Immigrants and national identity in Europe

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Publication Date 2001
ISBN 0-415-25728-X
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Book abstract:

This book examines the role of 'others', defined as groups or individuals not belonging to the 'ingroup', in the formation and evolution of national identities. 'Others' can be nations, ethnic groups and immigrant communities. The book both reviews the main theories of nationalism and also provides empirical analysis through case studies on immigration in Greece, Italy and Spain.

The book is consequently divided into two sections. The first section gives a critical review of earlier works about national identity. It maintains that the role of the 'Other' in the emergence and formation of nations is recognised, however, this has not been explicitly theorised. A new theoretical perspective from which to analyse national identity is therefore proposed. This is followed by the construction of a typology of Significant Others in order to study the complex dynamics that condition the relationships between the nation and its Significant Others. The first part of the second section begins with examination of the specific character of immigrants as Others who challenge the political and cultural order of their nation. This is followed by analysis of the process and effects of the influx of immigrants from central and eastern Europe and the Third World towards Greece, Italy and Spain in the last decade. The next chapter analyses press material, in which themes and dimensions of national identity are represented, followed by a look at political discourse about immigration in Greece, Italy and Spain.

The book is aimed at scholars and students of Sociology and Social Psychology, working in the fields of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Ethnic and Race Relations, Immigration Studies, and Southern European Politics and International Relations. Anna Triandafyllidou is co-ordinating a research project on immigration policy at the European University Institute in Florence.

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