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T.K. Oommen


T.K. Oommen


ISBN 9788131608807
Publication Year 2017
Pages 280 pages
Binding Hardback
Sale Territory India Only

About the Book

Most interpretations of ethnicity concentrate either on particular societies or on specific dimensions of ‘world society’. This work takes quite a different approach, arguing that variations within and across societies are vital for understanding contemporary dilemmas of ethnicity. The author aims to develop a new analysis of the relation between the nation on the one hand, and ethnicity and citizenship on the other. 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 as a set of obligations, a role they are expected to play. Analyses of three historical situations – 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.


Part I: The Conceptual Kit: The Search for Clarity

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 Rapprochement: Concepts and Reality

9. Reconceptualizing Nation and Nationality: The Importance of Territory and Language

10. Class, Nation, Ethnie and Race: Interlinkages

11. Reconciling Nationality and Ethnicity: The Role of Citizenship

About the Author / Editor

T. K. Oommen is a Professor at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, and former President of the International Sociological Association.