- ‘Nations’ as constructs
- Britishness as identity
- ‘Great British…’ shows
- Sports media
Nationality includes three parts: Nationality, Ethnicity and Religion.
A nation is an imagined community, an ideological construct which is changeable and fluid. Nations are socio-politcal and territorial entities which also encourage our culture and our identities.
‘What is a nation? And the answer, you can imagine, is not simple, its history cannot be easily limited. The concept cannot be confused with that of people, nor with that of race, nor with that of State, even if in each step it meets them and leads to the worst misunderstandings’ (Derrida, 1987)
While nations are socially constructed, they are very important and very real in their consequences. Around the world, different nations have different levels of tolerance or acceptance of issues regarding sexuality or gender. Wage gaps and even internet use differ across different nations.
With Brexit in the UK (2016) there is a problem regarding discrimination and division between people of varying nationalities. School children are asked to disclose their nationality and hate crime and crimes relating to religion and race rose following the referendum.
Throughout the media we see headlines referring to race and nationality frequently.
‘It isn’t in our nature to be so openly sentimental; we aren’t a pledge of allegiance kind of place. The irony and self-mockery so enduring in our identity have fallen away in favour of bunting and buns, and what we are left with is a new wave of World War II-ish togetherness. It’s a great time to be a monarch or a television executive, but a slightly disconcerting one to be a citizen.’ (Ross 2013)
London 2012 Olympics (Sport and National Identity)
Inclusion has been re-defined with the emergence of multiculturalism as a central characteristic of a new British identity. This new approach seeks to integrate different cultures and traditions into a ‘creative’ society that has distanced itself from its imperial past and the rigid social hierarchies that were intimately associated with it. Noticeably the 2012 Olympic logo… has largely eschewed the patriotic, flag-waving colour palette(red, white and blue), in favour of vivid, jarring greens and pinks. One marketing expert interprets this refusal of the ‘obvious’ colour choices in terms of London as a diverse metropolis’ (MacRury and Poynter 2010: 2961-2)
Football is a highly popular sport that shows how people strongly identify with their nationality. It is easier to imagine nation in terms of sport because usually nations are competing against each other with sport environments.
‘Each state is in permanent competitions with other countries, other nations… So that each state has nothing before it other than an indefinite future of struggles. Politics has now to deal with an irreducible multiplicity of states struggling and competing in a limited history… The State is its own finality’(Foucault1988:151)