National Identity

National identity links the personal identity of an individual and the identity of a nation, creating a sense of the nation as a cohesive whole, separated from the other, the foreigner, the stranger. This entry first examines the theoretical frameworks through which the concept of national identity has been analyzed, focusing on the perspectives of essentialism, constructivism, and modernism. Next, the three stages in the construction of national identity are described. The entry then explores the function of education as an instrument of socialization, emphasizing the way in which the teaching of history conveys a narrative to support national identity. In particular, it considers the role of teaching about a nation’s military past, in which wars play an important role in drawing the frontier of ...

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