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The face of the nation. Troubling the sameness-strangeness divide in the age of migration

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journal contribution
posted on 11.01.2018 by Marco Antonsich
Over the last two decades, banal and everyday nationalism have been the main theoretical and methodological approaches for studying how nations are reproduced ‘from below’. The present article advances this literature by paying close attention to racially-differentiated subjects and, more precisely, to subjects who are perceived to look different from, but sound like the national majority group. Building on the feminist attention to the corporeal, I argue that face-to-face encounters with the simultaneous embodiment of (somatic) strangeness and (linguistic) sameness generate a sense of surprise which interrupts the reproduction of the nation. This, in turn, allows for the ‘troubling’ of the very identity category (nation) which both banal and everyday nationalism avoid interrogating directly. I support and illustrate this argument by focusing on the case of the children of migrants born and raised in Italy and their personal experiences in mundane settings. The article discusses the implications of this short circuit in the banal and everyday processes of national reproduction in terms of potential openings of the nation to more inclusive forms.

Funding

This work was supported by the European Commission under Grant PCIG13-GA-2013-618470.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Citation

ANTONSICH, M., 2018. The face of the nation. Troubling the sameness-strangeness divide in the age of migration. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 43(3), pp. 449-461.

Publisher

Wiley © Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ANTONSICH, M., 2018. The face of the nation. Troubling the sameness-strangeness divide in the age of migration. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 43(3), pp. 449-461, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12236. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions

Acceptance date

15/12/2017

Publication date

2018-03-26

ISSN

0020-2754

Language

en

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