Banal nationalism, postmodernism and capitalism: Revisiting Billig's critique of Rorty

Stephen Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on the critical engagement with Rorty presented in Banal nationalism. It on two criticisms: Billig underestimated the role of contestation, and Billig overstated the extent to which certain entities might be said to be national. Billig's argument concerning the banality of the world of nations is extended to encompass the banal acceptance of the world of capital. The chapter links some of the ideas to Billig's writings in the term, academic capitalism, the acceptance of market values into the academy. Billig drew attention to the ways in which banal nationalist assumptions can be identified in the work of several influential scholars, and took particular issue with postmodern approaches. The chapter concerns with re-visiting Billig's critique of Rorty, and extending it in light of Rorty's Achieving our country. Billig's contention is that some forms of discursive psychology have become conventionalized, and that where once there was radical critique, there is now a risk of political quietude.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscursive Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationClassic and Contemporary Issues
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315863054
ISBN (Print)9780415721608
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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