National identity and the 'other'
Title: National identity and the 'other'
Author: TRIANDAFYLLIDOU, Anna
Citation: Ethnic and racial studies, 1998, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 593-612
ISSN: 0141-9870; 1466-4356
This article explores the role of others in the (re-)definition of national identity. A brief review of dominant theories of nationalism shows that the existence of the 'other' is an implicit assumption made by most scholars. Nevertheless, the relationship between the nation and the other remains largely unexplored. However, national identity is defined not only from within, namely from the features that fellow-nationals share in common but also from without, that is, through distinguishing and differentiating the nation from other nations or ethnic groups. National identity becomes meaningful only through the contrast with others. This article introduces the notion of 'significant others' to investigate the ways in which others may condition the formation or lead to a transformation of the identity of the ingroup. The Macedonian question and the emergence of a new Greek nationalism is used as a case-study to highlight the role of significant others in shaping the identity of the nation.
Published online: 02 Dec 2010
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