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Beyond National Identity: Collective Schemata of the Nation in Thirty-three Countries
Unformatted Document Text:  Beyond National Identity: Collective Schemata of the Nation in Thirty-three Countries Bart Bonikowski, Sociology Department, Princeton University Please note: The original paper was 87 pages long. In the interest of brevity, a considerable amount of detail was omitted from the present draft. For much of the 20 th century nationalism research has focused predominantly on elite ideologies and institutional processes of state- and nation-building rather than on popular attitudes. Hobsbawm was one of the first to point out the inadequacy of this approach when he wrote that “official ideologies of states and movements are not guides to what it is in the minds of even the most loyal citizens or supporters” (1990: 11). In the last decade, the study of popular nationalist attitudes has finally captured the attention of comparative sociologists, who have begun making use of the newly available multi-country data sets to examine cross-national variation in nationalist attitudes. However, most of these studies have been limited to basic comparisons of mean responses to survey items. Their research designs have not incorporated important insights from psychology and cultural sociology about the relational nature of meaning (DiMaggio 1997; Mohr 1998) nor have they absorbed the findings of critical historians that stress the within- country heterogeneity of nationalist ideologies (R. Smith 1988, 1993). The present paper seeks to extend these comparative survey studies of nationalism by moving beyond simple comparisons of variable means. Instead of focusing on individual attitudinal measures, the study will analyze patterns of relations between them, and instead of accepting a single sociological (or psychological) definition of nationalism, it will conceptualize the phenomenon in broad and inclusive terms. The main objective of the paper will be to compare the structure of the multiple dimensions of popular nationalism across nations. In the process, it will attempt to revise the dominant distinction in the sociology of nationalism between the ostensibly benign and cosmopolitan civic nationalism of Western Europe and the allegedly provincial and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the rest of the world (Kohn 1944; A. Smith 1

Authors: Bonikowski, Bart.
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Beyond National Identity: Collective Schemata of the Nation in Thirty-three Countries
Bart Bonikowski, Sociology Department, Princeton University
Please note: The original paper was 87 pages long.  In the interest of brevity, a considerable 
amount of detail was omitted from the present draft.
For much of the 20
th
 century nationalism research has focused predominantly on elite ideologies 
and institutional processes of state- and nation-building rather than on popular attitudes. 
Hobsbawm was one of the first to point out the inadequacy of this approach when he wrote that 
“official ideologies of states and movements are not guides to what it is in the minds of even the 
most loyal citizens or supporters” (1990: 11).  In the last decade, the study of popular nationalist 
attitudes has finally captured the attention of comparative sociologists, who have begun making 
use of the newly available multi-country data sets to examine cross-national variation in 
nationalist attitudes.  However, most of these studies have been limited to basic comparisons of 
mean responses to survey items.  Their research designs have not incorporated important insights 
from psychology and cultural sociology about the relational nature of meaning (DiMaggio 1997; 
Mohr 1998) nor have they absorbed the findings of critical historians that stress the within-
country heterogeneity of nationalist ideologies (R. Smith 1988, 1993).  
The present paper seeks to extend these comparative survey studies of nationalism by 
moving beyond simple comparisons of variable means.  Instead of focusing on individual 
attitudinal measures, the study will analyze patterns of relations between them, and instead of 
accepting a single sociological (or psychological) definition of nationalism, it will conceptualize 
the phenomenon in broad and inclusive terms.  The main objective of the paper will be to 
compare the structure of the multiple dimensions of popular nationalism across nations.   In the 
process, it will attempt to revise the dominant distinction in the sociology of nationalism between 
the ostensibly benign and cosmopolitan civic nationalism of Western Europe and the allegedly 
provincial and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the rest of the world (Kohn 1944; A. Smith 
1


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