Defining the Nation. Theories of Nationalism

PART I: Defining the Nation. Theories of Nationalism

1. There is little agreement about the role of ethnic as opposed to political component of the nation; or about the balance between subjective elements like will and memory and more objective elements such as language and territory. Others stress the cultural and others the political aspect of nationalism. Drawing from Ernest Renan, Joseph Stalin, Max Weber, Clifford Geertz, Anthony Giddens and Walker Connor provide a rather comprehensive description, as opposed to definition, of the nation. (2 paragraphs)

2. Eric Hobsbawm maintains that the nation and national unity was made possible through a series of invented traditions put forward by political elites in order to legitimize their power in a century of revolution and democratization. Benedict Anderson on the other side describes the nation as an imagined community. Discuss both theories in some detail and suggest any ways you think the two approaches complement each other. (2 pragraphs)

PART II: Framing Race, Gender and Science in Socio-Historical Context

3. How is race defined, according to Desmond and Emyrbayer and what are some of its most important characteristics? Most importantly, how racism and racial domination work. Explain in some detail institutional racism, interpersonal racism and the importance of symbolic violence in the perseverance of racial domination. Provide some examples.(2 paragraphs)

4. According to Robert Merton science relies on a set of four institutional imperatives: universalism, communism, disinterestedness and organized skepticism. Discuss in some detail each of these imperatives. (2 paragraphs)

5. Eugenics, the attempt to improve the genetic quality of the human species by better breeding, developed as a worldwide movement between 1900 and 1940. It was particularly prominent in the United States, Britain and Germany. Explain the social and economic origins of genetic determinism, while focusing on the American Eugenics Movement and address some of the most important lessons available for us to learn from the past.(1 paragraphs)

PART III: Racial Science, Scientific Racism and the Nation

6. In the articles by Stephen Gould, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Robert Proctor and Christopher Hale we discussed some case studies of what we call racial science and scientific racism. Drawing from as many of these cases as possible explain the ways in which they tie with ideas about the nation and national identity.(2 paragraphs)

7. Based on the article by Philip Kohl, Nationalism and Archaeology explain the ways in which the science of archaeology assists with the construction and reconstruction of the past. How, on the other side, the practices of archaeology may collide with other systems of thought, as the Native American case suggests, and how this affect the paradigmatic basis of archaeology?(1 paragraphs)

PART IV: New Technologies, Old Politics. National Hygiene, Queer Anatomy, Population Control

8. The publication of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life in 1994 by psychologist Richard Hernstein and political scientist Charles Murray generated a flurry of criticism for its poor science and anachronistic social Darwinism. Its funding by the Pioneer Fund further sustained the accusations for its racist research imperatives. Discuss the whole affair in some detail and explain any continuities or discontinuities between the eugenic ideas of the early 20th c. and the institutional as well as scientific groundings of the book.(2 paragraphs)

9. Based on Ordovers essay New Technologies, Old Politics. Norplant and Beyond, the NYTimes article Implanted Birth Control Device Renews Debate over Forced Contraception and the brief interview in Eugenicist Movement in America: Victims Coming Forward explain the ways in which contemporary medical solutions to socio-economic problems resemble older ethically questionable practices for long considered obsolete.(2 paragraphs)