Joint GRC/Ethnicity seminar: Danny Kaplan (Bar Ilan University) on 'The Nation and the Men's Social Club'
G4/5 10 Woodland Road
The Centre of Ethnicity and Citizenship and the Gender Research Centre jointly hosts a seminar by Danny Kaplan (Bar Ilan University)
Title: The Nation and the Men's Social Club
Date: 21st March 2019
Venue: G4/5 10 Woodland Rd (please note that this is a room change)
In this book I explore the trope of fraternal friendship and its associations with civic-national solidarity as an alternative to the identitarian focus prevalent in ethnic conceptions of the nation and often encapsulated in the trope of the family. Centering on the concept of the men’s social club and drawing on ethnographic examples from Freemasonry, the military, Big Brother reality show, and Facebook I discuss how micro-level interactions of “public intimacy” have both an inclusionary and exclusionary effect on national solidarity. Whether state-controlled, civic, or privately owned, diverse modern institutions within the nation-state offer variants of social club sociability and engender an underlying meta-narrative of strangers-turned-friends-turned-brothers suffused with masculinst imagery. This combined interactionist and symbolic-cultural approach may help explain the enduring appeal of national belonging, not only as an ideology, a collective identity, or an everyday practice but as a form of social relationship alternating between the mundane and the sacred.