A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Definitions of Nationality

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Priscilla
Censura


Posts : 1757
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Definitions of Nationality   Tue 17 Jun 2014, 11:09

There is something insidious about nationality and sect labelling. In that section on forms that ask what group one considers one belongs to, I always put 'Humanoid' in the 'Other' check box. This upset a librarian no end so I asked if she was disputing my definition. Her confusion was amusing.

So, could Independent Scots still call themselves British? Is it also a term which is like Scandinavian? Currently, should we write English, British or even United Kingdomer in a nationality section - according to the Home Office there are several types of British. In my work I had to have precise definitions to hand; British Citizen was the correct one for such as myself. As for having to declare religion I recall once writing Protestant (this week, anyway).  Labels lead to war - even in the playground as  branded  trainers define the child.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5303
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Tue 17 Jun 2014, 15:04

The British face a similar dilemma to that with which people from the ex Soviet Union in its heyday had to struggle. Amongst fellow soviets the question of nationality was naturally assumed to refer to which soviet state they came from. To outsiders the default reverted simply to soviet first and possibly their state second, but primarily only to avoid being confused with "Russian" when they weren't Russian. Tofiq Bahramov, as a proud Azerbaijani, was always bemused by the British press's insistence on calling him "the Russian linesman" after Geoff Hurst's contentious goal in the 1966 World Cup Final. However when he tried on one occasion to explain to a British journalist that he was from Azerbaijan the journalist simply switched to calling him "the soviet linesman" from then on in the interview. Some nationalities, it seems, just struggle to be understood as such in some parts of the world.

Ancient Romans were also fiercely nationalistic on a regional level, a fact which is often underestimated and not reflected in fictional portrayals of them nowadays. To a Roman the term "Roman" meant either a denizen of the city or an expression of federal allegiance when addressing complete outsiders. Otherwise they stuck primarily to their tribe, province or affilated nation's name when describing themselves. The ease with which Rome slipped so readily into highly fractured and autonomous identities after the fall of the Western Empire is attributed in no small measure to the fact that despite centuries of republican and empire dominion over these territories the local identities had never been subsumed into a larger Roman one, at least not in any sense that counted when it came to how people fundamentally viewed themselves and their own ethnicity.

Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Tue 17 Jun 2014, 15:09

Something insidious indeed, P,  even when, "it's just to make sure we are not discriminating". I am very wary about this sort of labelling.

There are some telling comments, from the '40s, but finally spoken aloud in the old 1970s ITV 'World at War' series. I've just re-played a couple of episodes this afternoon and found these two interviews. These comments are both by Dutchmen (my transcripts from the DVDs), but as I recall there are several similar remarks in other episodes made by German and French civilians, referring to the subtle labelling of people for malign purposes:

(1) "Very shortly after the occupation, two members of the German security police came to me and asked: 'are there any jews in your municipality?'. I told them, truthfully, that there were no jews in my municipality. But that was my first mistake, because by just answering that question you have accepted racial discrimination. "

(2) "You had to fill in a form [for a standard ID card] and one passage was whether you had any jewish grandparents. I had none so I put 'No'. You went home and didn't realise that you had helped corner the jews, to make them vulnerable and bringing them into a position where they could later be transported and gassed. You just didn't realise. After a year of being politicised a little bit better, you get more realisation what such a declaration really meant ... but your first impression was just: 'your age?' OK; 'your address?', OK; 'your grandparents - jewish?', No. It was a process, step by step, a process of infiltration of Nazism, into society."


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 18:40; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : apostrophes ... and a massive thundersorm here this afternoon.)
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura


Posts : 2514
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Tue 17 Jun 2014, 15:29

And regarding religion ...

I strongly object to having to put under religion - 'atheist', when by definition atheism is NOT a religion!
Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts : 1982
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Greece

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Tue 17 Jun 2014, 16:30

Nationality? A fancy word for tribalism, we haven't moved all that far from the trees after all.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ


Posts : 5303
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Wed 18 Jun 2014, 08:07

Nationality is rather more complex a concept than mere tribalism which by its nature tends to imply more direct control mechanisms governing the individual's perceived options regarding how to express their identity based on where they are from. It is a very limited and limiting expression of identity whereas nationality encompasses quite a bit more. "British", for example, is rather a nebulous phrase by comparison with "Navajo" - the former being an expression of nationality that is apparently losing relevance and accuracy having expanded way beyond any tribal connotation, the latter a former tribal identity that is only now being expanded into a more nationalistic and inclusive concept.

Regarding self-identity and the use of basic descriptors for nationality and religion. When asked the former I would always and without demur register the identity of the political state which has declared me to be a citizen. To me that is simply a legal matter in which obfuscation works to my ultimate detriment so I voluntarily comply, no matter how much of a "world citizen" I might fancy myself at times. When it comes to religion, in connection with which any legal implications by definition imply also something rather odious and corrupt regarding the society which has imposed them, I tend to reply "N/A - not applicable". The exception to this is when confronted with a census form in which N/A has not been presented as an option. In preference to "none of the above" (which could just as easily indicate I subscribe to even more delusional concepts than those listed) I will indeed tick off "atheist".
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
PaulRyckier
Censura


Posts : 1306
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Definitions of Nationality   Wed 18 Jun 2014, 19:27

Some thougths about nationalism, tribalism and all that, where I also contributed to.

http://historum.com/general-history/64570-early-nationalism.html

Kind regards, Paul.
Back to top Go down
 

Definitions of Nationality

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: Civilisation and Community-