Value of (Expla) nation: Testing Modernist Theories of Nationalism
The aim of the research is empirical testing of the most prominent modernist theories of nationalism. These theories view nation-building and national identities as an outcome of transfer from traditional to modern societies and differ with regard to what spheres of modernity are considered the most relevant to nationalism. The study uses the integrated database of the third, fourth and fifth waves of the World Values Survey to test hypotheses derived from major modernist theories of nationalism. Results of country-level regression analysis show that nationalism is closer related to general value sets, such as tolerance of deviant behaviour than political attitudes. Regionally specific theories of nationalism are revealed to have the highest predictive power for a country average level of nationalism. Theories posing nationalism as challenged by local and cosmopolitan identities are rejected by empirical evidence of their positive interrelation. The results imply that contemporary nationalism is different from that of the early modernity reflected in modernist theories and suggests less strict choices and more hybridization of multiple identities. Keywords: nationalism, modernist theories of nationalism, modernity, modernization, national commitment, multiculturalism.
This monograph was developed as part of a larger research project entitled Peculiarities of National Identity of Lithuania and Belarus in the Context of European Integration, the aim of which was to conduct a comparative analysis of national identity in these two proximate but very different nation-states. The work was carried out by researchers at Belarusian State University (Minsk, Belarus), Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania) and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA). The research was conducted in accordance with an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on matters regarding cooperation in science and technology as determined by the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.
In the introduction to the archival publication of documents by Hans Kohn the editors point out that Ab Imperio had earlier engaged with the scholar’s legacy. Kohn’s lectures published in the journal were delivered in 1919 and 1943. The editors briefly discuss Kohn’s biography. Born in Prague, Kohn became involved in discussions of Zionism early in his life. He served in the Austro-Hungarian army and spent time in Russia (in southern Siberia) as a prisoner of war. The editors argue that his understanding of nationalism was shaped by his historical encounters. In particular, Kohn’s lifelong commitment to Zionism was a formative influence on his ideas about political community. Kohn’s early embrace of nationalism was connected to his hopes for Zionism and his search for a suitable political language for describing a national community. In 1943, Kohn, by then a professor of modern European history at Smith College, had behind him several years of life in Palestine, where he worked in Zionist organizations and studied the Arab world. He also carefully observed and reported on the rise of Nazism and Stalinism in Europe. Kohn’s lecture of 1943 reflects more distance from nationalism.
“Empire Speaks Out” is a result of the collaborative international research project whose participants aim to reconstruct the origin, development, and changing modes of self-description and representation of the heterogeneous political, social, and cultural space of the Russian Empire. The collection offers an alternative to the study of empire as an essentialized historical phenomenon, i.e. to those studies that construe empire retrospectively by projecting the categories of modern nation-centered social sciences onto the imperial past. It stresses dynamic transformations, adaptation, and reproduction of imperial patterns of sociability and governance. Chapters of the collection show how languages of rationalization derived from modern public politics, scientific discourses of applied knowledge (law, sociology, political economy, geography, ethnography, physical anthropology) and social self-organization influenced processes of transformation of the imperial space.
The diverse and contested nature of the contemporary skinhead scene makes it impossible to identify a single common body regime, or set of gender norms, characteristic of the skinhead (sub)culture. This chapter explores one example of how these fraternal bonds and spaces are constituted. It pays particular attention to practices of the body (individual and collective) within the group and how these practices were enacted to confirm its skinhead identity while shaping a particular regime of closeness and intimacy. It considers, firstly, the group as a particular form of fraternity based on homosocial bonds of friendship, closeness and (dis)trust. Secondly, the aesthetics and the ethics of intimacy within the group are discussed. In particular practices of displaying the – naked and bare – body of the skinhead are considered as well as tests of, and conflicts over, the meaning of the intimacies that these practices forge. Finally, the chapter explores these practices in the context of the wider and competing masculinities through which they are enacted.
Russia’s Skinheads: exploring and rethinking subcultural lives provides a through examination of the phenomenon of skinheads, explaining its nature and its significance, and assessing how far Russian skinhead subculture is at the “lumpen” end of the extreme nationalist ideological spectrum. There are large numbers of skinheads in Russia, responsible for a significant number of xenophobic attacks, including 97 deaths in 2008 alone, making this book relevant to Russian specialists as well as to sociologists of youth subculture. It provides a practical example of how to investigate youth subculture in depth over an extended period – in this case through empirical research following a specific group over six years – and goes on to argue that Russian skinhead subculture is not a direct import from the West, and that youth cultural practices should not be reduced to expressions of consumer choice. It presents an understanding of the Russian skinheads as a product of individuals` whole, and evolving, lives, and thereby compels sociologists to rethink how they conceive the nature of subcultures.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.