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Race, ethnicity and nationality: the future of multiculturalism in a global age

Pilkington, A. (2015) Race, ethnicity and nationality: the future of multiculturalism in a global age. In: Holborn, M. (ed.) Contemporary Sociology. Cambridge: Policy Press. pp. 65-95.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: Race, ethnicity and nationality are categories which involve drawing boundaries between people (Walters, 2012). Racial boundaries are normally drawn on the basis of physical markers, such as skin pigmentation, hair texture and facial features, while ethnic and national boundaries are normally drawn on the basis of cultural markers such as language, religion and shared customs. While members of a purported race may not identify themselves as sharing a common racial identity, members of an ethnic or national group necessarily recognise that they share a common identity with other members of their group. Contrary to the expectations of the founding fathers of Sociology, the force of race, ethnicity and nationality shows no signs of diminishing. Indeed, given the persistence and power of racial/ethnic/national ties and identities across the globe, and the conflicts which they can engender, we may be tempted to believe that the division of people into racial, ethnic and national groups is in some sense natural or ‘primordial’. What we need to recognise, however, is that the strength of racial/ethnic/national ties and identities changes over time and varies across the globe. This suggests that racial/ethnic/national divisions can only be understood when located in their social and historical context. Sociologists take this position and argue that race, ethnicity and nationality are socially constructed.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1041 Social perception. Social cognition
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT1501 Races. Race relations
Creators: Pilkington, Andrew
Editors: Holborn, Martin
Publisher: Policy Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Applied Social Studies & Sociology
Date: 24 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 65-95
Title of Book: Contemporary Sociology
Place of Publication: Cambridge
Number of Pages: 720
Language: English
ISBN: 9780745661827
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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