Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Jamie Frueh

Degree Award Date

Spring 2009


American Nationalism, Violence, identity groups, group norms


Civic and Community Engagement | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology | Sociology of Culture


Every nation has a unique national story; and everyone who belongs to a nation belongs to that story. Humans want to be a part of a story that is bigger than their own lives. They have the opportunity to partake in that larger story, and the choice to either make a violent or nonviolent impact on it. This same choice is before every nation-state. What kind of impact the nation will make depends on the ideology of the nation- its nationalism. Nationalism is a powerful force because it is a set of ideas about the nation that usually determine the national identity. In this paper I will discuss different theories regarding the formation of the nation, the imagined nature of nationalism, the way in which nationalism can be violent or nonviolent, and finally, whether or not American nationalism is necessarily tied to violence.