Friday, December 4, 2009

Post-, Inter-, & Trans-

(This post is for extra credit.)

This week we were introduced (as well as reintroduced) to several terms: nationalism, postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Personally, I had a difficult time distinguishing between postnationalism, internationalism, and transnationalism. Nationalism is easy to define because we have already learned about it in Hobsbawm's Age of Empire as well as Piotr's lectures. Nationalism is characteristic of a society or culture who closely identifies itself with the nation that governs it. Such a society exhbits immense pride and favor of itself and its nation.

Postnationalism is used to describe the mentality of societies and cultures that have moved away from (if they were originally in), or do not exhibit, a nationalistic mentality. Instead, a society that exhibits a postnationalistic mentality would be a society where national pride is relatively weak or non-existent. Such a society may have lost its nationalistic mentality in favor of international "solidarities", as Bamyeh calls them. These solidarities are causes and identities that link groups together. Global solidarities are necessarily related to postnationalism.

Internationalism is (according to my reading) a semi-nationalism at the international level. That is, an internationalistic society/nation, or an internationalistic world system that still has some characteristics of nationalism, but they/it see(s) the importance and benefits of a world system for its (i.e. respective nations) own good.

Transnationalism is (again, according to my humble reading) closer to postnationalism, as internationalism is to nationalism. A transnational world system would mean that borders and cleavages between nations are loose and relatively unimportant. It is often said that globalization is closely related to transnationalism, because the globalization of capitalism knows no (or at least finds ways to flow through) borders.

-Stefan Larson

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