Who created the Nation?

By Peter Bajomi-Lazar, March 2020. Being a proud member of a nation is now widely seen as a natural affinity. Media scholars, however, are more skeptic, and many of them would suggest that the ‘nation’ is just a social construction, or cultural convention, that has to a large degree been created and advanced by the media, often in association with the political elites who see it as a means to mobilise supporters.  Benedict Anderson calls the nation an “imagined community.” He argues that “the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” What exactly is the role media have played in the establishment of this communion? Language is, of course, a main vehicle of national identity. But, as Asa Briggs and Peter Burke observe, hand-copied religious codices were still written in Latin, the lingua franca of the early Middle Ages, that allowed the peoples of the different geographic areas of Europe to communicate.…

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