LIMITS AND ALTERNATIVE VAYS OF STUDYING THE 'NATIONS': FROM REAL GROUPS TO THE CATEGORIES OF PRACTICE
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The article briefly scrutinises dominant theories of the nationalism and contemporary theoretical discussions, which challenge the traditional view of 'nation' as the category of analysis. Such theoretical challenges transcend the key questions of nationalism studies 'What is the nation?', 'When did it come to existence?' by approaching the 'nations' not as the real groups but rather as the categories of a social practice, which are constructed and reproduced by the various discursive formations - the systems of representation. Historiographical concepts of the ethnogenesis and 'migrations of nations' are used as the examples of the intellectual reification of 'nation' as real, historical group. 'Nation' is thus considered as the powerful and pervasive category of practice yet rather weak and limited category of the analysis.
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