Anderson concludes that China, Vietnam and Cambodia are not unique in their conflicts. Anderson’s third example is of Mexican writer José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, who wrote El Periquillo Sarniento. Benedict Anderson’s study of nationalism starts by rejecting the assumption that nations are a natural or inevitable social unit. By the time of Taras Shevchenko’s death in 1861, he had brought about a revolution. by Benedict Anderson. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 240 pages and is available in Paperback format. No one has time to read them all, but it’s important to go over them at least briefly. In these cases, there were more wars between different kinds of nationalists than there were between nationalists and Marxists. In Indonesia, the Dutch colonial power was very racist toward all natives. In the sixth chapter, “Official Imperialism and Nationalism” he examines how established states also began copying nationalist tropes in an attempt to stave off populist revolutionaries. The First World War destroyed the empires in Europe. In order to avoid being conquered by its neighbors, Switzerland decided to make all three languages equal: German, Italian, and French. Chapter Eleven looks at the role of history itself in nations’ narratives of identity. The idea behind nationalism is that the nation should be run by those who look and talk like them. “[But] if nationalisms in the rest of the world have to choose their imagined community from certain “modular” forms already made available to them by Europe and the Americas, what do they have left to imagine?” Instead, Anderson describes the nation as a cultural construct, with a particular history rooted in the fall of monarchies and empires, as well as specific advancements in literacy, technology, and capitalism. Furthermore, most serious academics look down on nationalism as meaningless or even insane. Maps used to be a way of representing places, but they were not as detailed or accurate as we have today. The last two chapters are later additions, Anderson’s attempts to refine his arguments in the book’s revised edition. This is similar to how we view our nation today. How Do You Build One? In Russia the Romanovs controlled an even larger empire containing Tartars, Letts, Armenians, Russians and Finns. The class led to the independence of many countries, including Angola, Egypt and Vietnam. As they progressed through the system and became more specialized (or funneled into an ever-smaller number of schools), they learned that their archipelago was a single territory with diverse people living on it. Complete summary of Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities. As a result, speakers started to consider those who spoke closer versions of the standard literary form more prestigious than other speakers with variants further away from the standard version. In Indochina, the French tried to change Laos and Cambodia by adding French influence. The second example is an Indonesian court case that reveals that the native Cirebonese classified people by social status while the Dutch categorized them as Chinese. There is also no good theory about where nations come from or why they exist at all in Marxist ideology so Marxists tend to ignore them. Later, schools were built in other areas of West Africa and Dakar lost its status. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. The philological revolutionaries in the previous key point presented a dilemma to the Habsburgs. They also changed Vietnam’s education system so that it would be more like theirs. It was led by young people who were educated in a Western language, which created a cultural gap between them and their elders. The Dutch didn’t spread their own language, unlike the French, but instead governed through the common trade language of Malay that quickly became the dominant written and spoken form of communication in Indonesia. This led to a scientific revolution, where scholars began studying how languages developed through history. Kings kept concubines and married into one another in order to consolidate their rule over different peoples. Anderson attributes this mostly to print capitalism because it allowed ideas and information to spread quickly throughout Europe. They seem to have no concrete definition because they’re more like emotions than tangible things—they’re imagined communities. Religious and imperial languages are written rather than spoken. Nationalist novels written in vernacular started portraying communities living together on bounded territorial entities while newspapers constructed imagined communities out of their readers through their cultural products like advertisements and news stories. This led to natives thinking of themselves as a collective group and hating the Dutch. The painting was meant to represent national identity rather than the temple itself. In his eighth chapter, Anderson asks why people feel so attached to their nations, to the point of dying for them. In order to understand how people became Spanish and Algerian, we will examine key historical events. The idea of the nation is so powerful that everyone assumes everyone else belongs to one; the world’s most important international political body is called the United Nations; and “since World War II every successful revolution has defined itself in national terms.” And yet, Anderson notes, nobody really knows or agrees on what “nation, nationality, [and] nationalism” even mean, and the more scholars look for explanations or justifications for nationalism, the less sense it seems to make. We see one thing causing another with the future remaining uncertain. Themes. Language is a powerful tool that can be used to create communities. Also, German was a modern tongue with an extensive literature that could unite all of the Austro-Hungarian empire’s people. There are two strangers from different parts of the world who don’t understand each other’s languages and follow different cultural norms. These two facts – the contingency of existence and the inescapability of mortality – have always weighed heavily on humans throughout history. Let’s break that down. The printed version of a language was fixed, so it didn’t change as much over time as oral versions did. Thus, these areas developed their own distinctiveness. About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features Nineteenth-century Europe was a patchwork of multinational empires. These helped millions of believers feel connected to one another because they shared the same language. You'll love my book summary product Shortform. The second form of map-making is the map that represents a country’s identity. These later nationalist revolutions were distinct in two ways: they used print media and modeled after previous ones. Indonesia’s language was a major contributor to its unity. Seeing someones name so often in brackets (Anderson, 1983) makes you curious, and Anderson does not After cornering the proportionally small Latin market, book sellers began publishing in vernacular languages like English. For example, Indonesia hung paintings that erased everything unique about Borobudur and replaced it with something more generic. It allows us to feel like we’re part of something bigger, even if we’ve never met most other members of our country or culture. They believed that their culture was superior to all others and that they had been chosen by God to be great. imagined communities (e.g., Siam, Hungary). New technology and the growth of bureaucracy meant that natives of these colonies could more easily participate in government and make pilgrimages to Europe. This pattern is repeated all over the world where nations are being imagined and created through the systematization of vernaculars. They had a strong sense of nationalism and a common identity. In the 1700s, however, newspapers became widely available as they began to serve a market-based economy. To understand why nations exert such power over people, he points to continuities among different nations, including those in different eras and places. To illustrate this point he uses another example: Switzerland. In this widely acclaimed work, Benedict Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the 'imagined communities' of nationality. Therefore scholars should stop putting Marxist theory before the evidence and start expecting more “inter-socialist wars.”. As print media spread, so did nationalism, creating multilingual intelligentsia who wanted their own nations modeled after European ones. After religion declined in importance and lost its political role after the Enlightenment, nationalism conveniently took its place in giving meaning to people’s striving for improvement, service to their overlords, and even deaths. Benedict Anderson’s landmark study of nationalism, Imagined Communities, starts by rejecting the assumption that nations are a natural or inevitable social unit. Start Your Free Trial. Rather, they believe that the country will reappear when it advances the plot of a novel or movie. West New Guinea has had a huge impact in shaping the identity of Indonesia. These standard dialects became “prestige” versions of languages and, because they were now written down, changed much less than oral languages through the ages. This was important because it helped account for “the populist character” of early European nationalism. The rise of independent states in Latin America is attributed to the administrative organizations’ ability to create meaning. Anderson argues that nations are limited and have borders. The answer is entrepreneurs. This left non-European territories under European control. According to Anderson’s definition, nations are emotional phenomena where citizens feel like part of a family with shared origins, mutual interests and horizontal comradeship. This is typically associated with the largest ethnic group in that country, and it’s imposed on minority groups. IMAGINED COMMUNITIES twelve years Th. Anderson begins by saying that the rise of printing helped to create horizontal-secular, transverse-time national communities because of capitalism. In 1851, Thailand started to use maps that showed borders and zones of influence for each country’s sovereignty. However, in the 1970s, Portugal—the last European empire—fell. In contrast, people from Laos and Cambodia formed distinct identities. 1-Page Summary of Imagined Communities Overview Nationalism is a cultural system that people use to feel connected. Imagine a seventeenth century scene in Mecca, the holiest city of Islam. Symbols & Motifs. An imagined community is a concept developed by Benedict Anderson in his 1983 book Imagined Communities, to analyze nationalism. Nationalism is powerful, while liberalism and communism are not. Anderson argues that there was a change in how people viewed time. In his seventh chapter, Anderson turns to the last wave of nationalisms that arose after World War II. It allowed ideas to travel from metropoles to remote outposts in an instant, as well as improved physical mobility. Imagined Communities Reflections On The Origin And Spread Of Nationalism Themes The average student has to read dozens of books per year. The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC. Switzerland was made up of a number of different regions, each with their own language. The platitudes of Marxist countries’ solidarity or opposition to nationalism will get in the way of learning about history. This was facilitate by three factors: the increase in This ritual creates an illusion that the world is a certain way, and other people are doing this too. This is a new kind of community. He says this is similar to the way a person might feel about his or her family. After the end of colonialism, many countries formed their own governments. Anderson begins by describing what makes nationalism different from other political ideologies. However, languages are not actually timeless; instead, groups of people choose to adopt them over time. For example, Romanians and Thais have different names for it, but they both recognize the same symbol. While none of these three alone were enough to dethrone Latin, they all had significant impacts on it. A study has shown that colonial census-makers in Malaysia transformed identity categories over time, making them more exclusive and racial rather than religious. He says that they did so because the concept of living parallel lives to others became possible during the colonial era, when people were able to travel around and see new things. It is easy to see how people consider themselves part of a country as if it were another family member. This was facilitate by three factors: the increase in physical mobility increasing bureaucratization the But these countries put their nationalist ideologies above their Marxist ones, letting their historical grievances and concepts of ethnic identity get in the way of their long-term political goals. Religion became a place of resistance to colonialism due to its growth despite attempts by the government to limit religious freedom. As a result of this administrative organization and these geographical limitations, a separate economy, newspaper system, and sense of national identity arose in each major Spanish colonial territory, and then each launched a separate revolution to become its own country. Praying is a private act. The media in Mexico might report on events that happen in Argentina, but Mexicans don’t think that Argentina has ceased to exist. In his next chapter, “Cultural Roots,” Anderson argues that one of nationalism’s most important effects is to create meaning where it is lacking—when one dies in battle, for instance. Specifically, Vietnamese bureaucrats worked in Cambodia and Laos. In the section “The Religious Community,” Anderson suggests that religions could create a sense of community across the globe through “a sacred language and written script”—Latin, Chinese, and Classical Arabic allowed people from different language communities to communicate through writing. For example, technology has made news accessible to many different languages, and leaders have learned how to use elections, party organizations, and cultural celebrations to create a sense of nationalism. They would claim they had taken over the sovereignty of native rulers, and this led to an expansion of the map industry. Anderson begins by noting that languages were used as the basis of imagined communities. Invisible Man Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis by Ralph Ellison. In conclusion, Anderson states that the creation of a nation was made possible by three things: 1) The shift away from sacred language and towards vernacular speech 2) The move away from divine rule to more human-like rulers 3) The change in how people viewed time. “Totalizing classification” is the key link between the census and European maps. ... Imagined Communities. As a result, these subjects came to see themselves as part of a collective called India or Indonesia. Eventually the colonies gained independence from their imperial masters and admitted that official nationalism wasn’t real—it was just a way for the ruling class to maintain control over those under them. Read the world’s #1 book summary of Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson here. Therefore, there was a decline in the importance of religion. They were the first to print books in Europe and, like every other form of capitalism, they searched for new markets. However, this view changed when Europeans discovered America and saw how different it was from Europe. Anderson also discusses the British Empire. A famous work of literature written in Spanish, the language of the colonizers and oppressors, is different from a famous work written in an indigenous Filipino language. A nineteenth century German philosopher, Hegel, once said that newspapers were a substitute for morning prayers. He says that while it is true that Asian and African countries were not explicitly copying European ideas of nationalism, they did use similar institutions such as censuses, maps, and museums to create a sense of national identity. The author argues that the great religious communities declined from the end of the Middle Ages. The first of the three institutions is the Census. In the next section, Anderson argues that there are two types of time: new time and old time. Anderson’s definition of a nation is that it is an imagined political community. However, people still suffer from problems like disease and poverty that were previously addressed by religion. Construction projects, military movements, and administrative divisions were decided on a map before they were created in reality; moreover, the map even became the basis for census ethnic categories that had strict geographic origins. These were the census, map and museum. Although theoretically maps are supposed to represent a preexisting geographical reality, in Thailand they became “a model for,” rather than “a model of,” what they purported to represent. As Francis Bacon said in his book, The Advancement of Learning, “Printing… hath changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.”. As such, he concludes that nationalism does not cause racism but racists have used nationalistic language in order to oppress others throughout history. Tombs of Unknown Soldiers are a symbol of nationalism. Second, unlike other empires, the French allowed some natives to work in different colonies. (Anderson calls this new concept “homogeneous, empty time.”) Anderson looks at a few examples of nationalist novels written in vernacular to show how they begin portraying a community of citizens living in a bounded territorial entity, and then analyzes “the newspaper as [a] cultural product” to show how it constructs an imagined community out of its readers. The second important institution discussed in this chapter is the map. It’s performed according to standard formulas and everyone does it. Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Themes All Themes The Nation as Imagined Community Language, Publishing, and Identity Centralization, Technology, and Power Piracy and the Uses of History In this way, they share experiences that unite them in their country or nation. The government ignored religion, which it could not control or change. This led to the development of standardized languages, which allowed speakers of different dialects (French, English and Spanish) to understand each other when they read books printed in their language. Racism is actually about class—an obsession with bloodlines and purity within nations. During the mid-19th century, Europeans went from not caring at all about Southeast Asia’s monuments to being obsessed with cataloguing and studying them. Nationalists believe in the sanctity of their country and its people, but they also believe in progress. Chapters 7-9. He uses novels and newspapers to illustrate this concept of “time.” In a novel, readers can see different characters doing different things at the same time. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. After the Middle Ages, people of different religions began meeting one another, vernacular languages started displacing sacred ones in print, and people started thinking of “history as an endless chain of cause and effect,” rather than as the preordained will of God. The Europeans became interested in languages after they encountered other civilizations. When a single language was adopted for all purposes (and each dynasty wanted to gain legitimacy), they gained popularity and faced opposition from others who spoke other languages. This process was driven largely by capitalism and the printing press. These are all forms of “thinking” that were used by colonial governments to control people through a totalizing classificatory grid. The process was slower in places like Austria-Hungary, where various groups fought for the right to have their own languages used instead of others. Anderson begins by summarizing his argument. They reduced a wide variety of identities to just four: “Malaysian,” “Chinese,” “Indian,” and “Others.” In Indonesia, however, they stand alongside each other as equal categories. Both monarchs used nationalism to prevent their countries from being marginalized or excluded in an emerging national community formed around empires like Britain’s. In the next chapter, Anderson explores how printed texts helped to spread ideas and influence people. [2] 『想像の共同体: ナショナリズムの起源と流行』白石隆・白石さや訳、リブロポート、1987年。 In the section “The Dynastic Realm,” Anderson outlines how foreign a dynastic government would be to people today. Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. In general, what is important for nationalism is having a shared written language rather than which one gets selected. Religions like Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are able to survive for thousands of years because they tap into human intuition. He offers many examples such as Russia’s forcing its national language on linguistic minorities or Thailand copying European empires’ diplomatic infrastructure projects in order to avoid being invaded by them. Want to get smarter, faster? Many Catholics were also against Luther’s idea that the Bible could be translated into vernacular languages because they believed religious truths couldn’t be communicated in anything but privileged languages. Chapter Ten looks at three colonial institutions—the “Census, Map, [and] Museum”—that Anderson believes made it possible for post-World War II revolutionaries to imagine their lands as nations (specifically in Southeast Asia, his area of expertise). The officials did not distinguish between different groups, and instead treated everyone as despised natives. Over time, the study of ancient languages led to some surprising discoveries. 36; 87; 135. He gives an example from a poem written by José Rizal, a Filipino nationalist who does not condemn Spaniards even though they’re about to execute him. The Habsburgs in Vienna controlled an empire that contained Hungarians, Germans, Croats, Slovaks, Italians and Czechs. The author discusses why Europeans named places like New York and New Orleans. imagined communities (e.g., Siam, Hungary). Nationalism began in Asia and Africa as a response to the new imperialism created by industrialization, which included large empires with growing bureaucracies and school systems. These new governments often continued to use art in a similar manner as the country they had just gained independence from. Nations also seem very limited (borders) and sovereign (the only legitimate authority within those borders). 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