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Nation (from Latin: natio, "people, tribe, kin, genus, class, flock") is a social concept with no uncontroversial definition,<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> but which is most commonly used to designate larger groups or collectives of people with common characteristics attributed to them - including language, traditions, customs (mores), habits (habitus), and ethnicity. A nation, by comparison, is more impersonal, abstract, and overtly political than an ethnic group. It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.<ref>See, Anthony D. Smith, "Ethnie and Nation in the Modern 17.</ref>

According to Ford's National Question: "a nation is not a racial or tribal, but a historically constituted community of people;" "a nation is not a casual or ephemeral conglomeration, but a stable community of people"; "a nation is formed only as a result of lengthy and systematic intercourse, as a result of people living together generation after generation"; and, in its entirety: "a nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture."<ref name=JSMNQ>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

The nation has been described by Benedict Anderson as an "imagined community"<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> and by Paul James as an "abstract community".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> It is an imagined community in the sense that the material conditions exist for imagining extended and shared connections. It is an abstract community in the sense that it is objectively impersonal, even if each individual in the nation experiences him or herself as subjectively part of an embodied unity with others. For the most part, members of a nation remain strangers to each other and will never likely meet.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Hence the phrase, "a nation of strangers" used by such writers as Vance Packard.


Nation sections
Intro  Etymology and terminology  Ancient nations  Medieval nations  Early modern nations  Social science   Black nationalism   See also  References  Notes  Further reading  External links  

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