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Explaining monoculturalism: beyond Gellner's theory of nationalism

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For Ernest Gellner, nationalism occurs in the modern period because industrial societies, unlike agrarian ones, need homogenous languages and cultures in order to work efficiently. Thus, states and intelectuals mobilize capaigns of asimilation through public education and the culture industries. Gellner's theory, however, fails to explain all forms of nationalism, is overly materialistic, and at times relies on dubious functionalist explanations. A more satisfactory theory would take into account the cultural content of nationalism -- not only myths, but political culture -- as well as phenomena of identity and collective action.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23316/

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