Why plumage matters
Author: Rodney Barker

This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict.

This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire
Author: Katie Pickles

Through a study of the British Empire's largest women's patriotic organisation, formed in 1900 and still in existence, this book examines the relationship between female imperialism and national identity. It throws light on women's involvement in imperialism; on the history of ‘conservative’ women's organisations; on women's interventions in debates concerning citizenship and national identity; and on the history of women in white settler societies. After placing the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) in the context of recent scholarly work in Canadian, gender and imperial history, and post-colonial theory, the book follows the IODE's history through the twentieth century. Chapters focus upon the IODE's attempts to create a British Canada through its maternal feminist work in education, health, welfare and citizenship. In addition, the book reflects on the IODE's responses to threats to Anglo-Canadian hegemony posed by immigration, World Wars and Communism, and examines the complex relationship between imperial loyalty and settler nationalism. Tracing the organisation into the postcolonial era, where previous imperial ideas are outmoded, it considers the transformation from patriotism to charity, and the turn to colonisation at home in the Canadian North.

Open Access (free)
Rodney Barker

2 Cultivating identity Taking people seriously; what you see is what you get A can of paint can be sold with the slogan ‘It does just what it says on the tin.’ People are more than paint, but what can be seen and heard matters in social life. I have made the democratic empirical assumption that feathers and flags, clothes and gestures, voice and manners, and all the other expressions and features of identity, are not signs of who people are; they are what people, as social beings, are, and constitute their social identity

in Cultivating political and public identity
A centuries-old dream?
Author: Alex J. Bellamy

This book assesses the formation of Croatian national identity in the 1990s. It develops a novel framework, calling into question both primordial and modernist approaches to nationalism and national identity, before applying that framework to Croatia. In doing so, the book provides a new way of thinking about how national identity is formed and why it is so important. An explanation is given of how Croatian national identity was formed in the abstract, via a historical narrative that traces centuries of yearning for a national state. The book shows how the government, opposition parties, dissident intellectuals and diaspora groups offered alternative accounts of this narrative in order to legitimise contemporary political programmes based on different versions of national identity. It then looks at how these debates were manifested in social activities as diverse as football, religion, economics and language. This book attempts to make an important contribution to both the way we study nationalism and national identity, and our understanding of post-Yugoslav politics and society.

‘Are you still my brother?’
Author: Simha Goldin

In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of

Alex J. Bellamy

1 National identity and the ‘great divide’ According to Tom Nairn, ‘the reason why the dispute between modernists and primordialists is not resolved is because it is irresolvable’.1 This is because the two approaches place different emphases on different aspects of identity formation. Nairn described the so-called ‘Warwick debate’, between Anthony Smith and Ernest Gellner, as a ‘courteous difference of emphasis’.2 He insisted that the debate provided an inadequate set of approaches to the problem of nation formation and that there appeared to be little prospect

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Alex J. Bellamy

4 Contemporary accounts of Croatian national identity According to Benedict Anderson , ‘communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined’.1 This chapter investigates how the Croatian nation was imagined in the 1990s. It focuses on four sets of accounts that attempted to provide contemporary resonance to the abstract frames of national identity discussed in the previous chapter. These accounts attempted to either interpret what it meant to be Croatian in order to secure support for a political

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Claudia Merli and Trudi Buck

This article considers the contexts and processes of forensic identification in 2004 post-tsunami Thailand as examples of identity politics. The presence of international forensic teams as carriers of diverse technical expertise overlapped with bureaucratic procedures put in place by the Thai government. The negotiation of unified forensic protocols and the production of estimates of identified nationals straddle biopolitics and thanatocracy. The immense identification task testified on the one hand to an effort to bring individual bodies back to mourning families and national soils, and on the other hand to determining collective ethnic and national bodies, making sense out of an inexorable and disordered dissolution of corporeal as well as political boundaries. Individual and national identities were the subject of competing efforts to bring order to,the chaos, reaffirming the cogency of the body politic by mapping national boundaries abroad. The overwhelming forensic effort required by the exceptional circumstances also brought forward the socio-economic and ethnic disparities of the victims, whose post-mortem treatment and identification traced an indelible divide between us and them.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Jamie Heckert

5 Jamie Heckert Sexuality/identity/politics1 Introduction At an anarchist discussion group, I confessed to working for the council. I explained that I felt justified because the sexual health programme in which I was involved was so incredibly progressive. The person to whom I had made this admission replied, rather haughtily, ‘I hardly think sex education is revolutionary.’ Putting aside the idea that something is only worthwhile if it will bring on ‘the revolution’, I was concerned with the apparent attitude that sex education cannot be ‘anarchist’. Perhaps

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)
Amikam Nachmani

nation. Dogu Ergil supplies a fascinating description of the efforts to supply an alternative Turkish ideology to the so-called defunct past: In the absence of a medieval high culture that could be labeled “Turkish”, the nationalist elite found their glory in a history that never was. The search for, and consolidation of, a new national identity were carried to such extremes in the 1930s that theories like the Sun Theory of Language were concocted. According to this “theory”, all languages emerged out of Turkish. As a reminder of those days, the

in Turkey: facing a new millennium