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The Liberty of StrangersMaking the American Nation$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.001.0001

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Renewing the American Nation

Renewing the American Nation

Chapter:
(p.136) 8 Renewing the American Nation
Source:
The Liberty of Strangers
Author(s):

Desmond King

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.003.0008

This chapter shows how the State Department succeeded in stopping the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) initiative at the United Nations designed to bring the position of African Americans to international attention. It also examines three ways in which the narrative of American nationhood continues to unfold in a non-teleological fashion shaped by historically formed group divisions and government institutions. First, the way in which the American nation absorbs new members reveals how pivotal group categories and communities to this process are. Second, how the legacies of earlier injustices perpetrated upon some citizens enter the politics of nation-building is discussed with examples drawn from the experiences of American Indians and Japanese Americans. And lastly, the way in which government policies and institutions, such as the Census, structure public discourse in terms of group identities based on race, ethnicity, and national background is reviewed.

Keywords:   American nation, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American Indians, Japanese Americans, government policy

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