National Identity, Inclusion or Invasion?

By: | March 11, 2017

National Identity

National identity is the collectively shared agreement by citizens and residents of the characteristics, values, and principles that define a nation and her people. National identity also embodies the feeling of kinship one share with others who share citizenship status. National identity is not an inborn trait.

Allegiance to your nation is by sharing preferences for many everyday life experiences such as shared values, global political agendas, language, history, symbols, arts, traditions, holidays, language and many other elements. Allegiance to national identity strengthens when under the threat of a military, economic or cultural enemy.

Sometimes cooperation is heightened as individuals unite across many differences to protect themselves and fight against a perceived common threat, as the United States did for a period after the terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda on September 11th, 2001. The positive expression of one’s national identity is patriotism, and the negative produces extreme isolationism and xenophobia.

Borders and National Identity

National identity enables citizens to imagine themselves as part of a larger national community. National identity also allows a sense of belonging across long distances by fellow citizens who never see one another in person. Globalization reinforced by unbounded communications technology is introducing this sense across national borders. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the role that geographical boundaries play in national identity. Geographic boundaries are powerful tools to enforce inclusion and exclusion via-