Perceptions, construction and definition of Greek national identity in late nineteenth, early twentieth century Macedonia

Giorgos Agelopoulos


The notion of belonging to a nationality was introduced in rural
Macedonia during the late nineteenth century. This paper examines the
process according to which Greek national identity developed during
that period. Applying a “modernist” approach on nation building and
examining the issue at the level of the individual by using an anthropological methodology, reveals the incompetebility between ethnic, cultural and national identities. People who belonged to the same ethnic group or shared the same culture in Macedonia during the period under examination, very often identified themselves with different nations. The decision of identification with a nationality during the late nineteenth-early twentieth century was a political one, very often irrelevant to the ethnic or a cultural identity of individual actors. It was taken according to the needs, priorities, beliefs and fears of those who
conducted it.

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