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By Dawa Norbu

Nationalism in particular political structures mixed with a theoretical framework that pulls out its common value. Ten case stories from South Asia, the center East, Latin the USA and Europe specialise in neighborhood cultural elements.

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Extra resources for Culture and the Politics of Third World Nationalism

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1 Finally, our generalizations based on a number of empirical cases directly contradict Gellner’s corollary that agrarian societies do not engender nationalism because they lack linguistic and cultural homogeneity. Such a sweeping conclusion ignores the very dynamics of Third World nationalism— the systematic politicization of tradition which creates system-wide cultural homogeneity. Indeed, common culture is the minimum creation of a world religion contained in any traditional, yet complex society.

For instance, is Japan a part of the Third World? Or are not Sweden, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union part of the Third World? Unfortunately the term has recently gained so much currency that it has come to stay. As used in this book, I have two specific meanings in mind: economically less-developed and developing parts of the world; ideologically, those areas championing egalitarian ideology which perhaps includes the socialist nations as well. Geographically, it includes Asia, the Arab world, Africa, the South Pacific and Latin America.

In other words, our concept of culture compels us to consider it as essentially a value system which influences behaviour patterns (message); while that of Gellner appears as functional literacy which facilitates the communication of such messages. And between the substance of a message and its mode of communication, there is a vast difference. For example, during the Falkland War, the emotional idea of Pax Britannica could arouse deep-rooted public emotions, and it is true that a nation-wide functional literacy that Gellner talks about would facilitate the social communication of such a national culture.

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