The fallacy of national studies

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Abstract

National studies is a broad field of academic pursuits potentially comprised of all the social sciences and humanities, though its typical core is limited to philology, history and ethnography (also known as folklore studies or ethnology). In Central Europe (also in Japan and southeast Asia), where the ethnolinguistic kind of nationalism predominates for building, legitimising and maintaining nations and their nation states, national studies are the main intellectual cornerstone of these processes. As such the ideal of dispassionate and disinterested research open to all is abandoned, and scholarship is harnessed into the service of the state-led national idea. The resultant subservience of research to ideology requires the adoption of circular logic among proponents and practitioners of national studies that better serve the national interest. Language, history and culture are nationalised and essentialised. The basic assumption of this development is that a given nation’s language, history and culture are fully accessible and knowable exclusively to the nation’s members. Scholars sticking to this dogma are assured of employment at state-owned and state-approved universities, while those whose research contradicts cherished assumption of the national idea are summarily ostracised in order to bring them into line or make them leave academia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentities In-Between in East-Central Europe
EditorsJan Fellerer, Robert Pyrah, Marius Turda
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter1
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780429282614
ISBN (Print)9780367244651
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Histories of Central and Eastern Europe
PublisherRoutledge

Keywords

  • Nationalism
  • Nationalism studies
  • Social reality
  • Einzelsprache
  • Politics
  • Nation-building
  • Nation-state building
  • Fallacy
  • Reasoning
  • Ideology
  • Power
  • Legitimacy

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