Friendship and Solidarity: The Road Not Taken in the Study of National Attachment

  • Danny Kaplan
Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)


Studies of nationalism privilege questions about the common identity of actors and overlook the question of social ties between actors. Recent reappraisals of national identity discourse that foregrounded institutional processes and the study of national communities in everyday life (notably Brubaker, Erikson, Edensor, and Fox and Miller-Idriss) have not considered the role of sociability as an equally important category of analysis. The few scholars to have addressed national solidarity (notably Calhoun and Malešević) described it as an abstract relation between strangers and drew a dichotomous distinction between personal friendship and collective solidarity. Engaging with various discussions on the politics of friendship, trust, and strangership (among them Honohahn, Mallory, and Silver), this chapter sets out to bring friendship back in and argues the need for a phenomenological inquiry that centers on the continuum between interpersonal and collective ties.


  1. Ahmed, Sara. 2000. Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, Danielle. 2004. Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown V. Board of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, Benedict. [1983] 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  4. Barth, Fredrik. 1969. “Introduction.” In Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference, edited by Fredrik Barth, 1–38. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, Sandra, and Simon Coleman, eds. 1999. The Anthropology of Friendship. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  6. Billig, Michael. 1995. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Brubaker, Rogers. 1996. Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brubaker, Rogers, and Frederick Cooper. 2000. “Beyond ‘Identity’.” Theory and Society 29 (1): 1–47.Google Scholar
  9. Brubaker, Rogers, Mara Loveman, and Peter Stamatov. 2004. “Ethnicity as Cognition.” Theory and Society 33 (1): 31–64.Google Scholar
  10. Brunkhorst, Hauke. 2005. Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community. Translated by Jeffrey Flynn. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Calhoun, Craig. 1991. “Nationalism, Political Community and the Representation of Society: Or, Why Feeling at Home is Not a Substitute for Public Space.” European Journal of Social Theory 2: 217–231.Google Scholar
  12. Calhoun, Craig. 1997. Nationalism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  13. Davetian, Benet. 2009. Civility: A Cultural History. Toronto: Toronto University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Desai, Amit, and Evan Killick, eds. 2010. The Ways of Friendship: Anthropological Perspectives. New York: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  15. Devere, Heather, and Graham M. Smith. 2010. “Friendship and Politics.” Political Studies Review 8 (3): 341–356.Google Scholar
  16. Edensor, Tim. 2002. National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  17. Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. 1993. Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  18. Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. 2004. “Place, Kinship and the Case for Non-Ethnic Nations.” Nations and Nationalism 10 (1–2): 49–62.Google Scholar
  19. Fine, Gary Alan. 1987. With the Boys: Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fine, Gary Alan. 1988. “Friends, Impression Management, and Preadolescent Behavior.” In Childhood Socialization, ed. Gerald Handel, 209–234. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
  21. Fine, Gary Alan. 2012a. Tiny Publics: A Theory of Group Action and Culture. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  22. Fine, Gary Alan. 2012b. “Group Culture and the Interaction Order: Local Sociology on the Meso-Level.” Annual Review of Sociology 38: 159–179.Google Scholar
  23. Fine, Gary Alan, and Brooke Harrington. 2004. “Tiny Publics: Small Groups and Civil Society.” Sociological Theory 22 (3): 341–356.Google Scholar
  24. Foster, Robert J. 2002. Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption, and Media in Papua New Guinea. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Fox, Jon E., and Cynthia Miller-Idriss. 2008. “Everyday Nationhood.” Ethnicities 8 (4): 536–563.Google Scholar
  26. Frazer, Elizabeth 2008. “Mary Wollstonecraft on Politics and Friendship.” Political Studies 56 (1): 237–256.Google Scholar
  27. Frosh, Paul. 2006. “Telling Presences: Witnessing, Mass Media, and the Imagined Lives of Strangers.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 23 (4): 265–284.Google Scholar
  28. Gellner, Ernst. 1983. Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  29. Goffman, Ervin. 1963. Behavior in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gorski, Philip S. 2000. “The Mosaic Moment: An Early Modernist Critique of Modernist Theories of Nationalism.” American Journal of Sociology 105 (5): 1428–1468.Google Scholar
  31. Gutmann, Matthew C. 1997. “Trafficking in Men: The Anthropology of Masculinity.” Annual Review of Anthropology 26: 385–409.Google Scholar
  32. Habermas, Jürgen. [1962] 1991. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  33. Handler, Richard. 1994. “Is Identity a Useful Cross-Cultural Concept?” In Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity, edited by John Gillis, 27–40. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Hartley, John. 1999. Uses of Television. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Herzfeld, Michael. 1985. Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Hobsbawm, Erik. 1991. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Honohan, Iseult. 2001. “Friends, Strangers or Countrymen? The Ties Between Citizens as Colleagues.” Political Studies 49 (1): 51–69.Google Scholar
  38. Horgan, Mervyn. 2012. “Strangers and Strangership.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (6): 607–622.Google Scholar
  39. Kaplan, Danny. 2006. The Men We Loved: Male Friendship and Nationalism in Israeli Culture. New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  40. Karakayali, Nedim. 2006. “The Uses of the Stranger: Circulation, Arbitration, Secrecy, and Dirt.” Sociological Theory 24 (4): 312–330.Google Scholar
  41. Lainer-Vos, Dan. 2012. “Manufacturing National Attachments: Gift-Giving, Market Exchange and the Construction of Irish and Zionist Diaspora Bonds.” Theory and Society 41 (1): 73–106.Google Scholar
  42. Lake, Marilyn. 1992. “Mission Impossible: How Men Gave Birth to the Australian Nation: Nationalism, Gender and Other Seminal Acts.” Gender & History 4 (3): 305–322.Google Scholar
  43. Lyman, Peter. 1987. “The Fraternal Bond as a Joking Relationship: A Case Study of the Role of Sexist Jokes in Male Group Bonding.” In Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity, edited by Michael Kimmel, 148–163. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Malešević, Siniša. 2004. “‘Divine Ethnies’ and ‘Sacred Nations’: Anthony D. Smith and the Neo-Durkhemian Theory of Nationalism.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 10 (4): 561–593.Google Scholar
  45. Malešević, Siniša. 2011. “The Chimera of National Identity.” Nations and Nationalism 17 (2): 272–290.Google Scholar
  46. Mallory, Peter. 2012. “Friendship and Strangership: Rethinking Political Friendship Through the Work of Adam Smith.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (6): 591–605.Google Scholar
  47. Mosse, George L. 1982. “Friendship and Nationhood: About the Promise and Failure of German Nationalism.” Journal of Contemporary History 17: 351–367.Google Scholar
  48. Nelson, Dana D. 1998. National Manhood: Capitalist Citizenship and the Imagined Fraternity of White Men. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Polletta, Francesca. 2002. Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Scannell, Paddy. 2000. “For-anyone-as-someone structures.” Media, Culture & Society 22(1): 5–24.Google Scholar
  51. Schwarzenbach, Sibyl. 1996. “On Civic Friendship.” Ethics 107: 97–128.Google Scholar
  52. Schwarzenbach, Sibyl. 2015. “Fraternity, Solidarity and Civic Friendship.” AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies 3 (1): 3–18.Google Scholar
  53. Silver, Allan. 1990. “Friendship in Commercial Society: Eighteenth-Century Social Theory and Modern Sociology.” American Journal of Sociology 95 (6): 1474–1504.Google Scholar
  54. Simmel, Georg. [1915] 1950. The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Translated by Kurt H. Wolff. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
  55. Smith, Anthony D. 1986. The Ethnic Origins of Nations. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, Anthony D. 2009. Ethno-Symbolism and Nationalism: A Cultural Approach. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Tavory, Iddo, and Yehuda C. Goodman. 2009. “‘A Collective of Individuals’: Between Self and Solidarity in a Rainbow Gathering.” Sociology of Religion 70 (3): 262–284.Google Scholar
  58. Vale de Almeida, Miguel. 1996. The Hegemonic Male: Masculinity in a Portuguese Town. Providence: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  59. Vernon, James. 2014. Distant Strangers: How Britain Became Modern. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  60. Wagner‐Pacifici, Robin. 2010. “Theorizing the Restlessness of Events.” American Journal of Sociology 115 (5): 1351–1386.Google Scholar
  61. Warner, Michael. 2002. “Publics and Counterpublics.” Public Culture 14 (1): 49–90.Google Scholar
  62. Wimmer, Andreas, and Yuval Feinstein. 2010. “The Rise of the Nation-State Across the World, 1816 to 2001.” American Sociological Review 75 (5): 764–790.Google Scholar
  63. Yack, Bernard. 2012. Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Gender Studies ProgramBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

Personalised recommendations