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Ambivalence of Identity

The Austrian Experience of Nation-Building in a Modern Society

by Peter Thaler

Publication Year: 2001

The Ambivalence of Identity examines nation-building in Austria and uses the Austrian experience to explore the conceptual foundations of nationhood

Published by: Purdue University Press


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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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p. vi

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pp. vii-ix

To the natives it was just another game in the quadrennial shakeout of world cup soccer. But this particular match played on June 21, 1978, in Córdoba, Argentina, meant a great deal more to the hundreds of thousands of ecstatic spectators who cheered their team to victory. ...

Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

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1. Nation-Building and Postwar Austria: An Introduction

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pp. 1-24

The crucial role of elites in the formation of national identity is a recurring topic in recent scholarship. The historical experience of the Republic of Austria casts new light on this important subject. Situated in a twentieth-century Western European societal environment, Austrian nation-building...

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2. Catalyst or Precondition: The Socioeconomic Environment of Austrian Nation-Building

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pp. 25-50

For much of the postwar era, the scholarly interpretation of contemporary Austrian history centered on the concept of an Austrian nation that had finally found its destiny, guided by political leaders who had overcome their former disagreements for the good of the country.1 ...

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3. The Writing of History and National Imagery: The Intellectual Foundations of Austrian Nation-Building

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pp. 51-109

Historical interpretations provided essential images for the formation of Austrian national consciousness after 1945.1 As it illustrates the political capacity of history, the Austrian national debate becomes of particular interest in the fundamental meta-historical discussion...

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4. The Institutional Instruments of Nation-Building

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pp. 110-160

Over the past decades, Austrian public identity has undergone a visible transformation.1 Increasingly, the wider German sense-of-self that traditionally predominated among German-speaking Austrians lost ground to an exclusively Austrian one.2 ...

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5. Measuring Identity: Austrian National Consciousness in the Mirror of Public Opinion

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pp. 161-179

The preceding two chapters focused on the main pillars of postwar Austrian nation-building. A new national imagery began to dominate the public debate, supported by social and political instruments of nation-building. At the level of official discourse and policy, a fairly clear picture...

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6. Austrian Nation Formation and the Theory of Nationhood: A Conclusion

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pp. 180-190

This study has traced the influence of political elites on the development of a new national identity in the general populace. It attempted to look beyond the visible progression of this identity to explore the environment in which the changes in self-perception took place.1 ...


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pp. 191-219

Index [Includes About the Author]

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pp. 221-227

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490694
E-ISBN-10: 1612490697
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557532015
Print-ISBN-10: 155753201X

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2001

OCLC Number: 228112369
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Ambivalence of Identity

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Political culture -- Austria.
  • Austria -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • Political parties -- Austria -- History -- 20th century.
  • National characteristics, Austrian.
  • Austria -- Politics and government -- 1945-.
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