School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Christian Karner

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Christian Karner got his BA (First Class) in Social and Cultural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 1998 and went on to do an MSc (Distinction) in Social Anthropology at the LSE. He then returned to Nottingham to do a PhD on the subject of "The Categories of Hindu Nationalism: A Neo-Structuralist Analysis of the Discourse of Hindutva" (2002).

Following this, he was on a two-year Leverhulme Fellowship working on "(Counter-) hegemonic national identities" before being appointed as a Lecturer in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. He has previously co-organized the School's research centre on Identities, Citizenship and Migration (ICMiC). Christian has been a Research Associate at the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, and he also has close teaching and research connections with the Instytut Kultury Europejskiej of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland).

Christian's research focuses on the discursive negotiations of ethnic, national and religious identities in the context of contemporary globalization, and as articulated in a variety of empirical contexts, with particular foci on contemporary Austria and on inner-City Birmingham (as part of his ongoing work with David Parker on "Saltley Stories"). Christian's publications analyze a range of relevant signifying practices and civil society activities (from popular music, newspapers and literature, to "street magazines" and community organizations) and are informed by a critical engagement with social/ cultural theory (including (post-)structuralism, structuration theory and the sociology of globalization). He is especially interested in the negotiation of social identities in particular localities, in the course of everyday life and the context of contemporary socio-economic dislocations, and against the backdrop of culturally shared and negotiated memories.

Christian's books include Writing History, Constructing Religion (2005, co-edited with James Crossley), Ethnicity and Everyday Life (2007), Negotiating National Identities: Between Globalization, the Past and "the Other" (2011,, The Use and Abuse of Memory: Interpreting World War II in Contemporary European Politics (2013, co-edited with Bram Mertens), The Commonalities of Global Crises: Markets, Communities and Nostalgia (2016, co-edited with Bernhard Weicht), and National Identity and Europe in Times of Crisis: Doing and Undoing Europe (2017, co-edited with Monika Kopytowska).

Christian teaches in the sociology of ethnicity (and the everyday), nationalism, national identities and religion as well as social theory. He is interested (and currently involved) in supervising postgraduate research students in any of these areas.

Expertise Summary

The social, cultural and political negotiations of various ethnic, religious, national and local identities in the context of contemporary globalization; urban sociology; memory studies.

Teaching Summary

Ethnicity, nationalism, globalisation.

Research Summary

Ethnicity, national identities, nationalism, religion, globalisation, the everyday, social and cultural theory, memory studies.

ORCID identifier: 0000-0001-7906-0759

Recent Publications

  • FLINTHAM, M., KARNER, C., CRESWICK, H., BACHOUR, K., GUPTA, N. and MORAN, S., 2018. Falling for fake news: Investigating the consumption of news via social media In: CHI 18, Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2018. (Kon)texte kontrastierender Europapolitik in Oesterreich Zeitschrift fuer Diskursforschung. 3. Beiheft, (In Press.)
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER and MAREK KAZMIERCZAK, 2017. Palimpsests of the romantic Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe. 25(1), 3-22
  • ALINE SIERP and CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2017. National Stereotypes in the context of the European crisis National Identities. 19(1), 1-9
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER and MONIKA KOPYTOWSKA, eds., 2017. National Identity and Europe in Times of Crisis: Doing and Undoing Europe Emerald Publishing.
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2017. Discursively 'undoing' and 'doing Europe' the Austrian way. In: CHRISTIAN KARNER and MONIKA KOPYTOWSKA, eds., National Identity and Europe in Times of Crisis Emerald Publishing. 37-59
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER and BERNHARD WEICHT, eds., 2016. The Commonalities of Global Crises: Markets, Communities and Nostalgia Palgrave Macmillan.
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER and BERNHARD WEICHT, 2016. Markets, communities and nostalgia. In: The Commonalities of Global Crises Palgrave Macmillan. 1-33
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2015. Questioning memory nationalism Discover Society. 21, Focus: 21
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2015. Austria's Post-Holocaust Jewish Community: A Subaltern Counterpublic between the Ethics and the Morality of Memory. In: D. POPESCU AND T. SCHULT, ed., Revisiting Holocaust Representation in the Post-Witness Era Palgrave Macmillan. 253-271
  • 2015. Deprivation. In: The Vocabulary for the Study of Religion Brill.
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2014. Signs of the nation: resisting globalization?. In: Z. KLOCH, L. GRUETZMACHER, M. KAZMIERCZAK, ed., Znakowe wartosci kultury Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. 157-174
  • KARNER, C. and MERTENS, B., eds., 2013. The use and abuse of memory: interpreting World War II in contemporary European politics Transaction Publishers.
  • CHRISTIAN KARNER, 2013. Europe and the Nation: Austrian EU-Scepticism and its Contestation Journal of Contemporary European Studies. 21(2), 252-268
  • 2012. Karner, C. and Parker, D.: Religious and Non-Religious Practices and the City Diskus: The Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions. 13, 27-48
  • KARNER, C. and PARKER, D., 2011. Conviviality and conflict: pluralism, resilience and hope in inner-city Birmingham Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 37(3), 355-372
  • KARNER, C., 2011. Negotiating national identities: between globalization, the past and "the other" Ashgate.
  • PARKER, D. and KARNER, C., 2011. Remembering the Alum Rock Road: reputational geographies and spatial biographies Midland History. 36(2), 292-309
  • KARNER, C., 2010. The uses of the past and European integration: Austria between Lisbon, Ireland, and EURO 08 Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 17(4), 387-410
  • KARNER, C., 2010. Hybridity and the politics of the everyday in contemporary Austria German Life and Letters. 63(1), 71-87
  • PARKER, D. and KARNER, C., 2010. Reputational geographies and urban social cohesion Ethnic and Racial Studies. 33(8), 1451-1470
  • KARNER, C. AND PARKER, D., 2008. Religion versus rubbish: Deprivation and social capital in inner-city Birmingham Social Compass. 55(4), 517-531
  • KARNER, C., 2008. The market and the nation: Austrian (dis)agreements Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture. 14(2), 161-187
  • KARNER, C., 2007. Ethnicity and everyday life London and New York: Routledge.
  • KARNER, C., 2006. The Thought World of Hindu Nationalism: Analyzing a Political Ideology Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • KARNER, C., 2005. National doxa, crises and ideological contestation in contemporary Austria Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. 11(2), 221-263
  • CROSSLEY,J. and KARNER,C., eds., 2005. Writing History, Constructing Religion Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot.
  • KARNER,C., 2005. Postmodernism and the study of religions. In: Writing History, Constructing Religion Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot. 31-48
  • KARNER, C., 2005. Writing Hindutva history, constructing nationalist religion. In: Writing History, Constructing Religion Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot. 205-225
  • KARNER, C., 2005. "Us" versus "Them"? Cognitive/discursive, sociological, and historical criticisms of an implicit theoretical consensus In: 10th Annual World Conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalism.
  • KARNER, C., 2005. Hegemonic and counter-hegemonic responses to "the stranger" in contemporary Austria In: Fortress Europe and its 'Others': Cultural Representations in Film, Media and the Arts.
  • KARNER, C. and ALDRIDGE, A.E., 2004. Theorizing religion in a globalizing world International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. 18(1-2), 5-32
  • KARNER, C., 2004. Theorising Power and Resistance among "Travellers" Social Semiotics. VOL 14(PART 3), 249-272
  • KARNER, C., 2004. Between structure and agency: From the langue of Hindutva identity contruction to the parole of lived experience. In: Grammars of Identity/Alterity: A Structural Approach Berghahn Books, Oxford. 157-172
  • KARNER, C., 2002. Between structure and agency: From the langue of Hindutva identity construction to the parole of lived experience In: 7th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.
  • KARNER, C., Hybridity, 'glocalisation' and the politics of everyday life in contemporary Austria In: Creolising Europe, University of Manchester, 6-8 September 2007. (In Press.)

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