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Title: Constructing the nation: the role of the ballad in 20th century German national identity with special reference to Scotland
Author(s): Kearney, Kirsten
Supervisor(s): Murdoch, Brian
Keywords: National identity
Cultural identity
20th century
Issue Date: Jan-2007
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the importance of the ballad in constructing national identity in Germany during the 20th century from 1918-1978. It presents a comparative approach using Scotland as a comparator, based on three significant time periods throughout the century: the Weimar Republic, the Nazi era and the German folk revival. In each of these eras the issue of national awareness was most in evidence and national identity was being created or was a particular object of tension. The modern Scottish literary renaissance and the Scottish folk revival will be used for comparative purposes. The comparative approach will also aid a deeper understanding of the concept of national identity itself. The hypothesis is that the ballad has contributed to the development of national identity in specific and differing ways in the two countries. Selected artists; poets, singers and Liedermacher have been chosen as representatives for each particular stage. The ballad in the 20th century has previously received little critical attention, thus this period has been chosen as the time frame of the thesis in an attempt to redress this balance and create new knowledge. The 20th century is also a rewarding area of study because it saw specific developments in the notion of nationalism and evidenced both the devastating results of the abuse of national identity and the positive power of the concept for nation building. The foundation of this thesis is the recognition that national identity is not necessarily natural, inherent and straightforward, but is rather a deliberate construction, created by people or groups within the nation for distinct political, social and cultural ends.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Literature and Languages

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