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Ethnic and national identities (Part 3)

July 7, 2009

6. Not all states, though, have been as successful at homogenising their culture areas as Spain, Britain or indeed France, as ongoing conflicts in Xinjiang, Chechenia and much of the postcolonial world attest. Religion is frequently a significant element of cultural distinctiveness, a subcultural boundary, particularly in countries where religious practices are still routinely performed by a majority of the population.

7. Subcultural practices other than those oriented towards ethnic or national distinctiveness should also be taken into account to understand contemporary social worlds when assessing nationalist claims, both work-based practices and leisure practices ( to do with sport, play, entertainment, fashion, shopping, and so on). These practices will often be international in scope but with varied local and national refractions. Thus the very same nationalists who claim a distinctive culture may share many of their work and leisure practices – often mediated via Web and mobile media – with those they regard as having radically different cultural affiliations.

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