Max ERNST, a surrealist painter and writer, stated in Ecritures, "l'identité sera convulsive ou ne sera pas". The political concept of national identity has always made up the core of a nation, from its birth to its rehearsal. As national identity aims at defining what is to be French, British or Chinese, a convulsive identity can be understood as a violent, jerky and uncontrollable concept. Strictly defined, identity is the range of self-conscious elements that remain the same. How then can an immovable national identity face a changing world? How may we seize the identity dimension of a nation when challenged by external models? One may point out that the idea of identity is a thorny and controversial subject and that Max ERNST seems to be right: identity must be jostled, and questioned in order to exist, and to become concrete within our minds. This "essential glue that binds people together" is thus the identity which we will attempt to define through the British case. Moreover, school is often considered as the cement that consolidates identity. What measured can be implemented at the scholar level to strengthen national cohesion?
[...] Essay: what is the essential glue that binds people together and what can school do to create greater community cohesion Max ERNST, a surrealist painter and writer, stated in Ecritures “l'identité sera convulsive ou ne sera pas”. The political concept of national identity has always made up the core of a nation, from its birth to its rehearsal. As national identity aims at defining what is to be French, British or Chinese, a convulsive identity can be understood as a violent, jerky and uncontrollable concept. [...]
[...] Despite this obvious “glue that binds people together”, Gordon BROWN asserts that British values demand a new constitutional settlement and symbols to express a modern patriotism. Unionism seeks to make Britain stronger than the issues dividing it, such as separatism. Besides, school has played and is playing a huge role in “embracing the Union flag”. Indeed, school triggers off a cultural homogenisation thanks to the diffusion of a common language, its primary socialization and lessons of the Nation-State values such as freedom and democracy. [...]
[...] We can thus wonder what is the British magic that prevents people from impinging on others? Britishness is the solution: everyone takes part into the construction of a British identity that is made of tolerance and inclusion. For instance, Indian people merge into the British scenery: they adhere to its values while keeping their own culture. Besides, Billy Bragg states that live in a very multi-cultural society. Interestingly the thing that binds us together is our civic identity which is Britishness”. Moreover, this exists only if it can be compared with other citizenships. [...]
[...] But in order to avoid the majority's dictatorship, British school must also provide notion of tolerance. Hence, school should be able to play its role fully by creating and holding this famous glue. As a conclusion, I can declare that the concept of national identity is not a matter of course: it is a creation, produced by a culture and a context. Hence, this concept is revocable by both evolutions. As Frenchness, Britishness is facing the “postmodernist vertigo” that is jeopardizing its identity. [...]
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