Banal nationalism in practice: Everyday nationalist stories from a small town in Denmark

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Abstract

One of the most important political issues today is the recent upsurge in identity politics and nationalism in Denmark and the western world. In a short period of time, Denmark has turned from being a relatively open, liberal and tolerant society into a nation marked by cultural racism, xenophobia and a radical shift to the right. Many studies of the new configuration of nationalism in Denmark and Europe tend to explain this alarming trend through the emergence of a number of extreme right wing organizations and anti-immigrants groups. These are often regarded as key actors in the very visible construction of negative representations of ‘others' in e.g. the media and public discourses. This paper takes the opposite perspective. I will argue that what have been quite underestimated and unrecognized is how banal and mundane practices in everyday life (re)produce political discourses and nationalism. The paper falls into four parts. First, I outline the problem in a broader European context. Second, the paper extends and elaborates on concepts such as everyday life nationalism, social poetics of the nation-state and banal nationalism. Third, the paper illustrates, on the basis of an interview analysis of narratives constructions of nationalism conducted in a medium-sized Danish town, how nationalism is practised as part of everyday life stories in divergent ways. Fourth, I will make sense of how these banal narratives and very different perspectives on the nation can explain current forms of nationalism
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventNordic Geographers' Meeting - Geografisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway
Duration: 14 Jun 200717 Jun 2007
Conference number: 2

Conference

ConferenceNordic Geographers' Meeting
Number2
CountryNorway
CityGeografisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen
Period14/06/200717/06/2007

Keywords

  • Nationalism,
  • everyday life
  • kulturel racisme
  • identity

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