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Temporality and collectivity: Diversity, history and the rhetorical construction of national entitativity.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Social Psychology
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)657-682
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Vernacular representations of nationhood collected in England differed from canonical accounts of social categorization in three respects. First, nations were not typically constructed as simple person categories, but rather as hybrid collectivities of human beings, objects and geographical locations. Second, national representation was not confined to the present tense, but was typically conveyed through temporal distinctions and narratives. Third, speakers displayed a reflexive concern over the rationality and morality of national categorization and stereotyping. Speakers could manage the tension between the need to recognize both national diversity and entitativity by forging a distinction between Englishness (identified with homogeneity, ethnic nationalism and the past) and Britishness (identified with pluralism, civic nationalism and historical progress). However, accounts had a dilemmatic quality. The strategies speakers used to promote images of contemporary national in-group diversity often implicitly presupposed a normal moral order of national cultural homogeneity. The association of pluralism with values of progressive social change meant that accounts of `our' distinctive lack of national character could carry tacit implications of relative superiority. General implications for social identity approaches to social categorization are discussed

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology