Nations as zones of conflict, nations as zones of selection: A Darwinian social evolutionary engagement with John Hutchinson's ‘Culture Wars’

Journal article


Kerr, William 2019. Nations as zones of conflict, nations as zones of selection: A Darwinian social evolutionary engagement with John Hutchinson's ‘Culture Wars’. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. 19 (2), pp. 170-186. https://doi.org/10.1111/sena.12302
AuthorsKerr, William
Abstract

This paper explores the use of Darwinian social evolutionary theory towards understanding the formation of nations through a specific engagement with John Hutchinson's Nations as Zones of Conflict, particularly the idea of ‘culture wars’. After outlining Hutchinson's framework and the principles of Darwinian social evolutionary theory – namely, the key concepts of inheritance, variation, and selection within an environmental context – I make a case for Darwinian concepts being able to support and expand on Hutchinson's ethno‐symbolic approach. I argue that Darwinian social evolutionary theory offers a powerful explanation for why particular myths, symbols, traditions, and memories endure and are revived and revitalized in nationalist contexts. The development of nationalism in Meiji Japan is used as an example to explore these ideas.

Keywordsconflict; Darwinian theory; John Hutchinson; Culture wars
Year2019
JournalStudies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
Journal citation19 (2), pp. 170-186
PublisherWiley
ISSN1754-9469
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/sena.12302
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625370
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions#vor
hdl:10545/625370
Publication dates12 Sep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Nov 2020, 11:41
Accepted2019
ContributorsUniversity of Edinburgh
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/94222/nations-as-zones-of-conflict-nations-as-zones-of-selection-a-darwinian-social-evolutionary-engagement-with-john-hutchinson-s-culture-wars

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