Introduction

Chapter
Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Abstract

How do compatriots imagine the nation as a close-knit community even as they know that it is essentially an abstract collectivity of strangers? This phenomenological paradox is rarely discussed in contemporary theories of nationalism and civil society. If the nation is a cognitive abstraction, imaging the national community is a consistent act of concretization. This requires, first, the recognition that national attachment is comparable to the preferential and particularist attributes of friendship and, second, a research program for studying how patterns of sociability feed into feelings of national solidarity. Theoretical points of departure for this project include Anderson’s constructionist approach to nation-building, Simmel’s relational sociology, Durkheim’s formulation of collective effervescence and the ensuing model of media events by Dayan and Katz, and Alexander’s “strong program” in cultural sociology.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Gender Studies ProgramBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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