Communication Studies

In his article regarding national identity and language in Europe, Stephen Barbour writes that the concept of the nation is primarily a 19th & 20th century phenomenon “bound up with economic and social developments of Europe or in Europe and the Americas.” (Barbour, P. 29) Now, says Barbour, the concept of the nation has extended—via colonialism—to other parts of the world. Here, he considers some key problems with the concept of the nation in terms of economics, culture, history, identity, territory, and language.

After reading the article by Barbour, consider some of the negative consequences of the concept of the nation and linguistic nationalism.

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Recall that in the beginning of this piece Barbour states that the concept of the Nation is problematic in the sense that it is highly difficult to delimit and define (here lies its theoretical problems in the social sciences). Also, he states that it’s very nature as an everyday phenomenon is problematic.


What is the Nation? And, why—more specifically—is it so problematic?

In your answer, be sure to address why it is so difficult to define the Nation as a distinct entity. In the sciences as well as in the phenomenon of everyday life. Be sure to include a discussion of ‘linguistic nationalism’ as the imposition and monopoly of the national language and it’s negative consequences. Similarly, be sure to articulate what he suggests is the problem of distinct languages.

Begin your post with a formal thesis statement and use at least TWO in-text citations of the article.

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