We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Imagined Communities by B. Anderson Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 502
  • Category: nation

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

Imagined Communities by B. Anderson Essay Sample

Modern Americans today can easily answer the question “When was your nationbirthed?” Though the details of their answer may vary, the basic idea would place that time around the American Revolution. Some “older” countries such as Italy, Greece, or China would not have such a ready-made answer because they believe their nation was a naturalmanifestation of their people. Not so, according to Benedict Anderson’sImagined Communities(Anderson 1983).Nations are a purely modern manifestation which arecreated for political purposes.It is my aim to summarizeAnderson’s work, analyze and give critical input on hismethodology and biases, and provide a my summary of thoughts on how this work benefitsus today.II. Summary

Anderson sets the stage of this work by defining nations as imagined, limited, and sovereign communities. Each adjective of that definition is an attempt to address a historically recognized paradox in the study of nation building. Regarding the objective modernity of nations for historians versus their subjective antiquity for its citizens, Anderson leans towards the subjective by calling them imagined. For Anderson a nation is far more particular in its manifestation than universal, therefore it is limited. Lastly, though the concept of a nation is rather weak philosophically (according to Anderson) it is nevertheless powerful and therefore sovereign. In short, nations are a small idea shared by a geographically limited area of people that despite its limitations has influence and power in its greater region and sovereignty over its people.The definition is first defended by illustrating the rise of nations, primarily throughWestern cultural history. Anderson shows how the concept of a nation became more andmore realized as three longstanding institutions faded: linguistic diversity, religious authority, and traditional monarchies.

Whereas the ruling classes maintained their authority through legitimacy to the throne, administrative and inaccessible languages forthe lower classes, and religious power and influence, the arising concept of representative government was stripping each of those modes of influence from their power. According to Anderson by emphasizing the native tongue, shifting the source of power from monarchs to the people, and lessening the influence of the church in public life, nations began to be area l possibility. All of this was expedited by the arrival and utilization of the printing press. Anderson next illustrates the rise to national consciousness in the Americas, inEurope, and eventually in the colonial nation-states.

Each of these examples benefitted greatly from their various uses of the printing press, how they consolidated power and communication, and education .The last chapters are spent further clarifying nationalism against other powerfulinfluences like racism, history, and geography. Each of these influences can both hurt and help the formation and operation of a nation. Anderson’s chapter on Patriotism and Racism, for example, leans the conversation towards political morality though with a focus non how racism can adversely affect the longevity of a nation. Another example is modern-day China; its current nation-building process benefits directly from the West’s past two centuries of nation-building history. Anderson concludes with a call for a need for a narrative of identity.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Era of Good Feelings

During the Era of Good Feelings, the country utilized the driving force of nationalism to unify itself through its time of prospering and developing as a nation. However, territorial and state rights were extremely imperative for the country\'s political agenda. The question of sectionalisms effect has not as often been discussed even though sectionalism was an influential factor in both economics and politics. Both sectionalism...

First Nations Health Authority

Traditional healing/Traditional medicine as defined by WHO - “It is the sum total of the knowledge, skill and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness”. Sometimes, the terms, complementary medicine or alternative medicine are used interchangeably...

One Nation and Thatcherite Ideas Within Modern...

Thatcherite and One Nation principles are ultimately a clash of ideas and are inherently contradictory. The main concept of One Nation is paternalism, the idea of social obligation. An organic society as suggested by Disraeli is held together by an acceptance of duty and obligation; the rich therefore should shoulder the burden of social responsibility, which is essence the price of privilege. One-nation ideas are...

Malaysia and Singapore

Malaysia and Singapore are located in South-East Asia and is the member of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) same as Thailand. As people say “Learning from someone closes to you is the best way to know yourself”, as the people of country called “Thailand”, learning about neighbor’s culture is best way to know ourselves and our community “ASEAN”. Malaysia and Singapore are both...

Tensions Between the Empire and the Nation

“The Old Gringo” by Carlos Fuentes brings out two main themes of tension between the empire and the nation with U.S involvement in Latin America as an imperial power, and notions of civilization and progress in Latin America. The three main characters Ambrose Bierce, Tomás Arroyo, and Harriet Winslow all are in Mexico for a sense of redemption from their past and each of their...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member