Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are We Ourselves?: Notes Toward an Understanding of Identity

This paper represents a series of somewhat related musings or reflections on the issue of identity and its close cousins. It was originally written in 1992 for a seminar in ethnicity at BYU taught by Carol Ward. The original paper consisted of discussions of theories of ethnicity and a cultural approach to Mormon, Quaker, and Mennonite identity. That paper was based not only on theoretical research and historical research but also on ethnographies of Quakerism, Mennonitism, and Mormonism I undertook in the 1980s and 1990s. I revised and expanded it in 2002, 2003 and recently, and also recently attempted to correct its mistakes and infelicities of writing. It should be read against the backdrop of my discussion of key symbols in my papers on Quaker symbology and Mormon symbology. Needless to say the musings in this paper inform virtually all of my work.

I have long been interested in social movements in general and social movements like Quakerism and Mormonism in particular. I don’t know when I came to this realisation but it has long seemed to me that the common economic (status anxiety, deprivation, relative deprivation), political, demographic, and geographic explanations for the rise of social movements offered by intellectuals and academics just don’t work. Yes, economic factors, political factors, demographic factors, and geographic factors play a role in the rise of social movements. They don’t, however, explain why social movements that arose in the same economic, political, demographic, and geographic contexts took the cultural form they did and why these cultural forms (symbols, rituals, ways of seeing) differ. Those differences can, in my humble opinion, only be explained by culture and as a result an attention to culture is essential for anyone attempting to explore social movements and the fetishised social groups they give rise to.

This paper was an attempt to think through the role culture plays in the construction of identity in social movements in a somewhat systematic way. At one time I envisioned it as the concluding chapter of a dissertation on the culture of social movements. I ran out of petrol or gas at some point in the attempt as I realised at some point that I was on a Quixote like quest that was about to overwhelm me and keep me from finishing my doctoral dissertation. It almost did both. Despite all its failings and despite the fact that this paper isn’t as tight as I would like I, channeling Rod Serling, would still like to submit it for your consideration.

Lastly, I want to apologise for the poor footnotes. When I converted the original paper from Works to Word I lost a substantial amount of my footnotes

Introduction [1]
If a cultural approach to identity tells us anything it tells us that the culture manufactured in the crucible of social and cultural movements provides a sense of identity to the members of social and cultural movements, creates a sense of community in social and cultural groups, and plays a major role in creating social and cultural groups and movements themselves. It is culture that gives social groups meaning and focus. It is culture that structures how they think, how they act, and how they organize their lives. And it is culture embodied in the collective bodies and minds of social and cultural groups through habits and memories that becomes common sense and second nature to individuals in social groups. It is culture fetishised, in other words, that produces specific ideologies or worldviews. An understanding of culture is thus essential if we are to understand how social and cultural groups come into existence, how they stay in existence, and how they “work” or function.

Perhaps one of the most exciting things that has occurred in approaches to the identity in the last fifty years has been the recognition that an understanding of culture is essential if we are to fully understand the construction of identity. As social movement theorist William Gamson admitted one of the chief failings of resource mobilization theory in retrospect was that it paid far too little attention to the construction and transformation of collective identities in social movements. [2]

It is simply not enough to say these days that Quakers, Shakers, Mormons, Oneidans, and Adventists shared and share a culture and that they arose in specific wider economic, political, geographical, and demographic contexts that gave birth to them. All of them, of course, arose in times of economic and political change, Quakers during the English Civil war between 1642 and 1651, Mormons, Oneidians, and Adventists during the a period of immense economic and political change in North America, the Second Great Awakening. But they are all also, despite arising in different times and different places, Christian social movements, Christian groups which shared and share a Christian cultural tradition that was and is biblical apocalyptic, dispensationalist, and primitivist, Christian groups that gave different spins to Christian Biblicism, Christian apocalypticism, Christian dispensationalism, and Christian primitivism. So in order to fully understand each and every one of these groups we need to go beyond the obvious notion, namely, that all of these groups were the products of economic or political change. Of course, economic and political change impacted the rise and continuing existence of these groups.

Approaching Identity
The question of the identity [3] has a long history in the social scientific and humanities. Explanations for the origin of ethnic identity have run the gamut from the biological [4] to the cultural [5], and from the class based [6] to the politically based [7], all the usual suspects.

Much recent work on notions of collective identity takes more dialectical approaches to the question of identity. [8] Drawing on the work of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, who argue that identity is constructed through the processes of externalization, institutionalization, and interiorization or embodiment, dialectical approaches suggest that there is a dialectical interplay of a variety of factors--personal, social, cultural economic, political, ideological--which socially and culturally construct identity and ethnicity. In this perspective identities are established through externalization, the projecting outward of group ideologies or worldviews institutionalized by objectivations (“social facts”), and finally, interiorized via enculturation or socialization.

While this phenomenological and dialectical model of identity dynamics is a great step forward from perspectives which confused identity with race, what remains absent from a number of contemporary approaches to identity is an expansive consideration of the role cultural factors play in the construction of notions of peoplehood and community. [9] John Comaroff, for instance, proposes a dialectical model that ties ethnic identity production to social class factors and the rise and spread of capitalism. [10] Joane Nagel emphasizes the role capitalism played in the construction of modern identities and while recognizing the importance of culture in identity construction and identity revitalization, tells us little about the role cultural factors play in the construction of “peoplehood” and community. [11]

Other scholars do pay greater attention to the role culture plays in the construction of collective identity. Victor Turner, and Eugene Halton, for instance, focus on the cultural means through which identity and culture are embodied. They argue that identities are manufactured by humans, sometimes from the top down, sometimes from the bottom up, that identities are externalized in symbols, rituals, and institutions, in meanings, and that identities become embodied in individual bodies creating, in the process, a sense of collective identity. [12]

While these approaches explore the nature of modern identity they don’t necessarily tell us what identity is and identities came to be? Others try to, however. John Comaroff, for instance, distinguishes between what he argues are the two major pre-historical and historical identity forms that have characterized human existence, the totemic and the ethnic. For Comoroff the former is an identity structured on the belief in a common ancestral origin, a common ancestry traced to some animal or plant in the natural environment. Totemic identity structures are, according to Comoroff, less likely to demonize those others whom totemic identity marks itself off against than that other major identity form he delineates, ethnic identity structures. [13]

Ethnic identity structures, on the other hand, are, according to Comoroff, based on ideologies of common ancestry. [14] They are generally geographical in nature, tied to notions of common soil, tied to notions of common blood, and founded on a distinction between “us”, we of common soil and blood, and “them”, those of soil and blood different from “us”. In ethnic identity forms, claims Comaroff, the “them” more often than not, are perceived in negative and sometimes demonic terms. [15]

While Comoroff's definition of identity types is helpful, it does not, go far enough analytically. Modern identity, and the differences between totemic identity cultures and modern identity cultures is one of the differences at the heart of the difference between traditional and modern culture, is clearly a quite complex cultural and social phenomenon. It is not simply “totemic” and “ethnic”. In ideal type terms identity can take biological form (female, male), sexual form (homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, sado-masochist), gender form (woman, man, trans-gendered), economic form (neo-liberal, Keynesian, GE employee), linguistic form (Flemish, Waloon, Celtic, Quebecois French), political form (socialist), geographic form (Parisienne, Berliner, Dallasite, Oak Cliff resident, resident of Bethel village, Utahn), imperialist form (“the white man's burden”), class form (working class, the leisure class), anti-colonial form (Algeria for the Algerians), military form (the Nigerian military carved an identity for itself out of the often destabilizing heterogeneity of the fabricated state it “defended” and has impacted Nigerian politics, usually in negative ways, ever since), status form (those listed in blue books), ideological form (libertarian), artistic form (devotee of classical music, Beatles devotee, punk, pop artist, devotee of impressionism, devotee of Godard, partisan of Russian literature), “racial” form (black), citizenship form (German, American, Canadian), ethnic form (German, Basque, Abkhazian), professional form (priest, professor, scientist), religious form (Muslim, Christian, Mennonite, Shi'ite, Baha'i), totemic form (bird people, snake people), tribal form (Hutu, Tutsi), sports form (Cleveland Browns fan, football hooligans), clique form, and cyber form (cyberidentites like those of cyberdevotees of Star Trek, Star Wars, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, computer chat rooms), to note just a few examples. [16]

In societies and cultures with overlapping or nested complex social and cultural formations, identity can be and is expressed through a number if not all of these identity forms simultaneously. For example, from 8am to 5pm on weekdays I may define myself as an employee of some corporation or non-profit bureaucracy. From 10am to 10:05 on Election Day I may define myself in terms of the political party whose candidates I am about to vote for. From 6:30pm to 9pm I may define myself as a Reform Jew about to go to Shabbat service at my temple of choice. During a conflict with another nation I may see myself as a Cultural Anabaptist, a pacifist, and a citizen of the world and oppose what I see as yet another act of imperialism. While attending a basketball game at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall draped in my totemic team colours of cream and crimson I may define myself as a “Hoosier” and mark myself off against the evil “Boilermakers” of Purdue (aka, the home of undue perversity), who IU is playing on that day. While at my parents home I may, at least for the moment, define myself in biological terms, as a son of the Helfrich family. [17]

Identity functions or works in a variety of ways. One identity marker can be thrown off or disappear as we take on another. When we become teenagers some of us throw off our adolescent identities in the process. As adults we may have different identities at different moments in our lives. The Shostakovich of the 1920s and 1930s, for instance, was not the Shostakovich of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s. In fact, when one explores the meanings friends, colleagues, acquaintances, biographers, politicians, and critics gave and give to “Shostakovich” one has to wonder whether one can even find something or some things that constitute a Shostakovian core. We can take on a new identity while keeping earlier ones. We can be someone's son, an employee of Wal-Mart, a lover of Mariah Carey (god forbid), a fan of the no longer existent Baltimore Colts, bisexual, and so on, all at the same time.[18]

We can and do hierarchicalize our identities in a nested hierarchy of identities. We may give greater importance to our work identity or identities than our musical ones, for instance. We may attach greater importance to our religious identity than to our national one and, if our religious identity is centred around pacifism, oppose wars we see as imperialist and immoral. Or we may treat our identities as of equal importance to us.

Identities can be used strategically. In the United States, for example, we may attempt to define ourselves in minority categories when we seek admission to Harvard or seek some aid from the federal government because of some perceived advantage minority identities may give us or we may seek to efface our minority identities if we perceive them as doing us harm. America's wealthy and powerful use their ties to government officials in America's state and federal legislatures for personal benefit all the time.

“Modern” or ethnic identity, to use Comaroff’s term, is thus not simply a product of capitalism and class. As Francois Furet and Lynn Hunt point out, the French Revolution created new French men and women through culture rather than class. During the 1780s and 1790s new symbols and rituals were created by revolutionary elites and attempts were made to socialize and embody new notions of what it meant to be French in newly manufactured French men and women. Attempts were made to standardize the French language. New symbols made their appearance (“Marianne” and “Hercule”, the new Revolutionary calendar, the mantra of liberté, égalité, fraternité). New rituals and new ceremonies were initiated such as the festivals celebrating “Marianne”, Liberté, and the “cult of Supreme Reason”. New symbols, new rituals, and new ceremonies helped manufacture the new citizens, citoyens, of the new France, identities that helped mark off “revolutionary” citizens from the “counterrevolutionaries” who, it was claimed, wanted to overthrow and destroy the new revolutionary political order and restore the old. [19]

These “counterrevolutionaries”, who were also more “modern” than “traditional”, used the symbols and rituals of the old order, along with weapons, to fight the new revolutionary culture. Traditional symbols and rituals were mobilized to counter the new culture of the French revolutionaries and, in the process, created a new anti-revolutionary identity. The symbols and rituals of Catholicism were linked to the theocratic social and political order of old France and served as oppositional symbols for elite monarchists and the anti-revolutionary masses who identified themselves as subjects of state, monarch, and church.

Culture was as important in creating new identities during the Russian Revolution in the late 1910s and 1920s as it was during the French Revolution. New symbols and new rituals became important in post-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union. Communist and Revolutionary symbols like “the radiant future”, the cult of “October”, the cult of “Lenin”, became popular in the wake of the October Revolution. So did new rituals such as “May Day”, “October Day”, pilgrimages to Lenin's mausoleum, “International Women's Day” and they created ritualized betwixt and between states which helped manufacture, over time, committed new Soviet men and women. [20]

The French Revolutionary army, the Soviet Red Army, and, importantly, war played important roles in creating both new French and new Soviets citizens and comrades and in popularizing the new symbols and rituals of both the July and October revolutions. Military campaigns to repulse external “monarchical” or anti-communist forces and internal “counterrevolutionary” aggression helped create and manufacture new, or at least in part new, French and Soviet citizens. The military helped abolish the distinction between soldiers and citizens in both France and Russia as these new defenders of the revolutionary faith were mobilized to defend both the French and Russian revolutions against its enemies both without and within. Eventually these same militaries would come to be seen as foot soldiers in the battle for liberatory “revolutionary” change (generally more utopian than real) all across Europe. [21] Additionally, symbols and rituals celebrating each revolution were used by each military to instill notions of “usness” (“revolutionaries” and defenders of the revolution) and “themness” (“counterrevolutionaries”) amongst those who joined or who were conscripted to fight the enemy (“them”). In other words, the French and Soviet revolutionary militaries created and manufactured new French and new Soviet men who marched off to defend the faith in modern day crusades against the infidel. [22]

Many analysts, of course, have seen the French Revolution and its new rituals, symbols, and culture as a phenomenon that gave birth to ethnic forms of identity. [23] These commentators argue that the French Revolution grounded citizenship in a particular political, linguistic and geographic community rather than in the monarchy or in serf-master relations. If this is true, and I think it is, ethnic identity is not, the product of capitalism or class distinctions but is rather the product of specific cultural and ideological formations that arose in specific historical contexts.

Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
Historically speaking ethnicity and ideas about ethnicity originated out of nineteenth century romanticism and nineteenth century historical linguistics. The romantic movement of the nineteenth century “discovered: ethnic folklores, ethnic folk musics, ethnic folk arts, and ethnic folk festivals and believed that each of these revealed something about specific identity groups (blood). Specific geographies became linked, in the Romantic mind, to particular ethnic groups (soil). Germans, it came to be believed lived in Germany, French men and women lived in France, English men and women lived in England, Hungarian men and women lived in Hungary, Serbian men and women in Serbia, and so on, even if and when other “ethnic” groups inhabited “ethnic” soil. [24]

The Enlightenment with its interest in all things human gave the study of historical linguistics real impetus. The flowering of historical linguistics at the end of the nineteenth century gave even further impetus to ethnic nationalisms particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the years historical linguists “discovered” the existence of distinct language groups, Indo-European or Aryan, Uralic-Altaic, Semitic, and so on. Eventually these linguistic distinctions were fetishized and formed the bedrock on which the existence of different ethnic groups were built. Over time speech communities morphed into ethnic groups. Germans were defined as those who spoke German, French as those who spoke French, Czechs as those who spoke Czech, Hungarians as those who spoke Hungarian, Serbs as those who spoke Serbian. [25]

The movement from language group to ethnic group, blood, to nation-state, soil, (usually led by middle class intellectuals) was not a unilinear process. It occurred in different places, at different times, and in different ways. This was because other factors cut across ethnic identity including ”class”, status, Great Power politics, economic “realities”, the presence of ethnic minorities in regions of multinational states, divided loyalties, political competition, fears of revolution, religion, race, war, imperialism, among others. As Robert Wiebe notes it was war and racist anti-Semitism that finally fully united the Protestant and Catholic parts of Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Notions of blood, soil, language, culture, and eventually science, then, created ethnicity and “race”, race defined broadly. It was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the idea that it was essential to liberate those of German blood and German soil from Poland or Bohemia. [26]

Identities, of course, are not simply things one ascribes to oneself. They can also be imposed from outside and here inequalities of power often come into play. “Quaker”, “Mormon”, and “Methodist” identities, for instance, were “invented” by more powerful and mainstream opponents of each of these groups and applied to the followers of Fox, Wesley, and Smith. In their origins they expressed the derision outsiders had for both the leaders and the followers in each of these identity communities. Eventually, some insiders came to use these terms to describe themselves, if only somewhat reluctantly.

Nation-states have played important roles in manufacturing and sanctifying identities. A number of Canadian provincial governments, for instance, regard the Amish and Mennonites as “ethnic” groups. Official recognition that a group is an ethnic group in Canada has its benefits. It allows one access to government monies which can be used to create or expand cultural institutions including those that celebrate the achievements of specific “ethnic groups” and which serve as mediums of enculturation and socialization for “ethnic” young. In Apartheid era South Africa the white racist government distinguished “Europeans”, “Indians”, “Coloreds”, and “Bantus” from each other. [27]

Nation-states also played important roles in the construction or reconfiguration of identities. European Settler societies have played critical roles in determining what and who constitute majority and minority identities in their midst. [28] In the United States, for instance, broad identity categories like “white” and “black”, ostensibly based on the colour of skin. [29] While they still contain the remains of the days when the category “white” meant someone economically, politically, technologically, and culturally superior to a “black”, “white” refers to the descendents of European ethnics who settled in the US while “black” to those of African heritage or whose forebears were often brought to the US as slaves.

More than perhaps any other identity category, “White” and “black”, point up the cultural, ideological, and power aspects of identity formation. In the US majority and minority identity categories are in part grounded in ideologies of racial difference. In the US “blacks” are considered a “minority” category because of their colour, their slave past, and their largely powerless and poverty ridden past and present. [30]

Majority and minority identity categories (a fascinating mixture of the biological, the political, and the economic) have been enshrined by the US in its census, in the forms the government mandates that all companies which receive federal funds must collect from job applicants, and in its affirmative action programs. In this and other ways, government categorizations have affected how citizens of the US define and see themselves. Individuals that once saw themselves as Germans, Italians, Poles, Jews, or African slaves (slaves, of course, were members of several African tribes and social formations) now see themselves as “white” or “black” in the United States.

Academia, the mass media, and popular culture also play roles in manufacturing and fetishising notions of identity and its close cousin community. Many academics and tourists who visit North American Anabaptist communities in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ontario, and Manitoba, for instance, seem to believe that Anabaptists like the Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites, Old Order River Brethren, and Old Order Brethren, are a kind of people apart This has given rise to the proliferation of Mennonite-Amish cookbooks, coffee table books, quilts, how to guides, and books which deal with aspects of Old Order life aimed at tourist markets. Presumably all of this is the result of a combination of factors. Tourists of all types including intellectual tourists (academics), and media tourists (reporters and documentary film makers), tend to see Old Orders as anachronistic in dress and speech, anachronistic in economic development, as remnants of a “simpler” past we in the modern present are nostalgic for, as, in other words, a type of ethnographic analogy, as a kind of living remnant of a pre-industrial gemeinschaft, and as the kinder and gentler other within as in Peter Weir’s film where Amish and “English meet, Witness. [31]

Identities can be more or less distinctive. While Ronald Walters and Rosabeth Moss Kanter tie the success of radical and communal groups to the degree to which they are totalitarian or authoritarian, it is probably more accurate to say that the more wholistic and totalistic an identity group is and the more geographically or ideological marginal and distinct an identity culture, the more distinctive the identity group will be. Anabaptist (Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, Brethren), Quaker, and Mormon commitment to specific institutions, symbols, rituals, and embodiments maintained and maintain the strength of Anabaptist, Quaker, and Mormon identities and cultures even in the “pluralistic” environment of modern America. They tied and tie Anabaptists, Quakers, and Mormons to other Anabaptists, Quakers, and Mormons creating a sense of group identity. The ideological and (to a lesser extent these days) geographic marginality of these groups played an important role in recapitulating and re-embodying group identity. [32]

Countercultural Identity: Identity and Marginality
The levels of and commitment to marginality within Quaker, Shaker, Mormon, and Oneidan communities engendered and promoted a strong sense of identity through the intentional cultural and geographic marginalization of each community from within and by the dominant “mainstream” society. By taking stances opposed to the “mainstream” social and cultural order, Quakerism, Shakerism, Mormonism, and the Oneida Community promoted and reinforced their distance from the dominant social and cultural order and in the process strengthened their sense of identity.

Symbols and rituals can serve not to promote and recapitulate identity but also to promote and replicate a sense of otherness and choseness. Following the promptings of the “Light within” and its pacifist expressions allows Quakers, or as they earlier called themselves “the First Publishers of the Truth”, to view themselves as bringing light and progress to the world. Some Friends recite the litany of Quaker involvement in “progressive” reform movements such as the Indian Rights, anti-slavery, abolition, women's right, feminist, anti-war, anti-globalization, new economic order movements to make their point. This gives them a sense of choseness, a sense of cultural and social superiority. Quakers are firmly convinced that they are doing the will of God, the will of Christ, or the will of Nature. They believe that by acting in the world and by “speaking truth to power” they are bringing about a better world, one that will live in peace and harmony rather than in a constant cycle of violence.

Mormons believe that they are the one true church because they and they alone have and are receiving revelations from God and Christ. The Mormon practice of “following the Brethren”, those who receives revelations from the divine, of listening to the counsel of “proper authorities” as one journeys through life imparts a sense of choseness, of righteousness, and of superiority to Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe that by building “Zion” all across the world they are helping the world progress toward that day when God will act and God and Mormons will rule the earth from their “New Zion” in Independence, Missouri.

Shakers believed that they had restored God’s true order in communal life and the practice of celibacy. The Onieda Community asserted that it alone instantiated God’s true church through its communal forms and communal practices.

Embodied symbols, especially the key ones, produced and reproduced, and produce and reproduce emotions in believers. They give rise to and reinforce moods, attitudes, perceptions, and practices. By acting prophetically in the world, Quakers experience and embody the whole of Quaker history and interact with Quakers of the past who made Quaker history. While earlier believers may have acted on the world prophetically by their separation from it and condemnation of it, most contemporary believers are equally as prophetic when they engage the world as they prophetically act and prophetically condemn it through their words and actions. These words and actions, as I mentioned earlier, continually constitute and reconstitute both Quaker identity and Quaker marginality from dominant American society and culture. [33]

Likewise the fact that every Mormon is on the same path (“eternal progression”) to the promised land beyond the veil, the “celestial kingdom” and the important and mandated role genealogical work plays in the Church, binds current and past Saints together. Within the Mormon community, particularly the Mormon descent community, kinship ties strengthened by nineteenth and early twentieth century polygamy and intermarriage (particularly in the Mormon culture region and especially in Mormon power circles) served to embody a sense of Mormoness in believers. It literally and figuratively bound Saint to Saint in both “time and eternity”.

Shaker communal life and celibate practices tied Shakers in communes to one other. Oneidan communal life and communal practices both literally and figuratively tied their community together.

Rituals play an important role in the embodiment of culture. Quaker “silent meetings” are ritual experiences in which individual Friends can collectively experience the “voice within”. Quaker “business meetings” are liminal egalitarian rituals which express Quaker culture and ideology in miniature. Mormon temple rituals and genealogical research are ritual aspects of “eternal progression” and are central in differentiating “worthy” Saints from wayward Saints (“Jack Mormons”). Temple rituals themselves express in concentrated form the doctrine of “eternal progression”, the key symbol in Mormonism, itself. Each time the “worthy Saint” performs temple rituals and genealogical research they tie themselves to Mormons present and Mormons past. Shaker and Oneida communal life itself was a kind of “sacred” ritual sacrament. The practice of celibacy in Shaker communes and group marriage at Oneida were also communal rituals which tied each of the members of the community to each other, though not without conflict in the latter.

Identity group institutions help maintain and recapitulate identity and identity distinctiveness. For instance, the rise of pan-Quaker organizations in post-World War I North America helped tie a Quakerism split into a number of sectarian groups together. Institutions and groups like the Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and the Young Friends of North America (YFNA) served to bind Friends to the broader Quaker community. To know the alphabet soup of Quaker institutions backwards and forwards is to speak the cultural language of Quakerism (i.e., AFSC, FWCC, FGC. FCNL, YFNA). [34]

Mormons have their welfare organization, their temples, their Deseret Industry, their Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, their church administrative offices, their historical museum and archives, their pilgrimage sites (the Mormon Trail, Nauvoo, Kirtland, Palmyra), their Pioneer Days, their BYU (where the student body is around 90% LDS), and their temples. Talking about these, visiting these, taking part in rituals within these, embodying the symbols and rituals within these, is part of being Mormon. [35]

Shaker and Oneida communal life and practices provided a common culture for its members. Shaker religious meetings, the visions often pronounced at worship gatherings, and the dances that took place during them integrated tied Shakers together. A shared loyalty to “Mother Ann”, common meals, common times for getting up, and common times of going to bed also created a sense of common community in each Shaker settlement. Oneida loyalty to Noyes, group meals, group marriage, and community self-criticism meetings helped create a common culture at Oneida. All of these, ironically, would come to play important roles, along with increasing wealth, in the eventual demise of the Oneida community.

It is with American Old Order Anabaptism (Old Order and New Order Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Brethren) that one can most clearly see the role commitment and cultural and geographical marginality plays in maintaining identity and community. Anabaptists are the contemporary heirs of the Radical Reformation. [36] Pacifism, non-”modern” lifeways, dress ways, speech ways, mutual aid practices, farming practices, economic practices, artisanal practices, and distinctive community oriented settlement patterns, mark Old Order Anabaptism as different from and marginal to contemporary American society and culture, a society and culture most Plain People feel “superior” to. Each of these when embodied constitute and recapitulate Old Order identities.

Quakers, Mormons, Shakers, and the Oneida Community, of course, existed and exist (there are still a few Shakers left) within broader political and economic forms which have their own power structures and which, in turn, impacted and impact Quaker, Mormon, Shaker, and Oneida communities. The powers that were in seventeenth century England and nineteenth century America, for instance, and many of the groups or individuals that had their ear were far from happy with Quaker egalitarianism, Mormon polygamy and theocracy, and Shaker and Oneida communalism and sexual practices. These opponents of Quakerism, Mormonism, Shakerism, and the Oneida Community were able to bring political, economic, cultural, and sometimes military power to bear on these intransigent groups and change them in the process.

Identity groups thus arise and exist within specific broader contexts. Many identity groups often have to interact with and within these broader contexts regardless of whether they want to or not. North American Amish have had to come to grips with social security, social insurance, governmental business, environmental, educational, and traffic regulations, and slow moving vehicle signs, among other things, despite their commitment to be “in the world, but not of it”. Quakers arose in a seventeenth century England whose established order was under challenge and challenged it themselves. The modern Quaker “peaceable kingdom” has to survive in an American state committed to pursuing its “national interests” often through brutality and brute force. The “angelic” or peculiarly Mormon aspect of Mormonism thrives within the worldly “beehive” of the United States. Mormons arose in a region of the United States experiencing economic and political change and religious revival. Much of America saw them as “other”. To make sure that the American state recognized early Mormons as Americans Brigham Young made an agreement with the US military sending Mormon conscripts marching off to the Mexican-American War. This strategy was only partially successful.

The interaction of identity groups with cultures outside of themselves may change identity groups in some way, shape, or form. Such interactions don't, however, necessarily destroy the groups sense of cultural distinctiveness. Despite the fact that both Quakerism and Mormonism, for instance, faced a political opposition that used force against it and despite the fact that both groups had to transform their symbol systems somewhat as a result of this culture conflict, especially by downplaying their common apocalyptic emphasis, and, in the case of Mormonism its theocratic ideology and its polygamic practises, the meaning systems of both Quakerism and Mormonism remain close cousins to Quaker and Mormon symbol systems of the past and both groups remain, in many ways, the “peculiar peoples” they have always been.

Subcultural Identity: Fractions Amongst the Bourgoisie
It is not, of course, only “marginal” “religious” groups which have symbols and rituals which help create and then maintain distinctive identities. Academic social science and humanities disciplines like Cultural Anthropology and History have symbols and ideologies, ideologies of utopianism (teleologies), which helped create and helped maintain distinct if sometimes overlapping academic identities within broader identity formations.

American anthropology once had as its symbol the wholistic study of the “primitive” other. Its rituals continue to include fieldwork and dissertation writing. Like other identity groups, American Anthropology has an insider language. To speak the language of ethnology, ethnography, and anthropological theory, to refer to and attend the “triple A's” (American Anthropological Association conferences), to read the American Anthropologist, is to embody the culture of a distinct identity group.

American history too, had its identity symbols and rituals, symbols and rituals such as its rite of passage archival research (the foundation of a history thesis or dissertation) and its narrative atheoretical if not anti-theoretical writing style. Like American anthropology, Quakerism, and Mormonism American history too has its alphabet soup of identity including the AHA’s, the American Historical Association meeting and its journal the AHR, the American Historical Review and the JAH, the Journal of American History.

Subcultures within American history like the New Western history have a distinctive culture and a culture which overlaps with its institutional parent or totem. Its symbols are domination and conquest. Its specialist discourse contains the language of Western environmental history, the Old Western history, and a kind of liberation environmental history. Its distinctive organizations include the Western Historical Association (WHA) and the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH). Its media include the Western Historical Quarterly and H-ASEH. [37]

National Identity
Nations too have their identity rituals, symbols, and myths. The United States, an English settler society like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all of which were born amidst diversity and which have fought over identity since their inception, has its sport and consumer rituals (the increasingly ever more disneyfornicated Super Bowl weekend, Christmas shopping season, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, cults of celebrity, trips to the mall or department stores), its ideologies of mission, destiny, and superiority, and its seemingly interminable wars. The former Soviet Union, an imperial and as a result multi-ethnic nation, had its May Day, its Revolution Day, its International Women’s Day, its cult of Lenin, its ritualized memories of the “Great Patriotic War”, its sense of industrial and scientific achievements, its Vladimir Vysotksy, and, at least in earlier periods of its history, its ideology that it alone was leading the world forward toward the radiant future of communist. These symbols, rituals, and myths, which are somtimes fought over (the concept of libery, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness in the US, for instance) make up national civil religions, civic cultures which help create and continuously recreate national identities.

Ethnocentrism and Identity
Conceptions of “usness” and “themness”, as I implied earlier, play important if not central roles in constructing identity and identity groups. Robert Wiebe argues that the ethnocentrism inherent in popular nationalism is largely a product of population explosions in Europe, European migration caused by this population explosion, varying notions of kinship migrations give rise to (the broader conception of fictive kin Wiebe calls ethnicity), and different notions of nationhood or statehood that characterized both non-migrating and migrating identity individuals and groups. [38] Others, like myself, see the origins of ethnocentrism in cultural and later social constructions of usness and themness. Historians Peter Sahlens and Linda Colley, for instance, argue that national identity is a socially constructed and continuous process of defining “friend” and “enemy”. Sociobiologist E.O. Wilson defines ethnocentrism as “the irrationally exaggerated allegiance of individuals to their fellow kinsmen or tribesmen...[that is] the force behind most warlike policies”. As Wilson notes these tribalist tendencies produce an us versus them political dualism. In other words ethnocentrism plays a critical role in producing ideologies of superior versus inferior identities. Commentators have pointed out that there are a number of forms ethnocentrism takes including totemic forms, ethnic form, racial form, national or patriotic form, and religious form. Regardless of the form ethnocentrism takes they all have one thing in common, they generally mark insiders as superior and outsiders as inferior.[39]

Quakers saw the social order and the fallen churches of seventeenth century England as inferior to their brand of Christian primitivism and believed that these others were about to be negatively impacted by a world that was about to be turned upside down. Mormons had and have their “anti-Mormons” and their “Abominable Church”. They believed and believe that they alone were members of the one true church and they attached specific meanings to these other groups. Shakers and Oneidans had the outside world which to mark themselves off as superior against. The Old Order Amish have their “English”. The “Nation of Islam has its devoluted whites. White separatists have their “blacks” and “illegal aliens”.American anthropologists had their sociologists, historians, psychologists, “armchair anthropologists”, and evil “amateurs”. They continue to believe that their place in the academic division of knowledge labor is unique and necessary if humans are to fully understand humankind. The New Western history had the old Western history. [40]

While all groups have a conception of usness and themness some groups do sometimes recognize that there are other groups “like them” out there in the world. Americans, for instance, often speak of their special political relationship with the United Kingdom. Quakers see Mennonites and Church of the Brethren as kindred spirits and have united with them to fight against military conscription and for military exemption for their members. The National Council of Churches unites most mainstream American Protestant denominations with Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. The National Association of Evangelicals unites Evangelical groups who refuse to join the NCC but who are committed to the idea of pan-evangelicalism. Needless to say many Fundamentalists, who have a stronger sense of usness and themness than their evangelical cousins, refuse to join with their historical cousins. Islam counts Judaism and Christianity with itself as “people of the book”. Mormons saw and see themselves as part of a larger Judeo-Christian tradition.

Such ecumenical or inclusive ideologies and activities suggests that there is a sense of commonality between certain distinct if somewhat similar identity groups. Athenians and Spartans united to fight the invading Persians because they shared a common sense of being from Hellas, Yanks and Brits do (if elite rhetoric is to be believed) share a belief in their “special relationship” and sometimes act out of a sense of common kinship, Quakers, Mennonites and Brethren do work together for peace, members of the NCCC and NAE surely have some sense of common identity.

But this ecumenicity only goes so far, particularly in times of group crises. Despite fighting together against the invading Persian “barbaros” Sparta and Athens fought a long war against each other in the wake of the Persian wars. Despite a degree of “common history” and “kinship”, and common interests Americans and Brits remain distinct politically, economically, socially, culturally, and ideologically. Despite interdenominational interactions on a variety of levels, Quakers, Mennonites, Brethren, remain culturally and ideologically distinct. In other words, Spartans were not Athenians, Yanks are not Brits, and Mennonites are not Quakers or Brethren. Many Mormons continue to see Roman Catholics as uber apostates, as a perversion of the primitive church, as “Babylon”. They continue to view Protestants as inadequate because they don't have a living prophet, like them, in their midst. They continue to see Jews as that remnant off the old covenant that has been supplanted by the new, by Mormonism. [41]

Sometimes of course, stereotypes and caricatures are the results of the distinction between those “like us” and those “not like us”. Many “mainstream” Christians and secularists see Evangelicals and Fundamentalists as anti-intellectual backwoods bumpkins. Many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists see “mainstream” Christians as “fallen” “secular humanists” and each other as mistaken in some way, shape, or form. This is the case despite the fact that the members of each one of these groups share an American nationality. When confronted with this culture war, members of these distinct groups often try to convince the other to become more like them whether through missionary work, political action, or legal action. If this fails they sometimes resort to political action in order to play the role of moral social engineer in order to reconfigure the nation's moral character, its economic system, its political system, its educational system, its health system, or so on. Not surprisingly such coercive social engineering is a monopoly of neither Jew, Gentile, Roman Catholic or Protestant, Mainstream Protestant or Evangelical Protestant, Fundamentalist Christian or Atheist, Democrat or Republican, Moderate or Radical, Capitalist or Communist. It is found all across the political and ideological spectrum. All of this shows that notions of “like us” are constructed on the bedrock of specific cultural boundaries which set limits on who can be “like us” and to distinguish those who are “like us” from those who are not. It’s probably no accident that Brits speak English and are, if only in the imagination, white, just like us. And even our relationship with those “like us” is somewhat tenuous. Jews and Christians living in Islamic countries are regarded as different from Muslims.

There are differences in the intensity of ethnocentrisms. Some varieties are characterized by stronger and more virulent superior/inferior distinctions and the potential for violence within these is more dangerous whether it is latent or present. Belgium ethnocentrism in the Congo, German ethnocentrism toward the Jews and Turkish ethnocentrism toward the Armenians were brutal and deadly. Quaker ethnocentrism has been crosscut and tempered by Quaker spiritual universalism. The Quaker egalitarian belief that each person has the “Inner light” within them has led Friends to involve themselves in Anti-slavery movements, First Peoples rights movements, the Suffrage and Women's rights movements, peace and anti-war movements, refugee work, attempts to get Jews out of Hitler's Europe, equitable sharing of the world's resources and anti-corporate globalization movements, and human rights movements.

Quakers and Anabaptists have often spoken out against that most violent of ethnocentric actions, wars. During America's wars Quakers and Anabaptists bought themselves out of military service, served terms in Civilian Public Service camps, were excused from military service on the basis of their religious pacifism, or simply refused to recognize the right of states or governments to force its pacifist citizens to fight its wars. But even Quakers were affected by the rhetoric, symbols and rituals of broader American nationalism raising questions about the varying strength of contemporary identity meaning systems. Jacquelyn Nelson, for instance, found that almost half of Indiana's Quakers served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Mennonites served in the American military during World War I and World War II. [42]

Mormons organized to defend themselves from attacks by “Gentiles”, established a militia in Nauvoo, and may have tried, and in some cases succeeded, in assassinating their enemies. [43] They fought a guerrilla war with the United States to defend their Kingdom of Deseret from outsiders who were equally as ethnocentric and even more willing to resort to violence in order to find a solution to an ideological conflict. [44]

Sometimes “others” do threaten the very existence of social groups and social movements. Quakers were attacked, persecuted, jailed, and sometimes killed by the political and religious powers that were. Anabaptists were killed by the American military at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas for their refusal to join the army and put on military uniforms. Mormons were attacked, persecuted, jailed, and sometimes killed by the state and vigilante groups stirred up by “anti-Mormon” hatred of cultural, ideological, religious, political, and economic “deviance”. New religious movements or “cults” have been persecuted and investigated by states of all kinds, and labeled deviant by politicians, academics, and religious figures standing, even if they didn’t recognize it, for the status quo. [45] Jewish “terrorists” or “freedom fighters” did assassinate British occupiers and bomb their institutions in Palestine. Irish “terrorists” or “freedom fighters” did attack the English in Ireland and England. American “terrorists” or “freedom fighters” did attack the institutions and officials of the British Empire living in Colonial America. The American State Department did inhibit the immigration of Jewish refugees into the United States because of anti-Semitism, indifference, xenophobia, and turf battles. [46]

The Clash of Identities?
Recently a great deal of research and attention has been focused on the supposed clash between large-scale regional identity groups defined by common cultures or common “civilizations”. Samuel Huntington argues that the post-cold war world is characterized by a clash of civilizations in his case a clash between the broad regional civilizations of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. [47] Not everyone has agreed with Huntington, however, about the nature of these regional identities. Mark Juergensmeyer, for instance, asserts that the regional culture wars are being fought between various forms of religious nationalism and the state [48] while the proponents and practitioners associated with the Fundamentalism Project see a clash between secular groups and fundamentalist groups going on. [49]

The problem with these broadly focused excursions into civilizations, religious nationalisms, or religious fundamentalisms, as many have noted, is that they tend to focus on struggles between civilizations, usually conceptualized as a battle between modernity the reactionary forces it produces, rather than within cultures. As a number of commentators have noted, however, Islamic “civilization” is hardly monolithic. In fact, contemporary Islam is currently characterized by struggles between Islams (even the Koran, as history shows, is multivocal) as much, if not more, than struggles with the outside world. [50] While sectarian or “radical” Islam seeks to purify a culture they see as “fallen” other varieties of Islam, both Sunni and Shi’a have made their peace with the state while still other authoritarian if not totalitarian versions of the faith promote and work for a revival of a pan-Islamic state that would stretch from Southeast Asia to North Africa that would institute sharia law throughout its borders.

A focus on an Islam versus the secular West canvas tends to miss or ignore the social, political, economic, and most importantly, cultural factors, which impact Islamic identity groups and which provide the primary focus of these groups. Bin Laden, for instance, was primarily upset by the presence of the “infidel” American military presence in Arabia seeing it as a sign of the declension of the House of Saud, and by the role the US plays in propping up questionable regimes all across the Arab and Islamic world. Ironically, the western tendency to ignore emic or insider explanations and to displace them with etic or outsider ones, contemporary Islam as a reaction to modernity, for instance, or to ignore other insider perspectives in favor of their own emic explanations, “extremist” Islam threatens American “freedom”, for example, constructs and reinforces cross-cultural misunderstandings and ethnocentrisms. This is not to say that on some level specific forms of Islam aren't reacting to modernity, demographic changes, economic transformation, political dictatorship, blocked opportunities, or whatever. I am simply pointing out that you can't ignore or dismiss emic perspectives and replace them with less salient ones (to the actors themselves) and expect to understand the motivations of sectarian (or “extremist” as the interested powers would have it) Islam.

Identity and Power
Identity groups exhibit variety in their organization or structuration of power. In Quakerism, for instance, power is quite diffuse particularly in groups committed to traditional “silent” meeting forms. Even during those periods when the Society has dominated by a paternalistic status system (as it still is in some larger “programmed” and “semi-programmed meetings” today), Quakerism remained radically democratic because of its egalitarianism. In “silent” meetings members (and sometimes attendees) are appointed to serve two-year terms on one the various committees that characterize Quaker meetings (Peace and Social Concerns, Ministry, and so on). Clerks are appointed to “record” and lead each committee meeting. A clerk and a “recording clerk” are appointed by the “sense of the meeting” to lead and record the “business” of “business meetings”. It is at “business meeting” that the decisions of Quaker communities are made or not made.

Traditional “silent” Quakerism is, as I said, a radically democratic identity group. Decisions begin at the local level. It is a bottom up social group. For example, Quaker in the 1990s meetings debated the issue of homosexual marriages. Some meetings support gay and lesbian unions, others do not. Still others are unable to make a decision because consensus on the issue has been impossible to obtain. Consensus is the method through which decisions are made in Quaker meetings. The only way a final decision can be taken is if there is total consensus on an issue (though members have the option of not supporting the issue under discussion but not blocking it when they don't feel strongly one way or the other about it). When there is a consensus a “Monthly meeting” has made a decision. It is only after all “Monthly” meetings have come to a consensus on an issue that “Quarterly” meetings can take it up. If all “Quarterly” Meetings find consensus on an issue then it can be taken up by the “Yearly” meeting. In both, total consensus, at least theoretically, is required before a decision can be said to have been made.

There is a great deal of ideological variation within Quaker meetings because of the egalitarianism that is central to Quaker ideological life. The vast majority of Friends are pacifist. The vast majority of Friends believe that all humans have within them the “Inner light”. However, there is not a consensus among Friends on what this “Inner light” is. Some Quakers see it as the “Christ within”. Others see it in New Age terms. Still others regard it in deistic, pantheistic, or humanistic terms.

Interpretations of the “Inner light” vary by group. Friends United Meeting Quakers tend to see the “Inner light” in Christian terms. Evangelical Friends Alliance Quakers largely read the “Inner light” in evangelical, charismatic, and pentecostalist terms. Friends General Conference Quakers exhibit a wide range of interpretations of the “Light within”.

Power in Mormonism is less egalitarian and more hierarchical and spherarchical. Mormonism is an authoritarian social group. The only person who can receive revelations for the entire Church is the “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator”. In other words, only the “prophet” (Joseph Smith and his “prophet” successors) can speak for the entire Mormon community. This does not mean that ideological multivocality is absent in Mormon communities, however. It isn't. Mormons and in particular dissident Mormon groups do read community symbols somewhat differently than do the powers that be in Salt Lake City. Dissident views are disseminated through non-Church owned publishers like Signature Books and through what might be called dissident Mormon samizdat. Nevertheless, given the authoritarian, hierarchal, and spherarchical nature of Mormonism, the meanings the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles give to Mormondom's symbols and the interpretations it offers of its history are the dominant or, to use a more academically popular term, hegemonic ideologies of the Mormon community. It is this ideology which is disseminated to the masses through homes, wards, seminaries, and institutes of religion, and official publications the hierarchy makes available for “educational” purposes through church distribution centres and through church owned publishers like Deseret Books. Official Mormon power is most clearly expressed in the fact that before one can become a “worthy Saint”, before one can get one's “temple recommend”, go to BYU, serve a “mission”, or serve in various church offices, one must express agreement with the dominant ideology of the Church during interviews with one's ward bishop.

Power in Shakerism was hierarchical and grounded in charismatic and paternal and maternal authority. Shakers grounded their authoritative claims in the charismatic authority of “Mother” Ann Lee, their prophet. After Lee’s death, each Shaker community was guided in their spiritual and temporal affairs by leading men and women. In parallel a leading man and a leading woman guided the spiritual and temporal affairs of Shakerism as a whole. Additionally, those Shakers living in Shaker communal forms were regarded as having more spiritual power and authority than those associated with the faith who were not living in Shaker communes.

Power in the Oneida Community, as in Shakerism, was organized hierarchically and grounded in the charismatic and paternal and maternal of individual members. Oneida founder John Humphrey Noyes was regarded as the most authoritative member of the Oneida Community. His word was law. It was he and, to a lesser extent, the inner circle of other male leaders, who controlled the spiritual and temporal life of the community. As in Mormonism, there was a spherarchical aspect to power at Oneida. Men and Women who were regarded as having a greater degree of spirituality, a spirituality grounded in a conception of spiritual development related to age, had greater power and authority than novice and less spiritually developed members. In the end, this spherarchical notion of power was secondary to that related to Noyes.

Identity and Community
Identity cultures are, of course, grounded in notions of shared peoplehood and shared community, sometimes in the shared “kin” community of blood and the shared “geographic” community of soil. Social scientists and humanities scholars have long tried to define exactly what community is. Ferdinand Tonnies distinguished between face-to-face rural communities (gemeinschaft) and urban industrial societies (gesellschaft). University of Chicago sociologist Louis Wirth argued that in the twentieth century face-to-face rural communities (gemeinschaft) were declining in the face of the growth of urban industrial societies (gesellschaft). For Wirth, and others who followed his lead, urbanism, operationalised in terms of demographic variables, specifically, increasing population, increasing population density, and increasing heterogeneity, undermined traditional communal ways, and gave birth to new urban lifeways, new lifeways that replaced these earlier primary forms of social interaction with secondary social contacts, weakened kinship bonds, and undermined the traditional bases of social solidarity. One recent theorist of community, historian Thomas Bender, explores American community history from colonisation to the twentieth century to foreground how important this behavioural understanding of community and society is. [51]

Models, like Wirth's, posit a singular universal movement from gemeinshaft to gesellschaft from communities within communities to broad common civilizations, from traditional to modern communities (the modernisation paradigm so dear to the hearts of western politicians and corporate capitalists), from, in other words, rural to urban forms. This unilinear model began to go out of style in history, sociology, and anthropology in the 1960s though criticism of unilinear models had come under serious challenge even earlier in the writings of, for instance, Julian Steward as early as the 1940s and 50s. In the 1960s, for instance, historian Page Smith, asserted that communities were of two types, covenantal, communities bound together by a covenant or compact with God, or cumulative, communities that grew, often rapidly, as a result of the accumulation of individuals tied together solely by material interests. [52]

Bender, though more explicitly than Smith, also takes exception to Wirth's evolutionary conception of the community/society binary. Arguing that Tonnies posited both an evolutionary as well as a behavioral understanding of community, Bender explores and emphasizes the latter behavioral approach to community. Exploring the impact Tonnies behavioral model had on latter social scientific understandings of the community/society binary in such theorists as Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Robert Redfield, Bender suggests that it is this behavioral model of the community/society split that is most amenable to a historical as opposed to evolutionary understanding of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. [53]

The reason? As many analysts have noted, even in the most urbanized of nation-states, community lifeways continue to exist. In other words, community and society are not spatial in nature. The decline of rural communities does not lead to the demise of family, kin, or friendship relationships, nor of neighborhoods. In fact, as Bender and sociologist Claude Fischer note, even in major urban areas, such relationships continue to thrive. So, for Bender, community and society coexist simultaneously in the modern world. [54]

To prove his point Bender explores American community history from colonization the twentieth century. According to Bender the late eighteenth century saw a bifurcation in lifestyles in the New World. With the ratification of the Constitution a formal system was established at national and, to some extent, state levels. The Constitution allowed for both conflict and majoritarian rule, phenomena that were in conflict with the “consensus” practice of local communities in America. America was now home to two different coexisting lifeways, local ones in which “consensus” originating out of face-to-face interaction was dominant and conflictory and majoritarian ones which dominated at the national level.

Today both sociologists and historians recognize that community and society are not terms expressing an evolution from one social formation based on group solidarity and face-to-face interaction to one characterized by competition and impersonality. Rather they are modes of interaction which are practiced simultaneously in the “modern world” by various people in various locations and in various situations.

Interestingly, these arguments over the geographic-evolutionary versus behavioral modes of understanding community have parallels in social scientific discussions of assimilation and secularization thanks to the impact of unilinear evolutionary metaphor on virtually every aspect of Western intellectual and academic thought. Will Herberg, for instance, argued that ethnicity was a stage through which Americans passed on the road to Americanization. For Herberg, religion became the major line of cleavage in American society after the demise of ethnicity. Americans, he said, were increasingly divided by Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism in the 1950s and 1960s not ethnicity. [55]

Identity and Secularisation
In another unilinear vision of change in western societies, the influential British sociologist Bryan Wilson maintains that the Western world has experienced a decline in religion and a simultaneous rise in secularism over the last century. He sees this decline in evolutionary terms. As the West has experienced the varying forces of modernity (for example, industrialisation, professionalisation, bureaucratisation, and privatisation) religious explanations of the place of humankind in both nature and the universe have been replaced by secular or naturalistic understandings in their stead. As this decline is a phenomenon of a specific geographical location, the Western world, the part of the earth that has supposedly experienced the greatest degree of modernization, modernization theorists often argue that the modern world has become missionaries for the spread of “modernization”. [56]

These geographic-evolutionary notions of assimilation and secularization have also been challenged by scholars who point to these two phenomena, religion and secularization, as behavioral patterns rather than as evolutionary opposites in decline and ascent. Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan argued that ethnic culture had been transformed in the American environment but that this doesn’t mean that ethnic groups had become less identifiable. The fall of communism in Europe in the latter part of the twentieth century and the reassertion of ethnicity, nationalism, and ethnic and nationalist violence seems to substantiate this view by showing that reports of ethnicity's demise seems to have been greatly exaggerated. [57]

Jeffrey Haddon, Anson Shupe, Roger Finke, Rodney Stark, and Samuel Heilman all have shown that religion in the United States is more cyclical than evolutionary. While there has been a decline in mainstream religious faiths in the United States, there has also been a corresponding rise in evangelical, Orthodox Jewish, and new religious faiths. The very human tendency to give meaning--sacred, profane--to the world around them and to understand their place in that world relative to those meanings, in other words, has not died even if we accept the notion that a secular society grounded in scientific understandings of the world has become more prominent thanks to the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. [58]

Concluding Thoughts
What all of these critiques of unilinear models show is that social scientists and scholars of the humanities need a more dynamic conception of identity, ethnicity, rituals, and traditions. Simply because communities and their symbols and life practices are dynamic and affected by wider historical processes, does not mean that ideologies of common identity or peoplehood are declining or disappearing. “Modernity” (or whatever we want to call the rationalisation and routinisation typical of westerners who wish to commodify and sell “the modern” to whomever they can force to buy it) may have had and may continue to impact identity cultures, but attention to culture, and its symbols and rituals show, despite change, that communities and the common identities that undergird them, generally remain largely intact as the “secular” is made “sacred”. The US federal government may have forced Mormons to give up polygamy and Zionism, theocratic ideologies. Mormons, however, responded by sacralizing monogamy and redefining an already sacralized Zionism and incorporating both into a pre-existing if somewhat changed sacred symbol system.

What all of this shows is that if we want to truly understand the nature of community is that we need to move beyond the interactional conceptualisation of community so dear to many commentators and, in addition, explore the complex cultural nature of identity since it is a sense of common identity (regardless of the form identity takes) that creates both a sense of community and the spaces in which individuals interact.

Like identity, communities are grounded in common culture. Like culture and identity, communities must be viewed through both historical and ethnographic frames. Like culture and identity, communities have diachronic and synchnronic dimensions. Like culture and identity, community can only be understood through an exploration of its cultural foundations and the internal and external phenomena (economic, political, demographic, geographic) that impact it. In my humble opinion, the best way to do this is through a hermeneutic analysis that uses a methodology grounded in verstehen in order to focus on “natives”, local knowledges, and the contexts in which they arise and are bounded by. To understand identity groups and their communities we must understand the cultures that develop within them and the culture which maintains them.

End Notes
1. I don't view “domains” such as religion, politics, culture, and economics as anything other than fetishised cultural forms that have taken on a cultural and an institutional/bureaucratic or social life of their own. On this see Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann; The Social Construction of Reality (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966). I have been heavily influenced by Berger and Luckmann in this paper.

2. William Gamson; The Strategy of Social Protest (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, second edition, 1990). Increasingly social movement theorists such as Rhoda Lois Blumberg (Civil Rights: The 1960s Freedom Struggle (Boston: Twayne, revised edition, 1991)) and Doug McAdam (Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999)), have come to recognise the importance culture plays in social movements though both tend to overgeneralize the role political forces play in social movements.

3. Ethnicity and race, in my mind, are forms of ethnocentrism. Ethnicity has its origins in the Greek word for peoplehood or heathen (isn't it interesting that both self-identification and identification of the other are inherent in the term ethnicity?), while the origin of “race” as a term is unknown. On the history of the term race see Raymond Williams; “Racial”, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, revised edition 1983), pp. 248-250. Historically, race has been distinguished from ethnicity on the basis of some ascriptive characteristic (e.g, physical characteristics such as skin color, brain size, nose shape). Modern notions of race arose during the era of European imperialism with its ideologies of European cultural, social, religious, and civilizational superiority. With the rise of science a biological and social conception of black racial inferiority became a popular rationalization for the notion. Scientific brain researchers even believed they could prove that European brains were bigger and better than those of Africans. What is significant here, at least early on, is that notions of “race” were imposed on “blacks” by “white” European elites and intellectuals.
One problem with the discourse of ethnicity and race within social science is the fact that they have generally been conceived of as static and universal phenomena. All in all this is a rather curious notion for those who believe in evolution to hold.
What is needed in place of these universalised deductive strategies is an inductive approach which derives ideal types from the stuff of social action. Such an approach is cross-culturally and historically sensitive as well as general and flexible enough to explain similar phenomena (and the differences between them) across space and time. Such an approach, I believe would lead one to conclude that race is one subcategory of ethnocentrism, a subcategory which is characterized by notions of racial, cultural, and civilizational superiority and categorization by outsiders.

4. H. Isaacs; “Basic Group Identity: Idols of the Tribe” in Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan; Ethnicity: Theory and Experience (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975), pp. 29-52. 5. For cultural approaches to ethnicity see the various works of Robert Park and the Chicago School (Wirth, Stonequist, Burgess), especially Robert Park; Race and Culture (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1950) Louis Wirth; The Ghetto (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), and W. Lloyd Warner and Leo Srole; The Social Systems of American Ethnic Groups (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1945).

6. See Edith Bonacich; “Class Approaches to Ethnicity and Race”, Insurgent Sociologist 10:2 (1980), pp. 7-20.

7. See Joane Nagel; “The Political Construction of Ethnicity” in Susan Olzak and Nagel; Competitive Ethnic Relations (Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1986), pp. 93-112.
There have been numerous attempts to bring together political and class based explanations to explain the rise of notions of peoplehood. For examples see Stanley Lieberson; A Piece of the Pie (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980) and Benjamin Ringer and E. Lawless; Race-Ethnicity and Society (London: Routledge, 1989). Recent attempts at the integration of the political and economic have tied ethnicity and its demise to the increasing modernization and secularization of the western world. See Herbert Gans; “Symbolic Ethnicity: The Future of Ethnic Groups in America”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 2 (1979), pp. 1-20, Vincent Pecora (ed.); Nations and Identities: Classic Readings (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), and Jane Caplan and John Torpey (eds.); Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). Religion as religion or religion as culture plays little or no role in most of these analyses. See Stuart Mews (ed.); Religion and National Identity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1982), for a discussion of the role religion plays in national identity in a variety of nationalist identity formations. Other analyses which stress religion as central to identity and ethnic construction include Harry Stout; “Ethnicity: The Vital Center of Religion in America”, Ethnicity 2 (1975), pp. 204-224 and Timothy Smith; “Religion and Ethnicity in America” American Historical Review 83 (December 1978), pp. 55-85. John Higham; “Ethnicity and American Protestants: Collective Identity in the Mainstream” in Harry Stout and D.G. Hart (eds.); New Directions in Religious History (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 239-259 presents a review and analysis of the issues surrounding the relationship between religion and identity. For a discussion of the ideologies underlying Christian identity fragmentation see H. Richard Niebuhr; Christ and Culture (NYC: Harper and Row, 1951).
It has become clear, in the post-cold war world, that the linear and progressivist notion that ethnicity declines with modernity and/or modernization and secularization is a problematic one. Clearly, ethnicity is once again playing a key role in the world as the wars and genocides associated with the Balkans, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia show.
Speaking of the ethnic “revival”, recently a number of excellent books have appeared which explore the relationship between identity, ethnicity, nationalism, cultural geography, and politics. Amongst these are Richard Handler's Nationalism and the Politics of Culture in Quebec (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), Peter Sahlens' Boundaries: The Making of France and Spain in the Pyrenees (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), Glenda Sluga's The Problem of Trieste and the Italo-Yugoslav Border: Difference, Identity, and Sovereignty in Twentieth Century Europe (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001), Laszlo Kurti's The Remote Borderland: Transylvania in the Hungarian Imagination (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2001), Derek Sayer's The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, NJ), 1998; and Zdzislaw Mach's Symbols, Conflict, and Identity: Essays in Political Anthropology (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993). Many of these works explore how history, sociology, cultural anthropology, and folklore are affected by ideologies of ethnocentrism (including those of nationalism and racism) and, in turn, how each of these academic disciplines impacts ideologies of ethnocentrism.

8. See John Comaroff; “Of Totemism and Ethnicity: Consciousness, Practice, and the Signs of Inequality”; Paper presented at the Conference on Ethnic Labels and Signs, University of Chicago, 1985, paper in possession of author, Joane Nagel; “Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture”, in Perspectives on Social Problems: Reconsidering Social Constructionism (Greenwich, CT. JAI Press, 1989), pp. 152-176 and Donald Kraybill; “Modernity and Identity: The Transformation of Mennonite Ethnicity”; Calvin Redekop (ed.); Mennonite Identity: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988), pp. 153-172.

9. For examples of multi-factor approaches in contemporary social science see Anthony Giddens; Central Problems in Social Theory: Action, Structure, and Contradiction in Social Analysis (Berkeley: University of California, 1979), Margaret Archer; Culture and Agency: The Place of Culture in Social Theory (NYC: Cambridge University Press, 1988), Jeffrey Alexander; Action and its Environments: Toward a New Synthesis (NYC: Columbia University Press, 1988), Clifford Geertz; The Interpretation of Cultures (NYC: Basic, 1973), Pierre Bourdieu; Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1984). For an analysis of the history of definitions of culture see Williams; Keywords and A. Kroeber and C. Kluckhohn; Culture: A Review of Concepts (NYC: Vintage, 1954).

10. John Comaroff; “Of Totemism and Ethnicity: Consciousness, Practice, and the Signs of Inequality”; Paper presented at the Conference on Ethnic Labels and Signs, University of Chicago, 1985, paper in possession of author.

11. Joane Nagel; “Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture”, Perspectives on Social Problems: Reconsidering Social Constructionism (Greenwich, CT. JAI Press, 1989) pp. 152-176.

12. Victor Turner; On the Edge of the Bush: Anthropology as Experience (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1985), Eugene Halton; “The Cultic Roots of Culture” in Richard Munch and Neil Smelser (eds.); Theory of Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 29-63, and Eugene Rochberg-Halton; Meaning and Modernity: Social Theory in the Pragmatic Attitude (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).

13. John Comaroff; “Of Totemism and Ethnicity: Consciousness, Practice, and the Signs of Inequality”; Paper presented at the Conference on Ethnic Labels and Signs, University of Chicago, 1985, paper in possession of author.

14. Totemism is also grounded in notions of common kinship and is, in its broadest sense, at the heart of identity in traditional cultures.

15. The meaning histories of “state”, “nation”, “ethnic”, “nation-state”, “race” and “nationalism” is a complex one and has been marked by contradiction and inconsistency over the centuries. On this see Raymond Williams; Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (NYC: Oxford University Press, revised edition, 1983), pp. 119-120, 213-214, 248-250 and Robert Wiebe; Who We Are: A History of Popular Nationalism (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 2002). I regard nationalism, racism, notions of ethnic superiority, tribalism, cliquishness, and imperialism or colonialism as types of ethnocentrism.

16. For a cultural critique of kinship see David Schneider; A Critique of the Study of Kinship (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1984). On the cultural and social construction of geography see Martin W. Lewis and Karen E. Wigen; The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997) and Larry Wolff; Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994).

17. Let the reader beware, some of these biographical details are as manufactured and fictive as identity itself.

18. The complexity and contradiction of personal biographies is nicely explored by John Rodden in his The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of ‘St. George’ Orwell (NYC: Oxford University Press, 1989).
Rodden delineates and explores the social and cultural contexts of the dominant images or icons people (usually cultural elites) had of Orwell and the uses they made of these—Orwell the rebel, Orwell the Common Man, Orwell the Prophet, Orwell the Saint, to which one might add Orwell the Anti-Saint. This book shows that, at least in the case of celebrities, personal identities are as much ideological constructs as anything else. As to Shostakovich, one can apply the same approach to the life of the Soviet composer Dmitry Dmitrivich Shostakovich. One can speak of Shostakovich the Wunderkind, Shostakovich the Avant-garde Revolutionary, Shostakovich the Satirist and Parodist, Shostakovich the Party Man, and Shostakovich the Dissident. As in the case of Orwell these iconic representations of Shostakovich sometimes overlap. As was the case with Orwell, many of these seemingly contradictory images find support in the memories of Shostakovich's friends and acquaintances. As was the case with Orwell these images are affected by wider social and cultural changes. The image of Shostakovich the Dissident has become more popular in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union for obvious reasons. Many friends and acquaintances now claim that Shostakovich was an opponent of the Soviet state and that you can hear this in his music if you listen carefully. Of course, those who claim Shostakovich as a Party Man made and make the same claims. As is often the case all of this has generated a cottage debate industry in academe. One thing this seems to show is that the memories of participants in historical events change as the times change.

19. On French revolutionary symbology see Francois Furet; Interpreting the French Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), Lynn Hunt; Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution (Berkley: University of California Press, 1984), and Mona Ozouf; Festivals and the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988).

20. On Bolshevik symbology see Nina Tumarkin; Lenin Lives: The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, enlarged edition, 1997), James von Geldern Bolshevik Festivals, 1917-1920 (Berkley: University of California Press, 1993), Catriona Kelly and David Shepherd; Constructing Russian Culture in the Age of Revolution, 1881-1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), Eric Naiman; Sex in Public: The Incarnation of Early Soviet Ideology (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1997), Katerina Clark: The Soviet Novel: History as Ritual (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, third edition, 2000), Yevgeny Dobrenko; The Making of the State Reader: Social and Aesthetic Contexts of the Reception of Soviet Literature (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997), and Aileen Kelly; “In the Promised Land”, New York Review of Books, 29 November 2001, pp. 45-48.

21. On European history I have been helped by the following: Eric Hobsbawm; The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (New York City: Vintage, 1962), Robert Gildea; Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, second edition, 1996), Jean-Paul Bertaud; The Army of the French Revolution: From Citizen-Soldiers to Instrument of Power (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Mark van Hagen; Soldiers in the Proletariat Dictatorship (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990), George Mosse; Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1990). Eugen Weber (The Western Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Present (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1995)) and others have long pointed out that mass education arose to create national solidarity and to manufacture citizen-soldiers for the new nation-states of Europe.

22. The role violence, warfare, and xenophobia plays in ethnic and nationalist identity forms is readily apparent in the history of the United States. It is worth remembering that World War I brought the Palmer Raids, deportations of radicals, “aliens”, and governmental censorship to the US, World War II brought the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps, the Korean brought anti-communist hysteria, blacklists, and government censorship, while the Vietnam War brought governmental wiretapping, harassment of “radical” groups, and governmental agent provacateurs. One tangible expression of this popular wartime ethnocentrism is the prevalence of symbols of patriotism and nationalism all across America (for example, flags and American Legion calls for a constitutional amendment against flag burning). Interestingly, the American Legion, which is one of the leaders in the current campaign against flag burning and the court decision forbidding the US “Pledge of Allegiance” (“one Nation under God”), has a long history of nationalist and patriotic phobia. It led attacks on pacifists and Germans in World War I. It led attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses during World War II. It led the campaign to imprison Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II. On American xenophobia, nationalism, ideology, and identity I have been influenced by Leonard Dinnerstein and David Reimers; Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration and Assimilation (New York City: Harper and Row, 1975), Roger Daniels; The Politics of Prejudice (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1962), Shawn Francis Peters; Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000), Paul Nagel; One Nation Indivisible: The Place of the Union in American Thought, 1776-1861 (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1967), Nagel; This Sacred Trust: American Nationality, 1798-1898 (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1971), Michael Rogin; Ronald Reagan, the Movie and Other Episodes in Political Demonology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), James Aho; This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), Thomas Gossett; Race: The History of an Idea in America (New York City: Schocken, 1963), Richard Drinnon; Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hatred and Empire Building (New York City: Schocken, 1980), Roy Billington; The Protestant Crusade: A Study in the Origins of American Nativism, 1800-1860 (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1952), David Bennett; The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement (New York City: Vintage, revised and updated edition, 1995), John Higham; Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (New York City: Vintage, 1963), Richard Hofstadter; The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965), Ronald Hoffman, Mechal Sobel, and Fredrika Teute (eds.); Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity in Early America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Ruth Bloch; Visionary Republic: Millennial Themes in American Thought, 1756-1800 (New York City: Cambridge University Press, 1985), Alan Heimert; Religion and the American Mind (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), James West Davidson; The Logic of Millennial Thought (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977), Nathan Hatch; The Sacred Cause of Liberty: Republican Thought and the Millennium in Revolutionary New England (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977), Ernest Lee Tuveson; Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), John Wilson, Public Religion in American Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979), Russell E. Richey and Donald Jones (ed.) American Civil Religion (New York City: Harper, 1974) Albert Bergesen; The Sacred and the Subversive: Political Witch Hunts as National Rituals (Storrs, CT: Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Monograph Series, 1984), Richard V. Pierard and Robert D. Linder; Civil Religion and the Presidency (Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1988), Wilbur Zelinsky; Nation Into State: The Shifting Symbolic Foundations of American Nationalism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), David Waldstreicher; In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776-1820 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Robert Bellah; The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in a Time of Trial (New York City: Seabury, 1975), Robert Bellah and Phillip E. Hammond; Varieties of Civil Religion (New York City: Harper and Row, 1980). Conrad Cherry (ed.); God's New Israel: Religious Interpretations of American Destiny (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, revised and updated edition, 1998), James Davison Hunter; Culture Wars: The Struggle To Control The Family, Art, Education, Law, And Politics In America (NYC: Basic Books, 1991), Sacvan Berkovitch; The American Jeremiad (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), James Moorhead; American Apocalypticism: Yankee Protestants and the Civil War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1978), Anders Stephenson; Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right (New York City: Hill and Wang, 1995), William Preston; Aliens and Dissenters: American Suppression of Radicals 1903-1933 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, second edition, 1985), Robert Goldstein; Political Repression in Modern America: From 1870 to 1976 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, second edition, 1991), Daniel Bell (ed.); The Radical Right (Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1964) Catherine McNichol Stock; Rural Radicals: From Bacon's Rebellion to the Oklahoma City Bombing (New York City: Penguin, 1996), Patricia Cayo Sexton; The War on Labor and the Left: Understanding America's Unique Conservativism (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991), Richard Gid Powers; Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, Conn., 1995), Robert Murray; Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920 (New York City: McGraw-Hill, 1955), Ellen Schrecker; Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (New York City: Little, Brown, 1998), Betty Dobratz and Stephanie Shanks-Meile; The White Separatist Movement in the United States: White Power, White Pride (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Mary., revised edition, 2000), David Brion Davis “Some Themes of Countersubversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, Anti-Catholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature” in Davis; From Homicide to Slavery (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1986) (originally in Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 47, September 1960), R. Laurence Moore; Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1987), James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher; Why Waco? Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), and Stuart Wright (ed); Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

23. But compare Robert Wiebe; Who We Are.

24. Wiebe; Who We Are, and personnel Communication between Ronald Helfrich and Penny Fielding of the University of Edinburgh. Wiebe sees nationalism as one of the competing identity forms that arose in post-French Revolutionary Europe in the wake of the decline of communal and local notions of identity. These competing identity formations included socialism, democracy, nationalism, and identities predicated on language, religion, or race.
Wiebe argues that the state, rather than democratic, socialist, nationalist, religious, linguistic, or racial identity forms, is the most nefarious and dangerous given its centralizing tendencies, its ability to acquire and monopolize power and authority in a given geographical space, and its ability to mobilize resources (academia as ideological advocacy).
For Wiebe the most dangerous states are those combined with linguistic, religious, and nationalist identity ideologies, or with one of the new identity forms of post-revolutionary Europe (The US and USSR as bigger than big “democratic” and bigger than big “socialist” states with limited checks and balances to their power and adventurisms). In other words, nationalism can be “hard” or “soft”. For Wiebe, states that are checked and balanced by nationalist, democratic, or socialist ideologies and organizations are less hazardous to people’s freedom and health.
For Wiebe nationalism is the straw man whipping boy of statists and state apologists who assume that the state is a positive development in human life and culture. States, in other words, blame nationalism and nationalists for their own failings, namely, their inherent militarism, their aggressiveness, their terrorism, their thuggery, their brutality, and their ethnic cleansings. This scapegoating, he claims, allows state apologists and demagogues to maintain and salve their false consciousnesses and false consciences. Contrary to state ideologues, Wiebe asserts what most commentators today miss, that nationalism can have democratic impulses. Those with a sense of common kinship are often simply seeking to control their own destiny by forming a state of their own.
Wiebe is right. States tend (as Weber remarked) to bureaucratise, monopolise power (“legitimate authority”), expand, and tax their “citizens” (in what Tilly calls a “legitimate” protection racket with extensive forms of extortion). This much is certainly clear from the expansion of the American state and its police powers during its wars including its current “war” on “terrorism” and the Bolshevik takeover and expansion of the state during the Civil War. States often use “crises”, real or imagined, to expand. It is, of course, no accident that the US state also expanded during the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.
On American history I have been helped by the following: Robert Wiebe; The Search for Order 1877-1920 (New York City: Hill and Wang, 1967), Gabriel Kolko; The Triumph of Conservativism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916 (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1963), Michael Hogan; Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1951 (New York City: Cambridge University Press, 1998), and Allen Matusow; The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York City: Harper and Row, 1984.

25. On European ethnocentrism I have been influenced by V.G. Kiernan; Lords of Humankind: Black Man, Yellow Man, and White Man in an Age of Empire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986) and George Mosse; Toward the Final Solution (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985).

26. “European” identities have been in a state of flux for several thousand years. For centuries Christianity was fundamental to identity in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox parts of “Europe”. With the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the demise of Roman Catholic hegemony in the West, and the replacement of absolutist monarchies with republics populated by “citizens”, new identities began to emerge in Europe. The process of identity emergence was a long one. As Eugen Weber (Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1976) pointed out, the process of “making” French men and women was not fully completed until well into the twentieth century.
This long process of identity formation was paralleled in other parts of Europe as well. Italy and Germany come into existence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries while in the Balkans identities still remain in a state of flux. In each of these cases conscription, the waging of war (religious wars were replaced with wars between nation-states), mass education, the collection of folklore (the Brothers Grimm, Lonrot's creative “recording” of the songs and poems of the Kaleva), the rise of nationalist forms of art, music (Dvorak, Smetana, the Mighty Handful in Russia, Bartok, Kodaly, Grieg, Sibelius' musical depictions of scenes and “heroes” from the Kalevala, Verdi's Nabucco, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, Copland's celebrations of America's mythical west, paintings of figures from the Kalevala), and literature (Walter Scott), the creation of a national mythology (Wagner borrowed, in part, from the Scandinavian sagas to add to “indigenous” epics to create a national mythology for “Germany”, the Kalevala, the Mabinogion), religion (Croats are Catholic, Serbs Orthodox), an imagined geography (the idea that ethnicity or blood is tied to a particular geography), the delineation of enemies, the establishment of national symbols and rituals, i.e., culture, were instrumental in creating these new ethnic and national identities.
It should be noted that American occupation of and social engineering in Western Europe caused the European blood and soil ideology to decline though not disappear. The revival of an overt anti-immigration politics in France, Germany, Austria, and even Holland (though Fortuyn's politics has often been misrepresented by the media) seems to show that blood and xenophobia may be making a comeback in the West just as it made a remarkable comeback in the East after the fall of its communist economic system.
On nationalism I have been heavily influenced by Eric Hobsbawm; Nation and Nationalism since 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), Benedict Anderson; Imagined Communites: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, revised edition, 1991), Anthony Smith; Nationalism and Modernism: A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism (London: Routledge, 1998), Anthony Smith; Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era (Cambridge: Polity, 1996), Anthony Smith; Myths and Memories of the Nation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), Anthony Smith; The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988), Ernest Gellner; Nations and Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein; Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identity (London: Verso, 1991), and Zdzislaw Mach; Symbols, Conflict, and Identity: Essays in Political Anthropology (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993).
On nationalist rituals I have been aided by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (editors); The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) and John Gillis (ed.); Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994). On European nationalism and ethnocentrism I have been influenced by Mark Mazower; The Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999), Tzvetan Todorov; On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), George Mosse; The Crisis of the German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich (New York City: Schocken, 1981), George Mosse; The Nationalization of the Masses (New York City: NAL, 1975). On nationalism in European music I have been much influenced by Richard Taruskin's brilliant (if somewhat flawed) Defining Russia Musically: Historical and Hermeneutic Essays (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997) who conclusively shows that Russian nationalism was of a piece with European musical nationalism in general (contrary to Russian Slavophilile rhetoric). On American ethnocentrism see Matthew Frye Jacobson; Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (New York City: Hill and Wang, 2000) and Robert Rydell; All the World’s a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984). On old world conflicts in the new world see Ronald Bayor; Neighbors in Conflict: The Irish, Germans, Jews, and Italians of New York City, 1929-1941 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978). On nationalism and war see Joanna Bourke's An Intimate History of Killing: Face to Face Killing in Twentieth-Century Warfare (London: Granta, 1999), George Mosse; Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York City: Oxford University Press, 1990), and Charles Tilly; “Warmaking and Statemaking as Organized Crime” in Peter Evans, Dietrich Reuschmeyer, and Theda Skocpol; Bringing the State Back In (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985), pp. 169-191.

27. In ethnically diverse European settler societies a generalized civil religion plays an important symbolic and ritual role in creating citizens.

28. European settler societies (the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Argentina, South Africa, etc.) like many religious identity groups, consist of consent citizens, those who immigrate and become “citizens” (and who are often some of the most patriotic and nationalist of America's citizens) and descent citizens, those who are citizens because their parent(s) were citizens. In settler societies notions of citizenship were often cross-cut by “race”, ethnicity, and radical politics. It's should also be remembered that even the descent “citizens” of European settler societies were originally consent “citizens” at one time since they immigrated (voluntarily or through force) to these new worlds.
Indigenous peoples in European settler societies often exist in a kind of identity limbo or purgatory. The US classifies them as “Native Americans” or “Indians” (conflating multiple identity groups into one) and created “reservations” (kind of “ethnic” concentration camps) for them to live on. Their legal status has tended to reflect the ideological and political realities of the powers that be in Washington and, to a lesser extent, the capitals of the state governments. During the Jacksonian era both federal and state powers favored the “relocation” of “Indians” with devastating consequences. The treatment of First Peoples in settler societies has always been a deadly one (whether because disease, poverty, warfare, enslavement, or extermination) for the natives. Israel is perhaps the last of the European settler societies.

29.“Whiteness” has a long genealogy. As European powers came into contact with others (“yellow men”, “red men”, and “black men”) they marked themselves off against them and in the process constructed a European identity.
This notion of a common “Europeaness” played itself out on occasion in European (and American) concerted colonial actions, as in Africa and China in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In America the “peculiar institution” of slavery further impacted American notions of “whiteness” and “blackness.

30. On class, race, and ethnicity in American in the mid to late 20th century see Richard Polenberg; One Nation Divisible: Class, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States Since 1938 (New York City: Penguin, 1980).

31. Peter Weir, the director or Witness, is Australian. Why it is that very few academics, media types, or tourists have gone in search of Old Order Quakers becomes an interesting question in this regard. One can't help but wonder whether it’s in the English. Do the English backgrounds of Old Order Quakers undermine academic, mass media, and tourist attention and voyeurism? Do they find German-speaking remnants of the past more interesting because they seem to be more other?

32. Ronald Walters; American Reformers 1815-1860 (New York City: Hill and Wang, 1978) and Rosabeth Moss Kanter; Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972). Amy Johnson Frykholm (Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (New York City: Oxford University Press, 2004)) argues rightly that the Left Behind series of books by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins provide a sense of identity and communal belonging to those evangelicals who read them and believe the scenario for end times they offer.

33. Orthodox or Old Order Quakers don't engage in “worldly” peace activism (making them akin to Old Order Anabaptist groups) but they do isolate themselves geographically and culturally by recreating distinct communities, distinct dress ways (archaic “plain” clothes), and distinct speech ways (use of thee and thou) they regard as central to Quaker identity.

34. On Quaker history and culture I have been influenced by Hugh Barbour and J. William Frost; The Quakers (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1988) and Thomas Hamm; The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800-1907 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).

35. Identity groups often have their own pilgrimage sites. Elvis devotees flock to Graceland to honor “the King”. Civil War devotees visit civil war battlefields. American patriots are now flocking to the World Trade Center and to the site in Pennsylvania where one of the hijacked planes crashed.

36. On Anabaptist history and culture I have been influenced by Leo Driedger and Leland Harder (eds.); Anabaptist-Mennonite Identities in Ferment (Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1990), Calvin Redekop (ed.); Mennonite Identity: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988), Cornelius Dyck (ed.); Introduction to Mennonite History (Scottdale, PA: Herald: Scottdale, third edition, 1993), Richard McMaster; Land, Piety, Peoplehood: The Establishment of Mennonite Communities in America, 1683-1790 (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1985), Theron Schlabach; Peace, Faith, Nation: Mennonites and Amish in Nineteenth Century America (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1988), James Juhnke; Vision, Doctrine, War: Mennonite Identity and Organisation in America (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1989), Beulah Hostetler; American Mennonites and Protestant Movements: A Community Paradigm (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1987), Donald Kraybill and Carl Bowman; On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), Donald Kraybill; The Riddle of Amish Culture (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, revised edition, 2001), John Hostetler; Amish Society, (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, fourth edition, 1992), Steve Nolt; A History of the Amish (Intercourse, PA: Good Books., 1992), Paton Yoder; Tradition and Transition: Amish Mennonites and Old Order Amish, 1800-1900 (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1991), and John Hostetler; Hutterite Society (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, second edition, 1997).

37. On the history of Anthropology and History I have been influenced by George Stocking; Victorian Anthropology (New York City: Free Press, 1987), Stocking; Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the History of Anthropology (New York City: Free Press, 1968), John Haller; Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, 1859-1900 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, revised edition, 1995), Eleanor Leacock; “Marxism and Anthropology” in Bertell Ollman and Edward Vernoff; The Left Academy: Marxist Scholarship on American Campuses (New York City: McGraw-Hill, 1982), Thomas Gossett; Race: The History of an Idea in America (New York City: Schocken, 1963), Eric Wolf; “American Anthropologists and American Society” in Joseph Jorgensen and Marcello Truzzi (eds.); Anthropology and American Life (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974), Peter Novick; That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession (New York City: Cambridge University Press, 1988), Clyde Barrow; Universities and the Capitalist State (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990), Mary Furner; Advocacy and Objectivity: A Crisis in the Professionalization of American Social Science, 1865-1905 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1975), Dorothy Ross; The Origins of American Social Science (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), William Cronon, “Modes of Prophecy and Production: Placing Nature in History”, Journal of American History, pp. 1122-1131, and Gerald Nash's Creating the West: Historical Interpretations 1890-1990 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991).

38. Wiebe argues that early Americans exhibited a fear of strangers and blacks.

39. On ethnocentrism see Robert LaVine and Donald Campbell; Ethnocentrism (New York City: Wiley, 1972) and E.O. Wilson (On Human Nature (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978). For an analysis of groups used as scapegoats in ethnocentric discourses see Walter Zenner; Minorities in the Middle: Cross-Cultural Analysis (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991). An interesting attempt to define the social psychology of ethnocentrism and human rights impulses is Ervin Straub; The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others (New York City: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

40. On the Black Muslims see Timothy Miller “Black Jews and Black Muslims” in Miller (ed.); America’s Alternative Religions (Albany: SUNY Press, 1995), pp. 277-285. For white racist Christianity see and James Aho; The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990).

41. Bruce McConkie; Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958) and Daniel Ludlow (ed.); Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York City: Macmillan, five volumes, 1992).

42. Jacquelyn Nelson; Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1991).

43. Howard Schindler; Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Sun of Thunder (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, second edition, 1993), Hope A. Hilton; “Wild” Bill Hickman and the Mormon Frontier (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1988), Juanita Brooks; Mountain Meadows Massacre (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), Bill Hickman; Brigham's Destroying Angel (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1904), and John D. Lee Mormomism Unveiled, or Confessions of John D. Lee (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1877).

44. On the Utah War Norman Furniss; The Mormon Conflict, 1850-1859 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1960).

45. I recall seeing a Reform rabbi on Sally Jesse Raphael years ago who argued that “Jews for Jesus” were a non-Jewish “cult” because they weren't similar enough to First Century CE/AD Jewish ideology and practice. This statement is rather ironic coming as it does from a Reform rabbi since if we define “Jewishness” on the basis of First Century CE/AD Judaism, this would exclude Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism from the “Jewish” category since they too are radically different from First Century CE/AD Judaism. The moral of this story is that identity is sometimes a political issue.

46. David Wyman; The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York City: Pantheon, 1984).

47. Samuel P. Huntington; The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order (Simon and Schuster: New York City, 1996).

48. Mark Juergensmeyer; The New Cold War?: Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

49. Contributions to the Fundamentalism Project include Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (eds.); Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (eds.); Fundamentalisms and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, and Education (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (eds.) Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), Martin E. Marty, and R. Scott Appleby (eds.); Accounting for Fundamentalisms: The Dynamic Character of Movements (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), Martin E. Marty, and R. Scott Appleby (eds.); Fundamentalisms Comprehended (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).

50. The notion peddled by the American and British governments, a number of Western commentators and academics, and many “mainstream” Islamic groups that there is a “true” Islam and a “false” Islam is as ludicrous as notions that there is a ‘true Judaism” and a false one, a “true” Christianity and a “false” Christianity, or a “true” socialism and “false” socialism. The Koran is as inherently multivocal as the Bible. And, of course, changing times often bring with them circumstances that require creative readings of texts and the sacralization of these within pre-existing symbol systems. Clearly, one needs to explore the ideological motivations underlying assertions that there is only one true form of some cultural, political, or social phenomenon.

51. Fedinand Tonnies; Community and Society (NYC: Harper and Row, 1957). Louis Wirth; “Urbanism as a Way of Life” in Wirth; On Cities and Social Life: Selected Papers of Louis Wirth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964). Emile Durkheim, of course, famously distinguished between mechanical and organic societies in his The Division of Labor in Society (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1933).

52. Page Smith; As a City Upon a Hill: The Town in American History (New York City: Knopf, 1966), Julian Steward; Evolution and Ecology: Essays in Social Transformation, edited by Jane Steward and Rob Murphy, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977), and Julian Steward; Theory of Cultural Change: The Methodology of Multilinear Evolution (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972).

53. Thomas Bender; Community and Social Change (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, NJ, 1978).

54. Claude Fischer; To Dwell Among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City (University of Chicago Press, 1982). 55. Will Herberg; Protestant, Catholic, Jew (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956).

56. Bryan Wilson; Religion in Secular Society (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966).

57. Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan; Beyond the Melting Pot (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1970). Also see Steven Cohen; American Modernity and Jewish Identity (London: Tavistock, 1983). Cohen's book explores the effect of American modernity on the demographics of American Jews. Cohen found that Jewish identity continues across generational lines.

58. Jeffrey Haddon and Anson Shupe; Secularization and Fundamentalism Reconsidered (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 1989), Roger Finke and Rodney Stark; The Churching of America: 1776-2005: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, second edition, 2005), Samuel Heilman; Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), Heilman; Synagogue Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), and Heilman; People of the Book: Drama, Fellowship, and Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987). While immigrants who arrived in the United States before 1965 have largely “assimilated” (i.e., taken on an American identity), new immigrant groups which arrived after 1965 continue to maintain their distinctness at least for a generation. Additionally, groups which intentionally isolate themselves from Americanism (e.g., Old Order Anabaptists) continue to remain people within America but not of it. One should remember, however, that “assimilation” does not mean that identity distinctives disappear. They are generally simply transformed and remain as one identity marker among many others. In this context even the left traditions of Jews can be interpreted as “secularized” and sanctified variants of the biblical prophetic tradition with its condemnation of wealth and power.

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