The national in everyday life: A critical engagement with Michael Billig's thesis of Banal Nationalism



This paper is designed to provide a critical engagement with Michael Billig's seminal thesis of Banal Nationalism (1995), perhaps the most influential study of everyday forms of nationhood. With an increasing number now focusing on the (re) production, dissemination and negotiation of the national through routine texts and practices (cf Foster, 2002; Edensor, 2002; Madianou, 2005; Brubaker et al., 2006; Bratsis, 2006) and others employing the concept of banality in relation to non-national (Gorringe, 2006) and post-national identities (Aksoy and Robins, 2002; Szerszynski and Urry, 2002; Beck, 2006; Cram, 2001), it would seem like an opportune moment to assess Billig's contribution and also the limits of his approach.