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Democracy and national imagination: Assumptions of identity and belonging in studies on democracy.
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society.
2001 (English)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 38, no 3-4, 40-70 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Until recently, questions of migration and ethnic relations were hardly discussed within political research on democracy. Categories such as 'nation', 'culture' and 'ethnicity' have been taken for granted, looked upon as self-evident and independent factors. Research on democracy has generally been permeated by what might be called 'national imagination', a nation-state-centred and ethnocentric paradigm, where homogenous national belongings and national borders have been assumed, advocated and legitimated as fundamental elements of political life. Within this kind of paradigm, ethnic minorities have been represented as fundamentally 'different' from the 'normality', that is ethnic majority populations. In general, phenomenon such as mix of cultures, border-crossing and migration have been portrayed as in itself abnormal, disrupting and problematic features of political life. The conclusion in the article is that it is necessary to question and to challenge hegemonic conceptions of identity and belonging in research on democracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 38, no 3-4, 40-70 p.
Keyword [en]
national imagination, democracy, racism, migration
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-48968OAI: diva2:269864
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Dahlstedt, Magnus
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Faculty of Arts and SciencesREMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society
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