Character, National

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


The idea of a “national character” enjoyed great popularity after World War II; declined to a point of oblivion from the 1970s on; and is now being revived following September 11, 2001. The following entry suggests that the social and moral history of the idea of national character is tied to global security contexts. It also suggests that political sensitivities curtailed the use of this highly promising scientific idea. New security challenges may underlie the recent revival of national character in sociology. This entry describes the ups and downs of this idea and explains why its current vogue holds promise for future studies of national idiosyncrasies.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of race, ethnicity, and nationalism
Subtitle of host publicationVolume I: A-Con
Place of PublicationChichester, West Sussex, UK
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
ISBN (Electronic)9781118663202
ISBN (Print)9781405189781
StatePublished - 30 Dec 2015


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