From Political Mobilization to the Politics of Consciousness

  • Hans Vermeulen
  • Cora Govers


Ethnic Groups and Boundaries by Fredrik Barth (1969) marked the transition to a new era of ethnic studies in the late sixties and early seventies. The Invention of Tradition by Hobsbawm and Ranger (1983) and Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson (1983) played a similar role in a paradigm shift in the early eighties. While Barth’s approach focused on ‘the social organization of ethnic differences’, as the subtide of the book indicates, in the Hobsbawm and Ranger volume and Anderson’s book, topics like the creation and transformation of ethnic identities are addressed. The message of the second shift was that the main question to be asked should not focus on ‘what drives ethnic group action’, but on ‘the existence of the group itself (Young 1993: 23). And since the ethnic group was now conceived of as an imagined community, the study of ethnicity became above all a study of ethnic consciousness. Cohen’s formulation of his own position has in this respect a broader significance:

The consequence change in the anthropology of the ethnicity had … to move from a position in which it took consciousness for granted or neglected it, to one in which it made consciousness problematic. We devised systems for constructing other people’s consciousness, without inquiring too closely into their veracity. This is my point of departure from the Barth of 1969. (1994: 60)


Ethnic Identity Ethnic Conflict Common Descent Late Sixty Ethnic Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alter, Peter, 1989, Nationalism (London: Edward Arnold)Google Scholar
  2. Amon-Jones, Claire, 1986, ‘The thesis of constructionism’, in: R. Harré (ed.), The Social Construction of Emotions (Oxford: Blackwell) 32–56Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, Benedict, 1983, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso)Google Scholar
  4. 1991.
    1991, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, revised and extended edition (London: Verso) [1983]Google Scholar
  5. 1992.
    1992, Long-distance Nationalism: World Capitalism and the Rise of Identity Politics (Amsterdam: Centre for Asian Studies)Google Scholar
  6. Attwood, Bain, 1989, The Making of the Aborigines (Sydney: Allen & Unwin)Google Scholar
  7. Banton, Michael, 1983, Racial and Ethnic Competition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  8. Barth, Fredrik, 1969, ‘Introduction’, in: Fredrik Barth (ed.), Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Cultural Difference (Bergen/London: Universitetsforlaget/Allen & Unwin) 9–38Google Scholar
  9. 1994.
    1994, ‘Enduring and emerging issues in the analysis of ethnicity’, in: Hans Vermeulen 8c Cora Govers (eds), The Anthropology of Ethnicity: Beyond ‘Ethnic Groups and Boundaries’ (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis) 11–32Google Scholar
  10. Bauman, Gerd, and Thijl Sunier (eds), 1995, Post-migration Ethnicity: Cohesion, Commitments, Comparison (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis)Google Scholar
  11. Bax, Mart, 1995, Medjugorje: Religion, Politics and Violence in Rural Bosnia (Amsterdam: VU University Press)Google Scholar
  12. Beck, Sam, and John W. Cole (eds), 1981 Ethnicity and Nationalism in Southeastern Europe (Amsterdam: Antropologisch-Sociologisch Centrum)Google Scholar
  13. Berghe, Pierre van den, 1978, ‘Race and ethnicity: A sociobiological perspective’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 1: 401–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Billig, Michael, 1995, Banal Nationalism (London: Sage)Google Scholar
  15. Borofsky, Robert (ed.), 1994, Assessing Cultural Anthropology (New York: McGraw-Hill)Google Scholar
  16. Bowman, Glen, 1995, ‘Xenophobia, fantasy and the nation: The logic of ethnic violence in former Yugoslavia’, in: Victoria A. Godard, Josep R. Lobera and Chris Shore (eds), The Anthropology of Europe: Identities and Boundaries in Conflict (Oxford: Berg) 143–71Google Scholar
  17. Brubaker, Rogers, 1992, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge: Harvard University Press)Google Scholar
  18. Carmichael, S. and C. Hamilton, 1967, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (New York: Random House)Google Scholar
  19. Chapman, Malcolm, Maryon McDonald, and Elisabeth Tonkin, 1989, ‘Introduction: history and social anthropology’, in: Elisabeth Tonkin, Maryon McDonald and Malcolm Chapman, History and Ethnicity (London: Routledge) 1–21Google Scholar
  20. Clifford, James, 1988, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press)Google Scholar
  21. Cohen, Abner, 1981, ‘Variables in ethnicity’, in: Charles F. Keyes (ed.), Ethnic Change (Seattle: University of Washington Press) 307–31Google Scholar
  22. Cohen, Anthony P., 1994, ‘Boundaries of consciousness, consciousness of boundaries: critical questions for anthropology’, in: Hans Vermeulen and Cora Govers (eds), The Anthropology of Ethnicity: Beyond Ethnic Groups and Boundaries’ (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis) 59–79Google Scholar
  23. Cohen, Ronald, 1978, ‘Ethnicity: Problem and focus in anthropology’, Annual Review of Anthropology 7: 379–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cole, John W., and Eric R. Wolf, 1974, The Hidden Frontier: Ecology and Ethnicity in an Alpine Valley (New York: Academic Press)Google Scholar
  25. Connor, Walker, 1978, ‘A nation is a nation, is a state, is an ethnic group, is a … ’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 4: 377–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Danforth, Loring, 1992, ‘National conflict in a transnational world: Greeks and Macedonians at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe’, Diaspora 3: 325–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 1995.
    1995, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World (Princeton: Princeton University Press)Google Scholar
  28. Eller, Jack and Reed Coughlan, 1993, ‘The poverty of primordialism: the demystification of ethnic attachments’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 16: 183–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Enloe, Cynthia H, 1980a, Ethnic Soldiers: State Security in a Divided Society (Harmondsworth: Penguin)Google Scholar
  30. 1980.
    1980b, ‘Religion and ethnicity: Some general considerations’, in: Peter F. Sugar (ed.), Ethnic Diversity and Conflict in Eastern Europe (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio) 347–71Google Scholar
  31. Epstein, A. L., 1978, Ethos and Identity: Three Studies in Ethnicity (London: Tavistock)Google Scholar
  32. Eriksen, Thomas Hylland, 1993, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives (London: Pluto Press)Google Scholar
  33. Esman, Milton J., 1994, Ethnic Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press)Google Scholar
  34. Fardon, Richard, 1987, ‘“African ethnogenesis”: Limits to the comparability of ethnic phenomena’, in: Ladislav Holy (ed.), Comparative Anthropology (Oxford: Blackwell) 168–88Google Scholar
  35. Fox, Richard G., 1990, ‘Introduction’, in: Richard G. Fox (ed.), National Ideologies and the Production of National Cultures (Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association) 1–14Google Scholar
  36. Geertz, Clifford, 1963, ‘The integrative revolution: Primordial sentiments and civil politics in the new states’, in: Clifford Geertz (ed.), Old Societies and New States (New York: The Free Press) 105–57Google Scholar
  37. Gellner, Ernest, 1983, Nations and Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell)Google Scholar
  38. 1994.
    1994, Encounters with Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell)Google Scholar
  39. Gergen, Kenneth J., 1985, ‘The social constructionist movement in modern psychology’, American Psychologist 40: 266–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gilroy, Paul, 1993, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (London: Verso)Google Scholar
  41. Glazer, Nathan, 1993, ‘Is assimilation dead?’, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 530: 187–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Glazer, Nathan, and Daniel P. Moynihan (eds), 1975, Ethnicity: Theory and Experience (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press)Google Scholar
  43. Grosby, Steven, 1994, ‘The verdict of history: The inexpungeable tie of primordiality — a response to Eller and Coughlan’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 17: 164–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Handler, Richard, 1988, Nationalism and the Politics of Culture in Quebec (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press)Google Scholar
  45. 1994.
    1994, ‘Is “identity” a useful cross-cultural concept?’, in: John R. Gillis (ed.), Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity (Princeton: Princeton University Press)Google Scholar
  46. Hannerz, Ulf, 1992, Cultural Complexity: Studies in the Social Organization of Meaning (New York: Columbia University Press)Google Scholar
  47. Harré, Rom, 1986, ‘An outline of the social constructionist viewpoint’, in: R. Harré (ed.), The Social Construction of Emotions (Oxford: Blackwell) 2–14Google Scholar
  48. Hechter, Michael, 1975, Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, 1536–1966 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul)Google Scholar
  49. 1976.
    1976, ‘Response to Cohen: Max Weber on ethnicity and ethnic change’, American Journal of Sociology 81: 1162–8.Google Scholar
  50. Herzfeld, Michael, 1982, Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology, and the Making of Modern Greece (Austin: University of Texas Press)Google Scholar
  51. Hobsbawm, Eric, and Terence Ranger (eds), 1983, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
  52. Horowitz, Donald L., 1985, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley: University of California Press)Google Scholar
  53. Hutchison, William R., and Hartmut Lehmann (eds), 1995, Many Are Chosen: Divine Election and Western Nationalism (Minneapolis: Fortress Press)Google Scholar
  54. Kazal, Rusell A., 1995, ‘Revisiting assimilation: The rise, fall, and reappraisal of a concept in American ethnic history’, The American Historical Review 100: 437–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Keesing, Roger M., 1994, ‘Theories of culture revisited’, in: Robert Borofsky (ed.), Assessing Cultural Anthropology (New York: McGraw-Hill) 301–19Google Scholar
  56. Lemaire, Ton, 1986, De Indiaan in ons bexvustzijn: De ontmoeting van de Oude met de Nieuwe Wereld (Baarn: Ambo)Google Scholar
  57. Llobera, Josep R., 1994, The God of Modernity: The Development of Nationalism in Western Europe (Oxford: Berg)Google Scholar
  58. Lockwood, William G., 1981, ‘Religion and language as criteria of ethnic identity: an exploratory comparison’, in: Sam Beck and John W. Cole (eds), Ethnicity and Nationalism in Southeastern Europe (Amsterdam: Antropologisch-Sociologisch Centrum) 71–82Google Scholar
  59. Löfgren, Orvar, 1981, ‘On the anatomy of culture’, Ethnologia Europaea 12: 26–46Google Scholar
  60. MacDonald, Sharon, 1993, ‘Preface’, in: Sharon MacDonald (ed.), Inside European Identities (Oxford: Berg)Google Scholar
  61. Nairn, Tom, 1981, The Break-up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-nationalism, second, expanded edition (London: Verso)Google Scholar
  62. Nederveen Pieterse, Jan, 1995, ‘Globalization as hybridization’, in: Mike Featherstone, Scott Lash and Roland Robertson (eds), Global Modernities (London: Sage) 45–68Google Scholar
  63. Patterson, Orlando, 1978, Ethnic Chauvinism: The Reactionary Impulse (New York: Stein and Day)Google Scholar
  64. Peel, J. D. Y, 1989, ‘The cultural work of Yoruba ethnogenesis’, in: Elisabeth Tonkin, Maryon McDonald and Malcolm Chapman, (eds) History and Ethnicity (London: Routledge) 198–215Google Scholar
  65. Ranger, Terence, 1983, ‘The invention of tradition in colonial Africa’, in: Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 211–62Google Scholar
  66. 1993.
    1993, ‘The invention of tradition revisited: The case of colonial Africa’, in: T. Ranger and O. Vaughan (eds), Legitimacy and the State in Twentieth-century Africa: Essays in Honour of A. H. M. Kirk-Greene (Houndmills: MacMillan) 62–111Google Scholar
  67. Rex, John, 1986, Race and Ethnicity (Milton Keynes: Open University Press)Google Scholar
  68. Roosens, Eugeen E., 1989, Creating Ethnicity: The Process of Ethnogenesis (Newbury Park: Sage Publications)Google Scholar
  69. 1994.
    1994, ‘The primordial nature of origins in migrant ethnicity’, in: Hans Vermeulen and Cora Govers (eds), The Anthropology of Ethnicity: Beyond ‘Ethnic Groups and Boundaries’ (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis) 81–104Google Scholar
  70. Schmitter-Heisler, Barbara, 1992, ‘The future of immigrant incorporation: which models? which concepts?’, International Migration Review 26: 623–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Scott, George M., 1990, ‘A resynthesis of the primordial and circumstantial approaches to ethnic group solidarity: Towards an explanatory model’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 13: 147–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Shaw, Rosalind, and Charles Stewart, 1994, ‘Introduction: Problematizing syncretism’, in: Charles Stewart and Rosalind Shaw (eds), Syncretism/Anti-syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis (London: Routledge) 1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Shils, Edward, 1957, ‘Primordial, personal, sacred and civil ties’, British Journal of Sociology 8: 130–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shotter, John, 1993, Cultural Politics of Everyday Life (Buckingham: Open University Press)Google Scholar
  75. Sollors, Werner (ed.), 1989, The Invention of Ethnicity (New York: Oxford University Press)Google Scholar
  76. Smith, Anthony D., 1991a, National Identity (London: Penguin Books)Google Scholar
  77. 1991.
    1991b, ‘The nation: invented, imagined, reconstructed?’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 20: 353–68Google Scholar
  78. Steinberg, Stephen, 1989, The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity and Class in America, second edition (Boston: Beacon Press) [1981]Google Scholar
  79. Tonkin, Elisabeth, 1990, ‘History and the myth of realism’, in: Raphael Samuel and Paul Thompson (eds), The Myths We Live By (London: Routledge) 25–35Google Scholar
  80. Trudgill, P., 1974, Sociolinguistics: An Introduction (Harmondsworth: Penguin)Google Scholar
  81. Trudgill, P., and G. A. Tzavaras, 1977, ‘Why Albanian-Greeks are not Albanians: Language shift in Attica and Biotia’, in: H. Giles (ed.), Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations (London: Academic Press) 171–84Google Scholar
  82. Vail, Leroy, 1989, ‘Introduction: Ethnicity in Southern African history’, in: Leroy Vail (ed.), The Creation of Tribalism in Southern Africa (London/Berkeley: Currey/University of California Press) 1–19Google Scholar
  83. Vayda, Andrew P., 1994, ‘Actions, variations, and change: The emerging anti-essentialist view in anthropology’, in: Robert Borofsky (ed.), Assessing Cultural Anthropology (New York: McGraw-Hill) 320–30Google Scholar
  84. Verdery, Katherine, 1983, Transylvanian Villagers: Three Centuries of Political, Economic, and Ethnic Change (Berkeley: University of California Press)Google Scholar
  85. 1990.
    1990, ‘The production and defense of “the Romanian nation”, 1900 to World War II’, in: Richard G. Fox (ed.), National Ideologies and the Production of National Cultures (Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association) 81–111Google Scholar
  86. 1991.
    1991, National Ideology Under Socialism: Identity and Politics under Ceauşescu’s Romania (Berkeley: University of California Press)Google Scholar
  87. 1994.
    1994, ‘Ethnicity, nationalism, and state-making. “Ethnic groups and boundaries”: past and future’, in: Hans Vermeulen and Cora Govers (eds), The Anthropology of Ethnicity: Beyond Ethnic Groups and Boundaries’ (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis) 35–58Google Scholar
  88. Vermeulen, Hans, 1984a, Etnische Groepen en Grenzen (Weesp: Het Wereldvenster)Google Scholar
  89. 1984.
    1984b, ‘Greek cultural dominance among the orthodox population of Macedonia during the last period of Ottoman rule’, in: A. Blok and H. Driessen (eds), Cultural Dominance in the Mediterranean Area (Nijmegen: Vakgroep Culturele Antropologie, KU Nijmegen) 225–55Google Scholar
  90. 1995.
    1995, ‘The concept of ethnicity, illustrated with examples from the geographical region of Macedonia’, in Brunon Synak (ed.), The Ethnic Identities of European Minorities: Theory and Case Studies (Gdansk: Wydawnickwo Uniworsytetu Gdańskiego), 41–58Google Scholar
  91. Wallerstein, Immanuel, 1974, The Modern World-system: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press)Google Scholar
  92. Weber, Max, 1968, Economy and Society: An Outline of interpretative Sociology, Volume I, edited by G. Roth and C. Dittrich (Berkeley: University of California Press)Google Scholar
  93. Wolf, Eric R., 1988a, ‘Ethnicity and nationhood’, Journal of Ethnic Studies Treatises and Documents 21: 27–32Google Scholar
  94. 1988.
    1988b, ‘Inventing society’, American Ethnologist 15: 752–61Google Scholar
  95. Worseley, Peter, 1984, The Three Worlds: Culture and World Development (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson)Google Scholar
  96. Young, Crawford, 1993, The Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Vermeulen
  • Cora Govers

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations