Race and Nation: Ethnic Systems in the Modern World

Chapter 11. Race and Ethnicity
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electrosecuri.com/libraries The nation which evolves is the product of the will-to-nationhood which prevails—an often personal imagination which becomes the nation's imagination. Being thus not only a construction but a subjective and psychological one at that, it is possible to distinguish between different types of nations.

Walker Connor, for example, lists three types of nations and two types of related collectivities. Nations proper are "the largest human grouping characterized by a myth of common ancestry.

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The remaining two groups he calls diasporas and immigrant societies , the latter being people whose primary affiliation is not to their ancestral nation but to their new society the ideal in the American "melting pot" philosophy. Thus, nations as a class of social phenomena are as diverse as ethnic groups, and the particular status of a nation or nation-fragment will affect its behavior.

The relations between nation and state are numerous but can be distilled into two major categories: states which are co-terminous with nations, and states which are not. The hesitation here over Western nations and Western states results from the question of whether it was the will of the nation i.

Plenty of historians point to the fact that rulers of already-existing states say, Napoleonic France forged the states' population into a nation through intensified institutionalization, language standardization, acculturation, and military conscription. While the nation-state has been the dominant social model for Europe and lately for the whole world, few states actually qualify, even on the relatively generous criterion that ninety percent of the population consist of a single nation. Perhaps Japan, Iceland, and Norway truly constitute nation-states, but even these instances come under doubt as indigenous populations are considered and immigration and internationalization take effect.

All other states would be multinational by definition.

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The obvious questions are 1 how many nations occupy the state? Imperial or colonial arguments and analogies have become an important part of the discourse of ethnicity and nationalism even in places which are not associated with classical imperialism, such as Quebec. Empire, then, is one type of what Connor calls multihomeland , multinationalstates , which contain two or more and maybe many more nations more or less in their discrete and "native" home territories; these states may be heavily dominated by one nation as in the former Soviet Union or present-day Russia or be composed of relative equals as in Belgium or the former Czechoslovakia.

Such states would differ from unihomeland multinational states , in which one nation claims the entire territory as its homeland and disputes the rights of other nations to own or even occupy it, as the case may be; Connor offers Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Fiji in which the "homeowning" nation is actually the minority , and Germany as examples. Nonhomeland multinational states , significantly, contain two or more nations, none of whom can claim to be in their national homeland, as is the case in many Caribbean states. A subtype of such states is immigrant states like the U. Finally, mestizo states , unique to Latin America, are set apart for their populations "in which those of joint European-Amerindian ancestry are dominant.

It should be clear that not all states are nations and that not all nations are or have states. States encompassing two or three nations in their entirety will, then, differ considerably from states encompassing a dozen or fifty or a hundred nations. States in which one nation constitutes a majority will also differ from states where no nation predominates or all nations are fairly equal in size and power.

And states which circumscribe nations in their entirety will differ from states which contain only a portion of a nation, whose people are spread across a multi-state area for example, the Kurds ; such nations might reasonably be called multi-state nations , and it will be immediately apparent that they face challenges unlike those of nations fully contained in a single state, even if the latter face explicit discrimination and persecution in their state.

What then is the connection between ethnic group and nation? It is as complex and variable as that between nation and state: some ethnic groups are nations, some are not. Conceivably, some nations are ethnic groups, some are not. For instance, if the U. Furthermore, I proposed earlier that a nation is a mobilized and institutionalized ethnic group, but this is not completely accurate or sufficient. First, as I just argued, not all nations are or start out as ethnic groups, although they may come to be draped in the ethnic rubric and discourse for example, Islamic or Arab nationhood might and has at times come to be construed and defended as an "ethnic identity" or attacked on that same basis, as in the case of Bosnia.

Second, the mobilization and institutionalization of an ethnic group and its culture is no insignificant feat and effects a qualitative change in the group and its culture, creating a new kind of culture and cultural politics and a new perspective on culture which some anthropologists have likened to a "culture cult. Their aims and aspirations, their identity, and even their very culture are changed by the shift in dimension from ethnicity to nationhood—and not in the simple sense of "waking up" to a pre-existing identity and cause. In fact, most ethnic groups which have not attained nation-consciousness exist below the threshold of world attention; most of the "ethnic conflicts" which fill our televisions and newspapers, are therefore more than ethnic; they are "ethnonational" or even "national" in nature.

At this stage in history, such conflicts, rather than conflicts between states, are the most common and seem the most likely to spread and intensify. The nation, in the modern sense of the word, is thus intermediate, in terms of identity and of political organization, between the micro-organization of the family, clan, tribe, etc. Having distinguished ethnic group and nation as two types of collectivity, sometimes empirically overlapping but not conceptually identical, it should be evident that I must distinguish the forces or processes which underlie or motivate them, namely ethnicity and nationalism.

Specifically, nationalism, although often built upon a foundation of ethnicity and using or applying to an ethnic group, is a different species of social force. When ethnicity is implicated in nationalism, or when it evolves into nationalism, it is thereby essentially changed: an ethnic group may or may not be nationalistic, but when it is, it is significantly different from a non-nationalistic ethnic group both in terms of its relation to its own culture and of its political aims.

Nationalism, writes Peter Alter, is "both an ideology and a political movement which holds the nation and the sovereign nation-state to be crucial indwelling values, and which manages to mobilize the political will of a people or a large section of a population"; it "exists primarily whenever individuals feel they belong primarily to the nation, and whenever affective attachment and loyalty to that nation override all other attachments and loyalties. When an ethnic group achieves sovereignty in a certain state, it will become a nation.

It is readily apparent that nationalism comes in association with four other terms which I have previously discussed—nation, state, ethnic group, and culture. In conventional thought, nationalism represents and mobilizes a nation—that is, a nation which already exists and is ripe and ready for political action. However, if the "ism" in nationalism is taken seriously, it is a belief in a nation or in the idea of "nation"—that a "nation" is an important, arguably the most important, social collectivity and, even more fundamentally, that the "nation" is a real, perhaps natural, collectivity.

The nation is thereby more genuine from this perspective than the state which is secondary to and derivative of the nation, the political institution of the nation in the best of occasions, the nation-state , especially in the case of multi-national states. Yet, it is not necessary, or even perhaps ordinary, that the nation precedes nationalism; rather, the belief in a nation, the belief in "nations"—that nations exist, are good, and have rights—may hypothetically come before the actual existence of nationhood, the "knowledge" or "will" or "consciousness" of being a nation and sharing a national identity among "the people," who may still be experiencing their lives through identities, ideologies, and collectivities both smaller than and larger than the nation, such as the family, the clan, the region, the religious community, or the state or empire.

Some nations have long histories of nationhood that is, of being conscious that they are a nation and acting accordingly on the interests of the nation , but others do not; recall Connor's category of prenational groups and potential nations. Thus, while it is seductive to think of nationalism as emerging from and representing real, concrete, perhaps ancient nations, in many actual cases "the nation. This phenomenon, the construction of nations out of other preceding kinds of social collectivities, could be called "nation-building. Usually, in the kind of terminological confusion I chronicled above, what researchers discuss in studies of nation-building would more accurately be called state-building: Geertz's famous essay "The Integrative Revolution," for instance, analyzes the "reduction of primordial [ethnic] sentiments to civil order," and the cases he provides are of states, not nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, India, Lebanon, Morocco, and Nigeria.

The "nation" which is being built in these cases is "the whole society encompassed by the new civil state. After all, building the Roman and British imperial states would not be quite the same as building the Roman or British nations. That being said, one of the regular and fundamental aspects of state-building is precisely nation-building—not only creating the legal-political apparatus of state police, military, political parties, tax system, etc.

Demographic structure of society- race and ethnicity

The task is, as Geertz indicates, to amalgamate different and independent groups which may already conceive of themselves as nations on the smaller scale into a single large unit whose horizon is not local but statewide—to erase "ethnic" or "national" differences and to establish a single unified state-nation. This new nation manifests the increasingly inclusive identity which scholars such as Bell and many others saw or foresaw. As numerous students of nations and nationalism have argued, this process of nation-building was a particularly strong element in modern that is, since the eighteenth century and especially in the nineteenth century Europe, whereby the "nations" and national states of Europe—the French, the English, the Italians, the Germans, etc.

In the reduction of sovereignty and loyalty away from the state in the person of the ruler and toward "the people" inhabiting the state's territory, "the people" had to be constituted as a self-conscious and homogeneous group and as a group with cultural and political rights. Differences in language, law, and custom had to be flattened out or assimilated or merely overlooked in shaping some model of national culture and identity. As Smith notes, it is just as important, ideologically, that a nation be internally undifferentiated as that it be sharply differentiated from other nations.

By many accounts this is a recent accomplishment in Europe, if it is not still an unfinished project as one feels when considering, for example, the political culture of Italy. In many new states, the project has only just begun. Of course, this nation-building is today not what we usually think of as nationalism.

Rather, contemporary nationalism connotes particularism, not homogenization; separation, not inclusion. In a sense, this result is the fulfillment of the prophecy, for nationalism as an ideology does not specify which groups are nations, what level of collectivity may deserve the distinction of nation a state society like Spain? Groups formerly submerged in states and therefore undergoing the previous kind of "nationalization" or from whom scholarly attention may have wandered because of our interest in state-level nationalism have launched their claims to nationhood based on "the right to one's own culture" implicit in all nationalism.

They can and do say, with more or less justification, that their culture was ignored or threatened by state nationalism and that only real nationalism—that is, the nationalism of "real" nations, which often means "ethnic" or "cultural" nationalism—can correct the situation.

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Race and Nation is the first book to compare the racial and ethnic systems that have developed around the world. It is the creation of nineteen scholars who are . Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Paul Spickard is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of, among other books.

Under the ideology of "self-determination," nationalist movements representing segments of larger populations, states, and empires could and did press for nation and state status. Not all nationalism necessarily seeks or results in a national state, and not all nationalist movements represent real, concrete, already-existing nations.

Some nationalism sets more modest goals, such as "national" recognition of a region or province and perhaps a certain amount of devolution of power to the regional or provincial level; arguably, early Tamil demands in Sri Lanka and recurrent Kurdish demands in their various host-states take this form. On the other hand, as recent events have reminded us, Yugoslavian nationalism—"Yugoslavism," the nationalism resulting in the formation of the state of that name—did not refer to a homogeneous, self-conscious nation but rather attempted to emphasize and "awaken" in people of various "nations" the kinship and shared identity between a set of related "nations"; the same can be said of Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, or many other nationalisms.

There is theoretically no lower limit to the size of a group which may call itself, and demand recognition as, a nation; there is also no cultural or political "litmus test" which can establish or deny a group's claims to nationhood, no objective standard or definition to apply. That nationalist movements do stake their claims in terms of culture is no great advance in clarity, but it does present an opportunity for anthropologists to bring their concepts and methods to bear on the phenomenon.

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Replacing race with ethnicity cannot save us from this dilemma. In addition, as Hall himself was all too well aware, claiming multiple subject positions in the affirmation of difference does not amount to enjoying the humanized and dignified spaces to experience and express that subjectivity. Simultaneously, some Latin American nations encouraged Northern European immigration to improve the racial and cultural landscape of the young republics. The term itself "Ethnicity seems to be a new term", state Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan 1 , who point to the fact that the term's earliest dictionary appearance is in the Oxford English Dictionary in One is to create a national framework with which all can identify without any distinction based on race, ethnicity, tribe, or religion.

Which aspects of culture are central to the nation: language, or religion, or homeland, or history, and so on? The elevation of one or another of these to the status of a national symbol and marker changes the contours of the group which might be claimed a nation. Serbs and Croats speak essentially one language but have distinct religions and histories; are they therefore one nation or two?

If a group loses or changes part of its culture, is it thereby less of a nation or a different nation? If so, the Irish, the Ukrainians, and most Native American groups might cease to be nations. Connor finds, though, that national identity "may survive substantial alterations in language, religion, economic status, or any other tangible manifestation of its culture. Individuals may have, for any number of reasons, never thought of themselves as members of this or that nation, and nationalism may have to provide the cohesion to make of them a nation; Smith writes that to convert "the masses" into a nation "it is first necessary to 'vernacularize' them and thereby bestow a unique identity and destiny upon them" [29] —give them something to rally around or show them that what they possess already should be rallied around.

Thus, just as culture is problematic from the standpoint of nationalism, so is the group or nation. I said previously that the nation is an organized and mobilized ethnic group, but I must qualify this assertion with Smith's observation that nationalism can be related to ethnic groups in three different ways—as a revitalization or protection of a "well-formed, ancient but 'decayed' ethnie ," as an effort of a segment of the community—especially the elite—to motivate a passive or unorganized group, or as a movement in search of a constituency, which "may actually 'invent' an ethnie where none existed.

But as Smith notes initially, nationalism is not just about culture but about high culture. Without sounding ethnocentric, I would suggest that a high culture is one which is literate, aesthetic, and politically astute. Many groups which would qualify as nations or proto-nations, which most certainly have a culture, lack a high culture, or more precisely a well- and widely-distributed high culture.

Such high culture as exists may be limited to the academics, the intelligentsia, the political leadership—often urban, often Western-educated. The task of nationalism—of mobilizing or assembling the nation—involves in such instances at least the "vernacularization" of the restricted high culture, its digestion and presentation to a mass audience. At most, it may involve the creative elevation or invention of a high culture if none exists: in an interesting paradox based on the powerful claims of culture, nationalist leaders or would-be leaders may rummage through, for example, peasant cultures for symbols, behaviors, tales, myths, and the like which can be appropriated, packaged, and "sold" as a national culture and then re-vernacularized, often to the same people from whom it was lifted.

However, in the process of collection, assembly, interpretation, and vernacularization, what is produced is not the same culture as the "peasant" or "rural" or "traditional" culture which was ostensibly "discovered. McKim Marriott, in a chapter in Geertz's renowned volume Old Societies andNew States , studies how current ethnonationalism is related to pre-existing high cultures what he calls "great traditions" or "civilizations" in many new states seeking a kind of national identity and culture.

Where dominant great traditions exist, either indigenous to the area or borrowed long ago, nationalism will select from but simplify this culture for popular consumption; he cites India and Pakistan as examples. Where more than one high culture exists but none is dominant, a cultural struggle will accompany the vernacularization process, as in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Finally, where no internationally recognized and esteemed high culture exists or is deeply rooted he uses new African states as an example , such a culture must be borrowed or invented, then struggled over and vernacularized.

It is not only high culture but any culture that can be used as a tool and weapon in "ethnic" or "national" struggle. Thomas Hyland Eriksen presents one example of this "invention" of culture in the case of Norway. He reports that in pre-nationalist Norway as late as the mid-nineteenth century a distinct and widespread "national" culture was missing. The main written language was Danish, not Norwegian. However, "ethnic" or nationalist leaders—principally the urban and middle class—desirous to demonstrate that there was a distinct and ancient Norwegian "nation," went "in search of" authentic Norwegianculture in the rural and peasant sectors of the country.

They brought back "folk costumes, painted floral patterns rosemaling , traditional music, and peasant food" which were elevated to the status of national symbols; high culture creators such as the composer Grieg and the author Bjornson incorporated these "folk" elements into their works; furthermore, Norwegian dialects were reformulated into a "new literary language" called New Norwegian. Never mind that the claim to "authentic Norwegian culture" was dubious on two counts—that these cultural traits were not the heritage of all or even most people in the "nation" and that many of the traits for example, the floral patterns and many of the folk tales and costumes were not indigenous or unique to the "nation" at all but were diffused from other parts of the world or invented outright by the nationalists themselves.

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The newly-elevated symbols were offered as "evidence" that "Norwegian culture was distinctive, that Norwegians were 'a people' and that they therefore ought to have their own state," [31] but essentially what transpired is that a national culture was invented and with it a nation. Nevertheless, to a greater or lesser extent it worked: Norway became an independent state ostensibly a nation-state in , and the new king interestingly, from a Danish family took a dynastic name—Haakon VII—to claim continuity with Norway's ancient political past.

This practice of legitimating new states and mobilizing or consolidating or inventing nations through invocations of some distant past which is at best of questionable relation to the present people and polity is commonplace in the world of post-colonial states in Africa and Asia. One has only to think of the Gold Coast becoming Ghana or Rhodesia becoming Zimbabwe to see the process in action. The phenomenon is by no means, though, restricted to non-Western and post-colonial societies but can be and has been identified in Western societies as well for example, Hitler's Germany has been mentioned as a case of manipulating symbols of "traditional" culture and history, from folk music to the dead emperor's remains; the same can also be currently or recently observed in the former Yugoslavia.

Questions of authenticity, uniqueness, continuity, and even relevance of the old in relation to the new are secondary to the function of the claims and symbols in the "nation-building" process. The popular perception of ethnic groups and nations—a perception which has been raised to the status of theory by some researchers—is that they have long, continuous, often glorious histories of cultural distinctness and often conflict which confer to them the rights of "a people.

Even so, virtually all ethnic groups, and virtually all scholarly conceptions of ethnic groups, make some reference to the past. Smith gives six attributes of ethnic groups, two of which are past-related—"a myth of common ancestry" and "shared historical memories"—and Yinger, as I quoted above, sees a notion of "common origin" as characteristic of such groups.

This opinion is nearly universal and quite generally valid. Yet, what does it really mean? What is the relation between an ethnic group—and especially ethnic conflict—and the past? Like most terms in anthropology and other social sciences, "past" has a large and diverse semantic field, and its connections to the field of ethnicity and ethnic conflict are numerous.

It is possible to identify four such connections, which are quite different though related: the past as "tradition" or the cultural past, the past as history that is, a record of key events that formed or galvanized the group , the past as myth, and the past as "resource" for the present. Most if not all ethnic groups incorporate some alloy of all of these factors, sometimes in such a way that the distinctions between them are disguised or mystified in consequential ways.

As cultural past or tradition, the ethnic group defines "what we really are" in terms of "what we were. But for many people in many parts of the world the past is a strong presence. Thus, the language the group has "always" spoken, the religion it has always followed or that it converted to at some ancient time, the customs, the clothes, the stories and music, the values and morals—these things are effective identifiers and legitimizers of the group. An ethnic group without a memory of its cultural past and without some continuity with that past into present behavior or identity or ideology is, by definition, virtually unthinkable.

I might mention at this point the role which anthropology has played in this process, both as a practice of collecting and preserving what might have been lost in the past without it and as a perspective and discourse which validates and to an extent reifies "the past" or "tradition" as something important, real, and available; anthropology cannot take all of the credit, even among the various fields of scholarship history, linguistics, and philology among others have played major parts, too , and certainly both scholars and lay-members were aware of and concerned with their past and traditions before anthropology came along; still, anthropology has been a powerful engine for research into and conceptions of tradition which, it would be wise to remember, have had ramifications well beyond the academy.

This does not mean, however, that the past "traditional culture" was what culture is today, nor that it was as they remember it in retrospect. Memory is porous and productive, and the past is elusive, especially but not exclusively when the past was a preliterate period. The porosity of memory allows elements to slip out and to slipin , rendering the firmest memories contestable. Ethnography is replete with accounts of the traditional conditions of various cultures which are questionable at best, absurd at worst: Deborah Bird Rose, for example, reports stories from Australian Aboriginals which place Captain Cook in the Central Desert—a highly unlikely event.

Even by Bronislaw Malinowski's time, over fifty or more years ago and probably earlier in some places , what was available to anthropologists was not "tradition lived"—that is, society living in unchanged manner from its distant past— but "tradition remembered. From the point of view of the student who not only aims to piece together the past but to establish its relation to and salience for the present, "retrospective vision, however erroneous, is more important than the myth unknown or forgotten by old informants.

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When a group begins to think of its culture as "tradition" rather than as an almost unconscious "way of life," a conceptual shift occurs within that group: the culture is frozen in time, an ideology of authenticity is produced, and a "new self-awareness, through a kind of 'spontaneous' hermeneutics" [35] is established. In the most extreme cases, the "tradition" may even be a fabrication, an invention, either from bits and pieces of the past, from disparate local cultures and traditions, or from a stipulation of contemporary culture or social situation as representative of the past.

The historical "ethnic" past could be thought of in at least three phases—ancient formative past, colonial past, and recent political past. Most of the ethnic groups and nations drawing our attention today and involved in the most public conflicts can claim a history of centuries or millennia; the Jews, the Irish, the Sinhalese are but a few examples. In that ancient time a kind of ethnogenesis occurred, due to the invention or adoption of a religion, the development of a civilization or state, a great national struggle, or some such course of events.

This ancient history, interestingly, may be a past of glory and honor or of humiliation and dishonor, or a combination of both, since either can function as a means to define and motivate a group. Particularly common is the reference to a great historical military defeat Catholic Ireland's Battle of the Boyne, Serbia's Battle of Kosovo and the desire for revenge and group redemption which the memory evokes even today, centuries later.

Mixed Race Amnesia

The defeat of Israel and destruction of the Temple were a cause of significant spontaneous hermeneutics and historical exegesis, and for them as for many groups the memory of a lost homeland—lost literally or symbolically—may be the central organizational experience for contemporary ethnicity. Groups will, in fact, go to great lengths to "discover" and systematize a past in which they were either prior to, superior to, or dominant over rival groups, or in which they were damaged or shamed by those groups; both are equally calls to action.

Groups in the process of "nation-building" will often emphasize the compilation of a national history as a national priority; Sri Lanka's rival groups have done so. Russian nationalists, "awakened" by Peter the Great's contact with and adoption of Western European cultures, "discovered" an ancient past for the nation in the document known as the Book of Vlas , allegedly a chronicle of the earliest rulers of Russia some three thousand years ago.

Race and nation : ethnic systems in the modern world

The book claims glorious interestingly, Aryan ancestry for the Russian people—the frequency of claims to "Aryan" ancestry and identity in the realm of ethnicity and nationalism being truly astonishing—and priority among the peoples and cultures of Europe. Perhaps most importantly it establishes a European and not an Asiatic heritage for Russia, which was an important issue of the day. The orders to compile and copy the records and documents came from Peter himself, suggesting their significance to the nation-building endeavor.

It is worth noting in passing that, as in the case of Norway above, Russian nationalists also looked to the village and peasant culture for the " artifacts, values, and symbols of the nation. Consequentially, anthropological studies can be implicated in this nationalistic historical struggle in a number of ways.

Ethnography can be appropriated as an authentic or problematic record of culture, and for many groups—like many Native American groups—it is the only written record of a now-defunct culture as a result of the well-known "salvage anthropology". Linguistic anthropology can serve as a means to establish antiquity for a language group or to link it to some glorious language or language family again, often the "Aryan" or "Indo-European" family. Even in the early s it could be observed that governments were increasingly investing in archaeological research to confirm or invent historical bases for their nationhood or statehood, like the excavation of Great Zimbabwe which led to the reactivation of the name by a modern African state.

In Sri Lanka, history in general and archaeology in particular have been contentious fields for politics and culture, so much so that the government would only sponsor research on Buddhist Sinhalese sites and ethnic extremists have been known to attack and damage sites which support the claims of their rivals. After the ancient past, the most critical historical age for many groups is the period of European colonialism.

This is a familiar point. A variety of fundamental social and cultural changes to non-Western "traditional" societies followed from colonialism, not the least of which was prolonged contact with a radically foreign culture. The very fact of conquest, occupation, and an end to relative cultural isolation, let alone the contents of the intruding culture, could initiate a sort of cultural reflection, a "spontaneous hermeneutics," on culture, identity, and difference. However, certain specific activities and policies of colonial powers had distinct and profound consequences for subsequent ethnicity, nationalism, and conflict.

For one, colonial political boundaries were drawn, as is well known, with little or no regard for sociocultural boundaries; of course, in this pre-anthropological time little was known, and little was cared, about local sociocultural boundaries, and it has been argued that those boundaries were in actuality so vague and porous if they were "physical" or territorial at all —groups being much more mixed and permeable than we often allow and often not territorially structured—that any political borders would have done some injustice.

However, this is precisely the point: the importation of the notion of bounded territorial units "states" and of bounded and usually territorial social units "societies" had a dramatic effect on many parts of the world. In some cases, groups which had previously had little contact with each other or which had a history of hostility were thrust into the same colony, while other groups with more or less ethnic or national consciousness were divided across two or more colonies.

Thus, "plural" societies were created in a way which may not have existed before. Certainly, "plural" societies, after a fashion, existed in pre-colonial times; Colin Turnbull's study of the Mbuti "pygmies" and the "Negroes" describes another such "society," within which the two groups are so intertwined that it is difficult to place specific boundaries, territorially or culturally, on them.

However, in many places, even groups in geographic proximity for instance, hill people and valley people may have lived rather autonomously. Only the arrival of colonialism, and with it the effort toward uniform law and administration, brought them into real and sustained social proximity. Again often for administrative purposes, but also out of genuine conviction, groups were taken to be real, exclusive, and well-bounded—that is, to be self-contained "societies.

At the very least, groups which were not utterly socially discrete were treated as so, administratively and anthropologically. In other cases, groups which were not societies or cultures at all, but some other type of collectivity like a class or a caste or a dominant or royal lineage, were construed as separate "societies" or "tribes" or "nations" or "ethnic groups.

He has taught at fifteen universities in the United States and abroad. RT dhpanu: Congratulations again to JakelinTroy and lynetterussell School of History. Location Seminar Room 1. Patrick Mullins: Reflections on Tiberius with a Telephone. There is surprisingly little research produced by world historians that directly addresses the question of race. While the large historiographies on slavery and empire building cast some light on the global history of race as a social category, there have been few attempts to map systematically the divergent racial formations that have taken shape under modernity, yet alone to think about race as a significant phenomenon in world history at the broadest level.

Here the contrast with work on gender is telling, as a diverse range of scholars from a variety of disciplinary history, gender and women's studies, anthropology and geographical locations are currently demonstrating that gender is an indispensable category of analysis for work on world history. This collection of essays edited by Paul Spickard is an important attempt to think about the history of race within a global frame.

The volume consists of an introduction by Spickard himself, seventeen chapters that examine an array of contexts from early nineteenth-century [End Page ] California to contemporary Khmer identity, from the early Turkish republic to contemporary Brazil, as well as an extensive and very useful bibliography. Taken as a whole, this collection is a significant addition to the field of world history, and because of the range of the case studies it examines it will certainly function as a valuable teaching text.

Spickard's introduction is thought provoking. It opens with a compelling anecdote that explains why Spickard, a white American who was traveling in China's western borderlands during the late s, was viewed by Uighur people not as "white" or "European" but instead as "Japanese" who, for the inhabitants of Turpan stood for all outsiders who were not Chinese.

This story communicates the ways in which, even at the end of the twentieth century, understandings of race remained highly localized and embedded in the power struggles that framed the social and political worlds of various communities. From this starting point, Spickard makes two very important general statements about the nature of race.

First, he emphasizes that human communities have always lived with various forms of social difference, but race emerges as significant only when communities "begin to see themselves as fundamentally and irrevocably different. Second, he offers a very useful characterization of race: "race is about power, and it is written on the body" p.