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   Course Title    Theories of Nationalism
Lecturer    Viktoria Sereda, Ostap Sereda
Institution    Lviv Theological Academy
Country    Ukraine


Course Description:

Nations and nationalisms often were overlooked by those, who study society and culture. For example, sociologists, who belonged to the Marxist tradition, believed that national relations are less important than social-economic ones and others resulting from them. They also thought that national identity is a manifestation of “false consciousness” and therefore should not be considered as an important social phenomenon. As ?. Billig argues “in orthodox sociology we find a narrow understanding of nationalism", that orthodox theories would rather focus on "societies" than on "nations". At the same time, during the last decade Nationalism Studies has been very much influenced by Cultural Studies, and the development of a post-structuralist paradigm opened a new unexplored areas. As Elley and Suny noticed, Nationalism Studies developed from social history research to the exploration of cultural representations. Simultaneously, a "deideologisation" of Nationalism Studies terminology took place and there came an understanding that nationalism is a very ambivalent and "multifaceted’ phenomenon.

This course uses a "wide" (in contrast to "narrow") definition of nationalism, and treats it as a multi-form and multi-sided political, social and cultural phenomenon, in which can be found ideologies of any type – from left-extremist to right-conservative. This course is not aimed at tracing a linear history of the development of a "single" theory of nationalism. Instead it is designed as a critical overview of various concepts and paradigms. Therefore stress is made on a pluralistic, "multi-voice" approach to the conceptualization of the phenomenon of nationalism.

Role of the course in overall degree program

This is an optional course of the MA program in Sociology and Cultural Studies. It helps students acquire essential theoretical background and develop practical skills of research in the sphere of Nationalism studies. The course brings together historical, sociological and cultural studies approaches. Therefore, the course "Theories of Nationalism" is closely tied to the following core courses of both MA programs as "History and theory of sociology", "Qualitative methods of sociological research", "Quantitative methods of sociological research", "Anthropology of culture". Nationalism studies belongs to interdisciplinary fields, therefore our course will share some topics and overlap in some themes covered by the greater part of optional courses in both MA programs:

  • "Political sociology", "Sociology of small groups", "Sociology of Culture", "Sociology of gender", "Sociology of mass communication", "Sociology of Religion", etc. – MA Program in Sociology and Cultural Studies;
  • "Mass and everyday culture", "Gender studies", "Sociolinguistics", "Post-colonialism in culture", "History and Memory", others - MA Program in Cultural Studies;

Aim of the course:

  1. to introduce students to the main theoretical interpretations of nationalism, their typologies and classifications.
  2. to establish links between approaches and theories developed by Ukrainian and Western "schools" of Nationalism studies
  3. to stimulate students to assess critically sociological, politological and cultural studies concepts of nationalism
  4. to teach students to analyze, interpret and deconstruct social texts (sources), which are used by different societies as nation-formation elements

Methods used:

Traditional -

  • Lecture (will be used to introduce students to the topic that is studied and to explain selected aspects of the theme). Lectures take no more than 1/3 of classroom time (with a few topics being an exception).

Interactive -

  • presentations (presentation of some topics, articles, research results by students),
  • group work (groups of students will be assigned some in-class or out-of-class research tasks followed by presentation and discussion of the results),
  • discussions and debates (using different active learning methods and rules for debates) on pre-defined "hot issues" in the field of nationalism studies,
  • case studies (analysis of different case studies; giving students a case to resolve),
  • round-tables (students present their projects or final papers and discuss them with their peers),
  • self-evaluation (students will be given a possibility to mark presentations of their colleagues at the roundtable),
  • critical review of mandatory readings (each class students would have to submit 1-2 pages critical review of mandatory literature assigned for this class, which will be graded by the teacher),
  • utilization of audio-visual materials (quotations from interviews, pictures, photographs, illustrations, advertisements, documentary films, Internet web-sites and other audio-visual materials will be used during classes),
  • excursions (to historical museums and different historical monuments will be used during classes).

2/3 of classroom time will be used for seminar discussions (where active learning methods will be applied).

 

Evaluation

The course will be evaluated according to the following criteria and a 100-point scale will be used:

Criteria

Maximum points

Minimum to pass

Preparation for seminars and participation in discussions

15 ? 2 = 30

15

Critical review of reading

15 ? 1 = 15

8

Presentation

 

10

5

Final paper:

  • Final paper presentation at the round table
  • Final paper assessment

5

40

3

20

Total

100

51

Table displaying rules for transferring of points into mark and credit:

Points

Mark

Credits

100-86

5

Yes

85-71

4

Yes

70-51

3

Yes

50-30

2

No

29 and less

1

No

Course Structure

 

Topics

Lectures

(hours)

Seminars

(Hours)

Homework

Field research

Reading

Topic 1. Introduction. Definition of basic terminology used within the framework of Nationalism Studies. Definitions and typologies

1,5

0,5

0

4

Basic theories and methods

Topic 2. History of Nationalism Studies. Ukrainian school of "naciology" (Nationalism Studies)

1,5

0,5

0

4

Topic 3. Ethnicity and nationalism. Ethno-sociology

0,5

1,5

0

4

Topic 4. Nationalism and modernization: theories of E.Gellner and B.Anderson

1

1,5

0

6

Topic 5. Political and ideo-centric interpretations of nationalism

0,5

1,5

0

4

Topic 6. Communication and economic interpretations of nationalism

0,5

1,5

0

4

Topic 7. Methods, procedures, and technique used in Nationalism Studies research

1

1

0

4

Interpretations of key issues of Nationalism Studies

Topic 8. Elite and masses in shaping of nations

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 9. Nationalism as a cultural codification

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 10. Construction and deconstruction of the nation: discursive analysis of nationalism

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 11. Nationalism, construction of collective memory and "national tradition"

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 12. Gender dimension of nationalism

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 13. Nationalism in colonial and post-colonial space

0,5

1,5

2

4

Topic 14. Nationalism and religion

0,5

1,5

0

4

Topic 15. Nationalism versus totalitarianism and liberalism. Radical forms of nationalism

0,5

1,5

0

4

Topic 16. Localization of the Ukrainian case in the theoretical framework of Nationalism Studies

0

0

0

4

Topic 17. Summary. Reconceptualization of a nation.

0,5

1,5

0

4

11

21,5

10

74

Round Table

0

2

0

0

To download the detailed schedule of courses click here.

 



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