Historical Social Research

Shigeru Tanaka: Nationalization, Modernization and Symbolic Media – Towards a Comparative Historical Sociology of the Nation-State [Abstract]

In the formation process of the nation-state, there took place processes analogous to globalization. People and things moved on a nationwide scale and local regions and people became homogenized and also differentiated. Such process can be called 'nationalization'. By taking its meaning as a more comprehensive one than ever, we can understand the formation process of the nation-state more accurately. Also we have to differentiate 'nationalization' from 'modernization'. We regard that modernization is the process of disembedding people from various 'existences' in which they have been embedded. In the course of disembedding, people began to regard 'existences' as means and obstacles for 'actions'. That is to say, 'predominance of actions over existences' has occurred. The reason why such 'predominance of actions' has taken place can be made clear by introducing 'symbolic media' which reduce 'existences' to something on each standard. In history symbolic media have been conflicting and allying with each other. 'Predominance of actions', that is to say, modernization advanced through such conflicts and alliance.