chapter  30
16 Pages

Anne McClintock, 'No Longer in a Future Heaven: Gender Race and Nationalism' (1994)

All nationalisms are gendered, all are invented and all are dangerous - dangerous, not in Eric Hobsbawm’s sense of having to be opposed but in the sense that they represent relations to political power and to the technologies of violence.1 As such, nations are not simply phantasmagoria of the mind; as systems of cultural representation whereby people come to imagine a shared experience of identification with an extended community, they are historical practices through which social difference is both invented and performed.2 Nationalism becomes in this way constitutive of people’s identities through social contests that are frequently violent and always gendered. Yet, if follow­ ing Benedict Anderson, the invented nature of nationalism has recently found wide theoretical currency, explorations of the gendering of the national imaginary have been conspicuously paltry.