National Character in the Context of Modern Societies

  • Ines Markovčič Mladina
Keywords: national character, modal personality structure, modern societies, political loyalty


Discussions of the realisation and transformation of national characteristics and the emergence of new national identities in contemporary modern societies are not to be reduced solely to the effects of globalisation, contemporary capitalism and market economy. What needs to be foregrounded and confronted is the ideological and political factor. Scientific studies primarily examine the national character in the context of culture and personality, focusing on the isomorphism of personality traits and cultural patterns, which are often assessed according to political interests and national values. As such, they help to shape the collective movement of each nation, displaying the interdependence between the nation and its national sentiments. What is essential to contemporary modern societies is the national state in a political sense. As a result, the national character is now more than ever assessed on purely pragmatic foundations, such as the role of politics, national values, and forms of nationalism. These forms dictate the national symbols, myths, and national sentiments about a common origin, which are fundamental to the existence and revitalisation of people within a particular nation, a nation with a common national identity. What is crucial, the national rituals and sentiments are supposed to create a feeling of unity. The awareness of the unity and the sense of the shared mission of a particular nation, especially in terms of its cultural and political homogeneity and its common past, form the basis of a political perspective in examining its national character. The role and study of the national character were intensified in the wake of national revolutions, world wars, and similar crises, especially in the context of promoting forms of nationalism: the uncertain circumstances led to new explanations of the nation’s realities on the basis of common-sense conceptions, which generated distinct ideological polarisations between ‘us’ and ‘them’.


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How to Cite
Markovčič, I. (2017). National Character in the Context of Modern Societies. Monitor ISH, 19(1), 7-29.
Original scientific article