This course provides an intensive examination of the processes involved in constructing and reconstructing (national) identity and alterity, exploring (ethnic) ingroups and outgroups, along with the related social and symbolic boundaries.

Starting with an exploration of approaches focused on nationalism in everyday life, the course delves into sociological and social psychological perspectives on individual and 'collective' identity. It critically reflects on the considerations necessary when dealing with "identity" in empirical research, emphasizing the avoidance of essentialism and the significance of social-historical contextualization (e.g., postcolonial identities). Drawing on these insights the course further investigates the role of emotions in processes of identification and have a look at the complex interplay between emotions, identity, and power dynamics in social and political contexts. 

In addition, the course examines the interconnection of Gender and Nationalism, leading into the second part that focuses on ingroup-outgroup differentiations. Drawing from sociological classics on “the established”, “the outsiders”, and “the stranger”, the course explores processes of stigmatization, majority-minority relations, and addresses prominent approaches to analyzing symbolic and social boundaries. 

Throughout the course, theoretical discussions will be supplemented with examinations of empirical studies, highlighting key findings and respective methodological approaches, and students will have the opportunity to discuss their research interests, including various research designs, within the scope of the class. The course aims to equip students with a comprehensive (theoretical) understanding of nationalism, (national) identity, and national feeling while fostering critical thinking and research skills.