With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.

Culture and Nation

Culture and nation

Introduction

Culture and nation are inextricably linked. For the social scientist, that is both an advantage and a disadvantage. On the one hand, nations are frequently construed as being culturally homogeneous groupings which, as often as not, are territorially defined such that its members believe they have the right of political self-determination; hence, the (con)fusion of nation and state. On the other hand, much of the academic writing on nations and nationalism focuses on the lack of fit between culture and nation, even to the point of questioning the validity of the concept ‘nation itself. Conventionally, the culture-nation nexus becomes a taken-for-granted one such that the world can be construed as dividing into self-defining ‘national cultures which are then mapped on ...

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