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Předmět, akademický rok 2023/2024
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Understanding Identity and Belonging - JSM128
Anglický název: Understanding Identity and Belonging
Český název: Understanding Identity and Belonging
Zajišťuje: Katedra sociologie (23-KS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2023
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 8
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:kombinovaná
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/0, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: 45 / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: doc. Alessandro Testa, Ph.D.
Vyučující: doc. Alessandro Testa, Ph.D.
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Soubory Komentář Kdo přidal
stáhnout A.A.V.V. Entries Identity from the Encyclopedia.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Lin Nilsson Stutz.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Lindhardt - Islam in Denmark.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout MacDonald-Memorylands (chapter 1).pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Medrano - Nested identities in Spain.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Scabini, Manzi - Family Identity.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Smith - Nationalism - Paradigms.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Testa - Events.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Testa, Vaczi - Introduction (open access, with bibliography).pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Tomaney - Parochialism.pdf Jana Vojanová
stáhnout Wilken - European Identity.pdf Jana Vojanová
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (28.09.2023)

The interest in the concept of “identity” and the centrality that specific, discreet identities have acquired in the public sphere in recent times are unprecedented. Why this shift, why now?
This course offers an introduction to the analytical study of collective identities and their psycho-social foundation, that is, a sense of “belonging”, from the perspective of social sciences and anthropology more in particular. It will introduce the critical study of identity and belonging to students that are perhaps not familiar with it, but also foster the understanding of a variety of social phenomena and dynamics related to identity construction, negotiation, and expression. Identity, understood not as an essential aspect or a natural fact, but as a historical, contingent, relational, and processual phenomenon, is in fact now recognised as an extremely important dimension at different levels: for the individual, for supra-individual configurations (such as work, family, the locality), but also and perhaps especially for greater social/collective spheres, which express themselves in terms of identities that can be sportive, religious, regional, national, or even supranational (e.g., European or cosmopolitan).
We shall draw attention to the historical, cultural, and institutional processes that have led to the emergence and crystallization of specific collective identities, both as bottom-up historical phenomena (e.g., the collective national movements of the 1840s) or top-down political initiatives (e.g., the recent EU identity policies). Special attention will be given to the symbolic substances identities are made of (language, traditions, collective memories, histories, rituals, among others) and how such aspects are incorporated in – and expressed by – social actors, for example through body expressions (tattoos, hairstyle, clothing style) and collective forms of actions such as rituals. Analytical concepts like “nested identities”, “group dynamics” (“in-group” vs “out-group”), “presentation of the self”, and others shall be presented and analysed in the classroom, and also operationalized vis-à-vis concrete examples. To this end, an array of empirical case studies will be presented that will be chosen from the pertinent literature as well as from the lecturer’s historical and ethnographic investigations in several European contexts.


Tentative course structure

1) Introduction: Identity and belonging, individual vs social
2) Invited guest: religious and national identities, the case of Danmark
3) What is social or collective identity made of? Language, traditions, memories, histories, networks, institutions, and more
4) Identity of the self, identity of the body
5) Nested identities, identity markers, and sense of belonging at the micro- and meso-levels: family, neighbourhood, village, locality, city, region
6) Nested identities and identity markers at the macro-level: class, politics, religion, and sport fandom
7) Identities that shake the world: nation, nationhood, nationality, national identity, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism in different scholarly traditions (primordialism, modernism, and ethnosymbolism)
8) Conclusions and final discussion with the students

Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (28.09.2023)


Attendance and participation are considered as very important will be taken into consideration in the evaluation process (up to 10% of the evaluation). The attendance for this course, for instance is mandatory, unless differently agreed between the teacher and students who for demonstrable and serious reasons cannot attend to the lessons in person. In this case, the student will immediately inform the teacher and a solution will be found together. Even one unjustified absence will impact the evaluation.

Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (28.09.2023)

Compulsory readings

(All students willing to take the exam will have to read the following texts)


-        Entries “Identity” (pp. 551-555), “Identity, Social” (pp. 555-556), and “Self-Identity” (417-418) in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, II ed.


-        Smith, D. Anthony: Chapter 3: “Paradigms” 2013 in his book Nationalism (2nd Edition), Cambridge: Polity Press.


-        A. Testa, “Events that want to become heritage: on the vernacularisation of ICH and the politics of culture and identity in public rituals”. In C. Clopot, M. Nic Craith, U. Kockel, B. Tjarve (eds), Heritage and Festivals in Europe, Routledge, London 2019, pp. 79-94.


-        Wilken, L. (2012), ‘Anthropological Studies of European Identity Constructionʼ, in: J. Frykman, M. Nic Craith, and U. Kockel (eds), A Companion the Anthropology of Europe (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell), 125-144.


Additional readings

(every student will have to choose and study at home, or present in the class, at least one of the following texts in addition to the compulsory ones)



-        S. Adkim, Chapter 1 “Introduction and Literature Review”, in Embodying and Expressing Identity through Tattoos, PHD Thesis 2018, pp. 1-17


-        Bolea, Patricia Stow (2000), “Talking about Identity: Individual, Family, and Intergenerational Issues,” in Becoming a Family: Parents’ Stories and Their Implications for Practice, Policy, and Research, ed. Rena D. Harold, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 39–73.


-        Martin Lindhardt, “‘In Denmark we eat pork and shake hands!’ Islam and the anti-Islamic emblems of cultural difference in Danish neo-nationalism”, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2022, Vol. 25(4) 1139–1155


-        S. Macdonald, Chapter 1: “The European Memory-Identity-Heritage Complex” in Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today, Routledge, New-York-London 2013, pp.

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (28.09.2023)



The main teaching method will be direct instruction through lessons.

The students will also be asked to actively participate in the teaching and learning processes. They will be encouraged to ask questions and contribute during the lessons and will also be given the opportunity to express their opinions voluntarily about the readings that will be handed out and read in itinere. Groups of students will be formed and asked to present and discuss some articles chosen from the course literature – this may also be done by individual students.

The course will be offline only.


Assessment will be undertaken through several methods, namely the evaluation of a student’s participation, of one short written exercise (an essay), as well as a final oral exam.

The students will have to study all the items in the compulsory literature and then choose at least one item from the optional literature.

An essay shall be written in itinere, approximately towards the half of the course progression. No plagiarism or usage of the AI will be tolerated.

The final exam will consist of an oral test conducted by the teacher about both the course content and the literature, although the overall final assessment will also take into account the attendance and the active participation of the learner.

Evaluation will be broken down as follows:

-        Attendance and participation in the classroom: 10%

-        Written exercise (essay): 15%

-        Final oral exam: 75%

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