2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2013
Like other cross-disciplinary scholars who have written on identity (Melucci and Craib spring to mind) Jenkins is insightful. I have read, or tried to read, several other texts on social identity and categorisation theories, and all have been opaque and abstruse, saying much less than Jenkins in many more words. What a relief to find this succinct, well-structured text. This book would be useful for anyone who is studying a subject where individual and/or collective identity is relevant, and also for anyone who has a general interest in the relationships between individual identity, group identity, and society. It reads well from cover to cover, as I did, and can also be navigated using helpful chapter titles, section headings and index for information on particular aspects of the topic. Highly recommended.
on 21 February 2012
This is an excellent little volume and as the prvious reviewer indiciated, much more than simply a synopsis. Jenkin's detailed discussion of the difference between identity and identification is something that should be widely taken on board by students of identity and ethnic conflict. While variations of this point have been made elsewhere, it is still widely overlooked by more empirical studies of nationalism and ethnicity, and Jenkis makes it in an excepionally clear and nuanced way that can easily be applied in empirical research. His pragmatic approach means that he is able to formulate identity as an agency/structure issue in a way that more postructuralist authors are not, while he resolutely steers clear of the pitfalls of essentializing identity. Thoroughly recommended.