‘What is a nation?’ attempts to define the term of nation. Nations are comprised of social (i.e. norms, customs, or language) and territorial relations, which give rise to a collective self-consciousness over time. Humans have always formed families or kinships to aid the inheritance of genes, but these also enable cultural inheritance. Nations are comprised of a community of kinship, where individuals recognize themselves to be continuously related to others. Patriotism occurs when individuals transcend their own self-interest for the good of the nation. Unlike nationalism, patriotism can involve compromise. Nations are formed as a medium between city-states and empires, and often assume statehood in order to protect themselves.