Everyday Nationhood: Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism

Michael Skey

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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Published in 1995, Michael Billig’s Banal Nationalism is the fourth most cited text on nationalism and arguably the most influential book on the topic in the last two decades. Focusing on contemporary and everyday expressions of nationhood, the study marked a profound shift away from previous attempts to map the transformation to an era of nations and the association of nationalism with political violence, civil conflict and extremist movements.

Billig’s arguments have been picked up by scholars working in an impressive range of disciplines as part of the recent turn to the ‘everyday’, and the term ‘banal’ has come to form a short hand for the study of the ways in which particular representations, forms of social organisation and cultural practice become normalised and taken-for-granted.

While, however, there have been numerous journal papers and monographs that have made reference to Billig’s work, there has yet to be an in-depth, critical and comprehensive evaluation of the study or how it has impacted on both studies of nationalism and the social sciences as a whole. In the latter case, it’s worth noting that the Banal Nationalism thesis has not been made redundant by the burgeoning literature on globalisation but instead has been extended by scholars looking to theorise new forms of sociability, most notably Urry and Beck’s influential work on ‘banal globalism’ and ‘banal cosmopolitanism’, respectively.

This edited collection, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines, will assess the contribution of Billig’s work but, above all, draw on recent developments in theories of practice, material culture, media and communications and affect to highlight new developments in the field. These discussions will place it at the cutting edge of current research into social and cultural identities. Another key contribution will be the provision of a range of perspectives, including empirical research focusing on Canada, Hong Kong, Serbia, Turkey, Germany, the UK, Azerbaijan and the USA, thereby having the potential to engage a global audience of academics and social researchers. Finally, it will include a response from Michael Billig, which will draw together some of the main threads from the preceding chapters and further develop the appeal of the collection.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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