There remains both a great deal of confusion over the nature of kinship and an inappropriate resistance to understanding the nation as one form of kinship, specifically, territorial kinship. Although one finds the relatively early and occasional analysis of the nation in terms of kinship, for example, by Lloyd Fallers, anthropologists, including paradoxically Ernest Gellner, have avoided understanding nationality in this way. Despite Anthony Smith’s attention to ethnie, those associated with nationalism studies have also generally avoided analyzing the nation in terms of kinship, as can be seen by the ill-informed hostility to the category “primoridal”. This article rectifies this mistake by re-examining the category of kinship, along both its vertical, temporal axis and horizontal, geographical axis, with attention to nationality in general and, in particular, in antiquity.
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