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Towards a Critical Social Psychological Account of National Sentiments: Patriotism and Nationalism Revisited



In the social sciences and in social psychology as well, a distinction is often drawn between two different types of national sentiments. The first one is frequently represented as defensive and positive and it is termed patriotism, while the second one is considered a negative one that potentially has destructive consequences and it is termed nationalism. Within social psychology there have been attempts to map the differences between these different types of national sentiments and to discover the various factors that seem to be associated with them. Some critical social psychologists have adopted a different perspective, arguing that we should regard patriotism and nationalism as an ideological dilemma people face when they talk about nations. This approach allows researchers to examine the way the ideology of nationhood is represented in common sense as well as the specific aspects of national ideology in each country.