure


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