Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ivory A. Toldson
Nationalism is a sociopolitical ideology that defines the solidarity, history, and destiny of a human population based on a nation or national origin. Nationalism is either the consequence or the basis for establishing nation-states throughout the world, usually distinguished by borders confining a nation to a certain territory or homeland. Today, most of the world's population lives in nation-states, which have a national identity typified by a common language, a flag, and other national emblems. However, because of the diversity of many nations, various social movements (e.g., Black Nationalism) use the term nationalism to distinguish their cultural identity from the dominant national identity of the nation in which they live. Nationalists, historians, and political theorists debate whether nations created nationalism or nationalism created nations. Most staunch nationalists contend that preexisting nations, dating back thousands of years, provide a foundation for every human to fit within a world category that has ...