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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which explores the origins and development of notions of nationhood in Bengal by focusing on interactions between pre-existing indigenous social unities and late colonial discourses. The theme forms part of a wider endeavour to understand the nature, foundations and futures of colonial nationalisms. The book traces how the notion of a nation was produced through a complex interaction between reorientations of past (socio-cultural) unities, and influences emanating from the late colonial situation, thereby shifting the focus from assumptions of the nation as an artefact of modernity. By prioritising the centrality of the idea of a historical social community (samaj) as underpinning notions of nationhood, the book moves beyond such western-derived political and modernist ideas about the nation.

Keywords: colonial Bengal; nationalism; social community

10.1163/ej.9789004176140.i-414.5
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    Notions of Nationhood in Bengal: Perspectives on Samaj, c. 1867-1905 — Recommend this title to your library
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