Citizenship, Nationality and Ethnicity: Reconciling Competing Identities
January 1997, Polity
Oommen conceives of the nation as a product of a fusion of territory and language. He demonstrates that neither religion nor race determines national identities. As territory is seminal for a nation to emerge and exist, the dissociation between people and their 'homeland' makes them an ethnie. Citizenship is conceptualized both as a status to which nationals and ethnies ought to be entitled and a set of obligations, a role they are expected to play.
Analyses of three historical episodes - colonialism and European expansion, Communist internationalism and the nation-state and its project of cultural unity - are examined to provide the empirical content of the argument.
This book will be essential reading for second-year undergraduates and above in the areas of sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.
1. Introducing the Argument.
2. Rethinking Citizenship, Nationality and Ethnicity.
3. Avoiding Conflations and Subsumptions.
4. Race and Religion: Untenable Factors in Nation Formation.
Part II: The Empirical Process: The Trajectory of Ethnification: .
5. Colonialism and European Expansion.
6. Proletarian Internationalism and the Socialist State.
7. The Nation-State and Project Homogenization.
8. Immigration and the Chauvinism of Prosperity.
Part III: Towards a Rapproachment: Concepts and Reality: .
9. Reconceptualizing Nation and Nationality: The Cruciality of Territory and Language.
10. Class, Nation, Ethnie and Race: Interlinkages.
11. Reconciling Nationality and Ethnicity: The Role of Citizenship.
* Oommen discusses ethnicity in relation to both the notion of the nation and the notion of citizenship.
* Unlike many comparable works which concentrate on Europe and the US, this book offers more of a global sweep, discussing ethnic and cultural divisions in Asia and Africa.
"This book is written in simple language and is therefore useful for lay readers in addition to the specialists ... the book is a work of outstanding scholarship." Social Action
"This important new book from a distinguished Indian sociologist seeks to grapple with questions of ethnicity and nationality through a detailed exercise of conceptual clarification. An impressively vast historical and comparative canvas forms the background and basis of this attempt at sweeping away the dusty cobwebs of historical and sociological scholarship, and disentangling the often confused discourse around these concepts." Economic and Political Weekly
"There is considerable wisdom in Oommen's argument ... illustrated with a wide range of examples." American Journal of Sociology