The debate on Austrian national identity in the First Republic (1918-1938)
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This thesis examines the debate over Austrian national identity in the interwar period (1918-1938), and deconstructs key components of national identity. These components include economic, historical, linguistic and certain cultural factors, the concept of a nation's mission, and the "national individual". The final area examined is tourism. It is postulated that tourism permits exploration of the bonds between humans and the environment which they inhabit, and has significant implications for national cohesion. Sources include contemporary and historical texts on the concept of nationhood and related areas; political, social and cultural histories pertaining to the First Republic; and primary source materials including parliamentary and cabinet minutes; the League of Nations' economic reports on Austria; newspapers, particularly those of pressure groups; individual monographs (of economists, teachers, politicians, theorists); as well as cultural output (literature, poetry, cinema, art, and satire). The two sides of the debate can be grouped into arguments pertaining to Austria's relationship to Germany, and arguments placing Austria into a wider European context. The roles of internal cohesion and the influence of the outside world on national identity are addressed. It is shown that the contribution of this period to the development of Austrian national identity has been underestimated: that the foundations for an independent Austria were laid in these years. The concept of national identity is explored and elucidated.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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