Ethnicity, Identity, and Nationhood

Kwame Gyekye

in Tradition and Modernity

Published in print November 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112252
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853069 | DOI:
Ethnicity, Identity, and Nationhood

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In the elaboration of the issues and facts about ethnicity, nation-building and identity, the author starts with the different conceptions of the term nation: as an ethnocultural community and as a multinational state. Debates regarding the origin of ethnicity are then presented. It is suspected that the term is only an invented notion of a set of individuals; instead, these clusters should be called communocultural groups. These speculations are utilized in the attempt to build a nation. During the “construction” period, a theory called “metanationality” is formed. Such argument proposes that a multicultural nationhood is mainly comprised of individuals (who have common interests, cultural orientations and history), and not by “ethnic” classifications. Thus, this metanational status is essentially another sense of nationhood, and from this homeland, inhabitants begin to form their identity — both at the micro and the macro levels.

Keywords: ethnicity; nation-building; identity; ethnocultural community; multinational state; communocultural groups; metanationality

Chapter.  20059 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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