"The Nation Form"
Balibar, Etienne

Kate Liu 10/4, 96 
Balibar, Etienne. "The Nation Form"”ŠReview XIII 3 (Summer 1990): 329-61. 

purpose: to clarify...that of the causes and "deep" structures of contemporary racism. 

  1. ­I“ŗ Terminology: nation and state; social formation; world state-system; 

  2. Marxist historiography: functionalist (nation as instrument of bourgeois hegemony) and historicist (nation overdetermining class struggle) 
    ”ö”÷study national unity as an historical reality in fact divided because of antagonistic class strategies, or even as the long-term consequence of a continuous transformation of "class" identities and the unstable equilibria established between opposing interests 
    Althusser's influence: ISA as combined functioning of several dominant institutions (102) 
  3. ŗK­n 
  4. History: 
    1. Pre-history”Šon-linear, a series of conjunctural relations (e.g. institution of national language, development of monarchical power, centralization of legal and fiscal power, the complementariness of church and state ) 
    2. threshhold”Šnation and world economy”Šthe concurrence of nationalism and cosmopolitanism 
    3. (delayed) nationlization of society”Šstate bourgeoisie
    4. producing the people--institution of individuals as nationals”Š

    5. methods: education, force, analogy of religion, fictive ethnicity (every identity is individual, but socially produced) (only imaginary communities are real
      --unification of people by ideological form, e.g. patriotism, nationalism 
    6. fictive ethnicity and ideal nation”Šnaturalization of belonging 
    7. the production of ethnicity through language and race”Šracialization of language, verbalization of race 
    8. family and school”Šthe dissolution of extended family// penetrated by state-intervention (e.g. health care, census, birth control, eugenics) 
  • language community (98) The linguistic community induces a terribly constraining ethnic memory…, but it is one which none the less possess a strange plasticity: it immediately naturalizes new acquisitions. It does so too quickly in a sense....Ideally, it 'assimilates' anyone, but holds no one. 
  • The future of nation (p. 91; 105) in globalism 
  • topics for future discussion: fictive ethnicity, national history and language, different nation forms (U.S. vs. France, US vs. Canada, Canada vs. UK, etc.), 

 [ Literary Criticism / Internet Assisted Courses / English Department