Between majority power and minority resistance : Kurdish by Nesrin Ücarlar, n/a

By Nesrin Ücarlar, n/a


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As he highlights, ‘the modern nation-building process started with the collection of information about the history, language and customs of the non-dominant group’ and this collection becomes the critical ingredient of patriotic agitation (ibid: 84). In fact, non-dominant and dominant groups alike pursue similar stages in the construction and daily reconstruction of the nation. This construction is the concern of postmodern accounts of nationalism, which, in collaboration with the deconstructive and poststructuralist approaches towards the re-production of national identities, provide a more critical understanding of nationalism.

The minority and the majority are delimited as unitary and homogeneous political objects in a primordial and opposite sense. Moreover, the majority is ‘delimited’ as practically and naturally superior to the minority. The superior is constructed as the origin, normal, pure, standard, selfidentical, and therefore good, while the inferior represents the derivation, complication, deterioration, accident, and consequently evil (Culler 1983: 85-93). In this sense, the problematisation of the minority question involves a critical look on the contradictions and disruptions in the nationalist discourse, whereby existing perceptions on the minority question is de-normalised.

These practices operate within the ‘primary’ (real), ‘secondary’ (reflexive) and ‘tertiary’ (discursive) relations. , the differential relation between the communities (Shapiro ibid: 153). Those primary relations are institutionalised by the secondary relations, which are nested in the dominant theoretical and epistemological positions. The secondary relations are ‘the practices and ideologies of a profession or discipline’ within a particular discourse (ibid). The oppositional relation between the minority and the majority is institutionalised in such mainstream disciplines as  The modernist theories of nationalism help to explain the rise of Turkish nationalism and the construction of the Turkish nation-state through the modernisation, secularisation and centralisation projects carried out by the new Republic of Turkey.

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