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By Rogers Brubaker

"Despite a quarter-century of constructivist theorizing within the social sciences and arts, ethnic teams stay conceived as entities and forged as actors. reporters, policymakers, and researchers many times body bills of ethnic, racial, and nationwide clash because the struggles of internally homogeneous, externally bounded ethnic teams, races, and countries. In doing so, they unwittingly undertake the language of individuals in such struggles, and give a contribution to the reification of ethnic groups.In this well timed and provocative quantity, Rogers Brubaker--well identified for his paintings on immigration, citizenship, and nationalism--challenges this pervasive and common sense ""groupism."" yet he doesn't easily revert to straightforward constructivist tropes in regards to the fluidity and multiplicity of id. as soon as a bracing problem to traditional knowledge, constructivism has grown complacent, even cliched. That ethnicity is built is average; this quantity offers new insights into the way it is developed. by way of moving the analytical concentration from id to identifications, from teams as entities to group-making tasks, from shared tradition to categorization, from substance to method, Brubaker exhibits that ethnicity, race, and kingdom aren't issues on the planet yet views at the global: methods of seeing, examining, and representing the social world."

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In doing so, the regime was not simply recognizing or ratifying a preexisting state of affairs; it was newly constituting both persons and places as nationalY In this context, strong understandings of national identity as deeply rooted in the precommunist history of the region, frozen or repressed by a ruthlessly antinational regime, and returning with the collapse of communism are at best anachronistic, at worst simply scholarly rationalizations of nationalist rhetoric. What about weak, constructivist understandings of identity?

Strong cognitive assumptionsthough generally unacknowledged and therefore unanalyzed onesinform almost all accounts of the ways in which race, ethnicity, and nation "work" in practice. When we characterize an act of violence as racial, ethnic, or nationalist; when we analyze the workings of racially, ethnically, or nationally charged symbols; when we characterize police practices as involving "racial profiling"; when we explain voting patterns in terms of racial or ethnic loyalties; when we impute identities or interests to racial, ethnic, or national groups; when we analyze nationalist collective action; when we characterize an action as meaningfully oriented to the race, ethnicity or nationality of another person; when we identify an expression as an ethnic slur-in these and innumerable other situations, we make cognitive assumptions about the ways in which people parse, frame, and interpret their experience.

4 million residents of Ukraine identified their "nationality" as Russian. But the precision suggested by this census data, even when rounded to the nearest hundred thousand, is entirely spurious. The very categories "Russian'~ and "Ukrainian," as designators of putatively distinct ethnocultnral nationalities, or distinct "identities," are deeply problematic in the Ukrainian context, where rates of intermarriage have been high, and where millions of nominal Ukrainians speak only or primarily Russian.

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