Cultural nationalism can be defined as nationalism that is based around the idea of a cultural community, not around the idea of creating a nation-state for the people of a given nation. In other words, we could argue that ISIS is an example of political nationalism because it is ostensibly...
Cultural nationalism can be defined as nationalism that is based around the idea of a cultural community, not around the idea of creating a nation-state for the people of a given nation. In other words, we could argue that ISIS is an example of political nationalism because it is ostensibly trying to make a state that will include all Muslims. Meanwhile, we could say that the Muslim Brotherhood is more of an example of cultural nationalism since it is trying to revive what it sees as a true Muslim community within a state that already exists.
I would say that one of the main roles of cultural nationalism in our world today is to resist globalization. Cultural nationalism often works hand in hand with political nationalism to try to fight back against globalization. We can see this in such phenomena as the recent Brexit vote and in the rise of nationalist thinking in the US and in various European countries. When people engage in cultural nationalism, they often will at least support political nationalism. If they feel that their nation is distinct and possibly even superior, they will often want to make sure that it does not have to share its sovereignty in any way. Therefore, cultural nationalism tends to resist current trends towards more globalization.
The other major role of cultural nationalism is to allow people to feel distinct in some ways while still allowing them to be part of a globalized world. As our world becomes more globalized, it is easy for us to feel that we are no longer distinct from the other nations of the world. This can lead to a loss of our identity. Cultural nationalism can help to prevent this loss. Think of an American today who mainly buys imported products and who might even work for a foreign-owned company. That person is part of a globalized economy, but they can help to retain their American identity by, for example, embracing American football and NASCAR racing and paying no attention to soccer. In this and many other ways, they can retain their cultural identity even as their economy (and to some extent their government) becomes more closely connected to the rest of the world.
These are, in my view, the two main roles of cultural nationalism in the current era of globalization.