5.2 ‘The prioritisation of a particular group – the nation – as a key constitut

No particular form of articulating the nation is required by the formulation of this first element; the nation might be ‘imagined’ or ‘constructed’ as homogenous or as pluralistic and diverse, for example. However nationhood is imagined, though, it will invariably involve some form of suppression of alternative ways of classifying peoples. Consider that for most of us there are linguistic, class, ethnic, location, gender, religious and other aspects to our identities.
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5.1 Ideology: a contested concept

Propagators of ideologies use images and symbols to get people to believe and act in certain ways. Nationalism as a political ideology uses the idea of ‘nation’ to achieve political goals, and may be the most potent ideology in existence. It is worth reflecting for a moment on what kind of ideology it is. And it is worth reminding ourselves that ideology is a contested concept; a term that can mean different things. Marx and Engels subscribed to the notion of ideology as a set of ide
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3 Self-determination: individual and collective

The idea of a right to ‘collective self-determination’ is a difficult one – how can a group, as opposed to an individual, have a ‘right’? To argue that a nation has a right to self-determination is, some might argue, to overlook what rights are, and who can claim them.

'Self-determination’ has a positive ring about it – how could anyone oppose it? The idea of self-determination has strong resonances in political theory, dating back as far as Hobbes, at lea
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2 Political belonging: loyalty, community and statehood

Which people, which group, do you belong to? How do we know who is Them, and who is Us? Where do your political loyalties lie? In a way these are simple questions. There are many contexts in our daily lives when we could answer them well enough. We speak common languages with people around us (and often with the same accent). Many of us live in neighbourhoods and recognise ‘neighbours’ as a distinctive group to which we belong. If we pray regularly in a mosque or church then we might
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1.2.3 Boundaries of ‘normality’

The origin of the ‘other’ in society is the widespread human tendency to create categories where people who don't fit in can be placed away from the mainstream. Social categories may lead to prejudice and discrimination, but may also lead to the physical separation of people to the margins of that society. Sibley (1995) traces the physical marginalisation of people in what he calls the ‘geographies of exclusion’. Part of the process of exclusion is where the ‘bad’,
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1.2.2 Boundaries of difference

One of the things that language does is define and give a name to differences between people – to delineate the boundaries that separate them. In the mental health field, the ‘mad’ are at one end of the social divide that separates the ‘normal’ from the ‘abnormal’. They are ‘the other’, a point made in the article by Perkins (above): ‘To be mad is to be defined as “other”’.

This is a recurring theme in the mental health field.
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1.2.1 Boundaries and terminology

In another context Shakespeare asked, ‘What's in a name?’, and suggested by way of an answer that a rose may smell as sweet whatever it is called. In the context of social boundaries, however, the language used is actually very important in determining ‘who's in’ and ‘who's out’.

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1 Preface

Political theorists – classic writers such as Hobbes and Rousseau but contemporary ones too – have often assumed a neat fit between this government and that territory and its population, as if the fit between the two were somehow natural or timeless. Reality is always messier than that, of course. Countries, or nation-states, are in part constructed entities or communities – political units that are consciously demarcated and separated from others. As Guibernau comments, &
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to understand:

  • the complexity and dilemmas of diverse perspectives in the field of mental health and distress;

  • the importance of service users'/survivors' experiences and perspectives;

  • how mental health issues affect everyone;

  • the range of risks faced by service users'/survivors' in their everyday lives.

Introduction

This unit takes you on a journey of discovery where you are invited to challenge ideas, both new and old, in relation to mental health. It is made up of a series of three extracts. The first extract, ‘Boundaries of explanation’, sets out the theme of boundaries: boundaries within and between groups; within and between explanatory frameworks; and within and between experiences of mental health and distress. The second extract, ‘Whose risk is it anyway?’, considers a critical
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Bernanke's top worry: jobs, not oil
The U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction despite a recent jump in energy costs, but the labor market still needs improvement before talk of withdrawing stimulus, said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
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128: The art of the deal: Is ethics in the picture?
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R645 : Routes to the development of a parapoxvirus vaccine for red squirrels
This 21 page report, R645 - Routes to the development of a parapoxvirus vaccine for red squirrels, was originally produced by English Nature in 2005 and is here made available as a PDF file by Natural England. The report looks at the history of the decline of the red squirrel in the UK and attempts to estimate the timesacles and costs of the development of a vaccine, and then gives a list of references to relevant literature.
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