Ethnicity and Nationalism - ANTS5730

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


'Ethnicity' and ‘nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150


This module is optional to the following courses:

• BSc Anthropology and cognate courses
• BSc Human Geography and cognate courses

Method of assessment

Examination (2 hours) (50%)
Essay, 2,000 words (50%)

Reassessment: 100% coursework

*Exams will be online*

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which the related phenomena of nationalism and ethnicity have been historically constructed since the eighteenth century, and to be able to question their taken-for-granted status in the modern world.
2 Critically assess concepts related to ethnicity and the categorisation of difference, such as indigeneity, hybridity, authenticity, invention of tradition and race.
3 Consider the ways in which ethnicity and nationalism are being transformed as a result of migration and globalisation.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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