Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson, summary

2395 WordsNov 19, 201310 Pages
Imagined Communities The concept of nationalism, according to Benedict Anderson, has never been deeply discussed. There has never been a great thinker treating this concept as thoroughly as other concepts. Anderson suggests that one should not think of nationalism as an ideology like “fascism” or “liberalism”, but to relate it with “kinship” and “religion” in order to understand the similarity that groups of people have and why the territory that they live help one understand the borders that we have nowadays. In order to understand better the concept of nationalism, Anderson starts analyzing the word that is the root of nationalism, which is the word nation. Anderson, then, defines it as “…an imagined political community” that is…show more content…
A number close to 20,000,000 books had already been printed in Europe by sixteenth century, and as many as 200,000,000 had been published by the seventeenth century, and that happened in part because of the impressive spread of the literature coming from Reformation. An unanticipated result of the logic of capitalism, the beginning of fixed written versions of French, German, and English were “assembled” out of Europe’s dizzying array of spoken languages in this period. In other words, the bottom line was fatal to European linguistic diversity. The new print-languages created unified fields of exchange and communication in a way that offered a new form of a imagined community. However, print-languages themselves did not create the nations. Print-language was a necessary condition for nationalism. The first nations to appear on the world stage were not in Western Europe but were in Latin America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. There are two primary conditions for Latin American nationalism consciousness: pilgrim Creole functionaries and provincial Creole printmen. The first one, Anderson talks about the role of pilgrim Creole functionaries. Each of the Latin American republics had been an administrative unit from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Using the work of the anthropologist Victor Turner, Anderson argues that Latin American criollo (American-born Spaniard) administrative
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