The Primordialist Theory Of Identity And National Identity

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The Primordialist approach depicts the nation as based upon a natural, organic community, which defines the identity of its members, who feel an innate and emotionally powerful attachment to it. (5) (Brown 2000) This means that to primordialists the meaning of nationalism correlates with an inherent or instinctual loyalty to the nation. This loyalty to the nation arises from strong kinship bonds which manifest into unified national identity drawn from an ethnic core. Through the primordialist framework there is a one-to-one link between ethnicity and national identity; giving identity the characteristic of being fixed. Through the primordialist lens the only true nationalism is ethnic nationalism (Brown 2000) Ethnic nationalism is defined…show more content…
Primordialist arguments are then separated into two lines of thinking; psychological and biological. Primordialist arguments can be separated into two lines of thinking; those that emphasise a psychological attachment and those that emphasise a biological attachment. Arguably neither are satisfactory in providing a complete explanation so it is necessary to combine both approaches for increased explanatory power. Conner (1994) offers a primordialist view of identity as evolving from history and myth of a common homeland, or ‘a group of people who believe they are ancestrally related” (7) (Brown 2000) This belief arises from psychological and emotional attachments developed through a mutual culture, language or religion. This idea that identity is manifested from a group that believe they are ancestrally related arises from the inability of many primordialist claims to depict an actual origin or trace back their roots with certainty. This leads to the rise of myths of common ancestry or homeland. Other primordialists believe that identity is innate, or a ‘given’, prescribed by birth through blood ties or…show more content…
The argument is essentially that Quebec is unique, they have a unique francophone culture and a unique language in comparison to the rest of English Canada. However, the cultural argument was essentially that the French in Canada were at risk of becoming assimilated by the rest of Canada. Thus, Quebec was in need of an independent political entity in order to preserve their unique language, identity, and culture. Although throughout the years the popular support for separation and autonomy has decreased, poking hole in the primordialist idea of ‘fixed’ identity. It also pokes a further hole because identities change over generations, as with Quebec where sovereignty, which was favoured among older generations and as they disappear so did support for the cause. Calls for Quebec autonomy arguably reached its epitome in 1970 with the bombing and kidnappings by the FLQ, a nationalist terrorist group. The idea that identity is fixed makes analysing the change in Quebec nationalism quite difficult and highlights the need for other conceptual languages such as situationalism or
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