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What does it mean to be a member of a nation?

. I would agree with what you say except that I think in some cases nations are real, objective entities and so what they believe to be a nation is as a matter of fact a nation

I would contend that such a thing is not possible. Nations can only exist if people believe in them. As soon as they cease to believe the nation ceases to exist (and of course it comes back into exsistence when a critical mass believe in the commonality).

Obviously all the people's actual belief in what actually is a nation will be their own individual one and likely different from many other people who see themselves as part of the same nation.

What actually constitutes a nation in actuality is that these individuals, with their different belief in whatever their nation is, is their joint believes that there lots of other people who they have some form of commonality with. The reciprocity of feeling of commonality at a critical mass level (which is of course highly variable depending on many many factors) creates a nation. There is no 'real objectiv entities that are nations outside of people's imagination', as soon as they stop believing their a nation they cease to become one
 
A nation is a group of people who share a common language, culture, or race. Meaning you have to speak a certain way, act a certain way, and look a certan way. In some countries, (see US) you merely have to act a certain way. In old style European empires, your nationality depended on what king ruled you. If your were ruled by the Tsar you would be considered Russian, even though you were an Estonian. In the current world, with it's extensive mobility it all boils down to what type of passport you have.
 
A nation is a group of people who share a common language, culture, or race. Meaning you have to speak a certain way, act a certain way, and look a certan way. In some countries, (see US) you merely have to act a certain way. In old style European empires, your nationality depended on what king ruled you. If your were ruled by the Tsar you would be considered Russian, even though you were an Estonian. In the current world, with it's extensive mobility it all boils down to what type of passport you have.

I would dispute this. Some of these things can in certain circumstances be seen as members of a nation to be qualyfying features for other nation members, they do not actually form the nation by themselves. As I have said previously most importantly there also needs to be belief in the nation. Only this brings a nation into being.

The language people speak or the state they live in might be part of the grander 'national identity' but it needn't be and there is no uniform categorisation of what factors affect the make up of a nation ( i.e. do the people in this nation, or indeed those outside it who view it as a nation see history as important or language as important or accent as important or how you hold your spoon important as to their national identity).

The only way of indetifying that, this is a nation is if it is believed to be so and factors such as you have mentioned may often be cited for the reason people believe it is a nation but in actuality it is their belief that gives a nation life over a completley imaginary grouping of people.
 
I am reminded of my research into some information on marriage visas and all of its related topics (I nearly married a Romanian girl). One thing struck as rather fantastically odd. If her and I were to have a child whilst living in Austria or England, that child would by default be a Romanian and an American. Like a genetic heritage or something! It's sort of like the idea of having a nationality is equivalent to belonging to a race. The American race and the Romanian race naturally will produce a child that is half-and-half, and legally for citizenship purposes, fully both. Such a child could grow up in a foreign country, have children themselves in that country, who would by default inherit America/Romanian citizenship, without any of them ever stepping foot in either land. Very strange if you ask me. Yet this is the system in several countries.
 
eateroftoast said:
To that I think there is very little more than saying: you are a member of a state, not if you've paid you're taxes or obeyed its rules or any such other stuff, but rather if its organs recognise you as a member and thus it has a socially accepted right, to punish or reward you according to its laws.
Yeah, from a technical standpoint that seems to pretty much sum it up.

Kind of scary to think about, we are all at the mercy of the ever changing system of laws. :undecide:

Of course those with wealth and charm can easily manipulate the law to their benefit.
 
To be a member of a nation means to live within the borders of the nation, and nothing else.
 
luiz said:
To be a member of a nation means to live within the borders of the nation, and nothing else.
Including exchange students, foreign employees who spend a year there and other people like that?

If not, for how long does one have to live within the borders of the nation to be considered part of it?
 
Patriotism is IMO just a modern type of the tribalism. You are part of a nation when you feel you are and when the others don't oppose that ;)
 
luiz said:
To be a member of a nation means to live within the borders of the nation, and nothing else.

Over the last 2 1/2 years I've lived in Austria and England. Yet I'm still an American.
 
Narz said:
Yeah, from a technical standpoint that seems to pretty much sum it up.

Kind of scary to think about, we are all at the mercy of the ever changing system of laws. :undecide:

Of course those with wealth and charm can easily manipulate the law to their benefit.
Only if the majority of voters alows it. Sadly they do in the U.S. :(
 
EDIT:
Luiz said:
To be a member of a nation means to live within the borders of the nation, and nothing else.

No.That's maybe an American sense of that word - to be member of a nation means to have a citizenship of some country.

That's not true in Europe. Here, nationalism is more about the culture, history, language and ethnicity.
 
Winner said:
No.That's maybe an American sense of that word - to be member of a nation means to have a citizenship of some country.

That's not true in Europe. Here, nationalism is more about the culture, history, language and ethnicity.
Negative. Only in America do they classify themselves by ethnicity: Irish-American, African-American, &c. Europeans, or at least the British, are mixed without classification.
 
Winner said:
That's maybe an American sense of that word - to be member of a nation means to have a citizenship of some country.

That's not true in Europe. Here, nationalism is more about the culture, history, language and ethnicity.

Yet there are still these strange laws all over Europe that say that if you are of a particular citizenship, then all of your children also have your citizenship and NOT the citizenship of the country they were born in. They might be raised in the land they were born in, speak only the local language(s), be entirely enculturated, and never even have been inside the country of their citizenship, but they don't get the citizenship of the country they were born in. Presumably this continues on indefinitely for generation after generation. I know this is true for certain in Switzerland, Austria, England and more recently Ireland. I think its true for every country in the EU.

In America, if you are born there, you are automatically a citizen. That's the American way!

Winner said:
Flak said:
I've lived in Austria and England for over the last 2 1/2 years and I'm still an American.
No.

Yes. I'm still an American.
 
stormbind said:
Negative. Only in America do they classify themselves by ethnicity: Irish-American, African-American, &c. Europeans, or at least the British, are mixed without classification.

No. You can't say the Americans as a nation are of one ethnicity. They're not. The americans maybe use their original ethnicity to explain where are they from, but that's not what I mean here.

I am Czech and I can say the 90-95% of CZ population is of Czech origin. Therefore we can identify ourselves by the ethnicity. The same for most of European nations. Also, we have very similar culture, share the same history etc. We're not multicultural and multiethnical country.
 
Flak said:
Yet there are still these strange laws all over Europe that say that if you are of a particular citizenship, then all of your children also have your citizenship and NOT the citizenship of the country they were born in. They might be raised in the land they were born in, speak only the local language(s), be entirely enculturated, and never even have been inside the country of their citizenship, but they don't get the citizenship of the country they were born in. Presumably this continues on indefinitely for generation after generation. I know this is true for certain in Switzerland, Austria, England and more recently Ireland. I think its true for every country in the EU.

In America, if you are born there, you are automatically a citizen. That's the American way!

It's the right way. I admit our immigration laws are terrible.

Yes. I'm still an American.

Sorry, I confused the posts. This was supposed to be a reaction to Luiz's post. :wallbash:
 
Winner said:
No. You can't say the Americans as a nation are of one ethnicity. They're not. The americans maybe use their original ethnicity to explain where are they from, but that's not what I mean here.

I am Czech and I can say the 90-95% of CZ population is of Czech origin. Therefore we can identify ourselves by the ethnicity. The same for most of European nations. Also, we have very similar culture, share the same history etc. We're not multicultural and multiethnical country.

I think that ethnicity is not a valid definition for belonging to a nation. In fact you sort of state that. There are many notable countries that have strong cultures with mixed ethnic backgrounds: United States, India, South Africa, Malaysia, Canada. Even the United Kingdom has the Scots, Irish, Celts as well the Anglo-Saxons.

I myself am not a white American. My father was half African American and half Native American, my mother white European American (mostly French and Irish). Would you say that I'm less of an American than a Czech is a Czech just because I am not the result of a single ethnicity?

I would have to strongly disagree.

The original question is a difficult one for many people. Consider the situation of the European Jews pre-WWII. You had significant populations of French, German, Polish and Russian Jews. These people certainly were for many many generations contributing members of their respective lands and cultures. So when they were exterminated in Germany, was this a killing Germans or Jews? Or both? The fact that this question is still open to any kind of debate at all exposes the difficulty of trying define one's belonging to a nation.
 
Hitro said:
Including exchange students, foreign employees who spend a year there and other people like that?
Yes, why not?
 
I've been in the states for 4 weeks and intend to leave in another 4. Am I an american?
 
Well....
From my father's side, every single ancestor (from 1810) was born in the Netherlands. From my mother's side, some Jerries get in (I'm even in Das Deutsch Geschlaechter Buch).

However, the only reason I'm a member of the Dutch nation, is becasue I support the Dutch national football team, without any conditions :) .

More serious:
Living here and getting a passport does it, I guess.
 
Flak said:
I am reminded of my research into some information on marriage visas and all of its related topics (I nearly married a Romanian girl). One thing struck as rather fantastically odd. If her and I were to have a child whilst living in Austria or England, that child would by default be a Romanian and an American. Like a genetic heritage or something! It's sort of like the idea of having a nationality is equivalent to belonging to a race. The American race and the Romanian race naturally will produce a child that is half-and-half, and legally for citizenship purposes, fully both. Such a child could grow up in a foreign country, have children themselves in that country, who would by default inherit America/Romanian citizenship, without any of them ever stepping foot in either land. Very strange if you ask me. Yet this is the system in several countries.

It's not that strange because almost all countries if not literally all countries as far as I am aware have some kind of law which grants citizenship to children born outside the country whose parents are citizens of the country. What you're talking about would just extend this to the 2nd or further generations so it's just a difference in degree. I know that non-European countries do this too. For example, I believe Japan has something like that.

There are two legal traditions for granting automatic citinzeship. One is called "jus soli" -- right of the territory -- and this means if you are born in the land you are a citizen. And, contrary to popular belief perhaps, according to wikipedia, "relatively few number of nations grant jus soli to children born in a nations territory" -- we are more familiar with jus soli because America happens to have that in her legal tradition (which is not surprising given the way America was founded without having a long history, etc.) . The other legal tradition is called "jus sanguinis" -- right of blood.
 
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