Englishness and National Culture

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1999 - History - 243 pages
Today nation is probably the strongest of all forms of group identity. Over and above its expression in symbols such as flags, leaders, and cultural icons, national identity also works at a less visible, more insidious level-in the forms of discourse specific to a nation. In this compelling study, Antony Easthope takes Englishness as an example and argues that this national identity is deeply informed by the empiricist tradition. He employs a wide array of examples from high and popular culture, ranging from philosophical and literary works through popular journalism and aspects of the English sense of humor. Englishness and National Culture asserts a profound continuity running from the seventeenth century until now. Todays journalists, novelists and politicians may imagine they are speaking for themselves, yet Easthope demonstrates the ancestral voices speaking through them.

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Contents

Nation identity discourse
15
National desire
55
Empiricism in English philosophy
61
An empiricist tradition
87
The discourse of literary journalism
117
The discourse of historywriting
135
English tragedy English comedy
153
Contemporary English poetry
177
identity and difference
200
Bibliography
230
Index
241
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