Browsing by Author "Cottier, Paul"

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  • Cottier, Paul (2011)
    At the the heart of this study can be seen the dual concern of how the nation is represented as a categorical entity and how this is put to use in everyday social interactions.This can be seen as a reaction to the general approach to categorisation and identity functions that tend to be reified and essentialized within the social sciences. The empirical focus of this study is the Isle of Man, a crown dependency situated geographically central within the British Isles while remaining political outside the United Kingdom. The choice of this site was chosen explicitly as ‘notions of nation’ expressed on the island can be seen as being contested and ephemerally unstable. To get at these ‘notions of nation’ is was necessary to choose specific theoretical tools that were able to capture the wider cultural and representational domain while being capable of addressing the nuanced and functional aspects of interaction. As such, the main theoretical perspective used within this study was that of critical discursive psychology which incorporates the specific theoretical tools interpretative repertoires, ideological dilemmas and subject positions. To supplement these tools, a discursive approach to place was taken in tandem to address the form and function of place attached to nationhood. Two methods of data collection were utilized, that of computer mediated communication and acquaintance interviews. From the data a number of interpretative repertoires were proposed, namely being, essential rights, economic worth, heritage claims, conflict orientation, people-as-nation and place-as-nation. Attached to such interpretative repertoires were the ideological dilemmas region vs. country, people vs. place and individualism vs. collectivism. The subject positions found are much more difficult to condense, but the most significant ones were gender, age and parentage. The final focus of the study, that of place, was shown to be more than just an unreflected on ‘container’ of people but was significant in terms of the rhetorical construction of such places for how people saw themselves and the discursive function of the particular interaction. As such, certain forms of place construction included size, community, temporal, economic, safety, political and recognition. A number of conclusions were drawn from the above which included, that when looking at nation categories we should take into account the specific meanings that people attach to such concepts and to be aware of the particular uses they are put to in interaction. Also, that it is impossible to separate concepts neatly, but it is necessary to be aware of the intersection where concepts cross, and clash, when looking at nationhood.