Posts tagged ‘nationalism’

09/24/2011

Still Conflicted about Nationalism/Patriotism

Our discussion this week about what nationalism is was very interesting!   It made me think about where patriotism ends and nationalism begins…or maybe patriotism is just a symptom/expression of nationalism?  The discussion made me also think about how nationalistic/patriotic I am (it’s complicated…).  Finally, this week’s readings and discussion made me realize that nationalism is a political, social, and cultural force has a symbiotic relation with media and communications.

To a lay person (which I would have considered myself before I too this class) I think nationalism and communication are probably interchangeable terms.  From our discussion today, I gather that patriotism is a related sort of feeling without some of the negative connotations that nationalism might have.  I’m still a little bit unclear….hopefully I am not the only one.   Even Waisbord says that “nationalism means different things to different people.  One nation’s intolerant chauvinism is the flip-side of another nation’s patriotic sense of difference and community.”

In terms of how nationalistic/patriotic I feel…it depends on the circumstances.  Like Michelle Obama, I was really proud of American after how well Barack Obama did throughout the 2008 election especially when it was clear that he would be the end up winning the presidency.  I wouldn’t have phrased my feelings the way Michelle did (poor thing got in so much trouble!) since I can thinks of moments where I’ve been proud of America before I ever heard of a Barack Obama.  Nevertheless, I identify with her general sentiment of feeling a kind of pride that was new.  It is extraordinary that the U.S. is the first (maybe?) Western countries that has selected someone a minority to be the chief executive.  As cheesy as it sounds, it’s a wonderful reminder that the U.S. is a upwardly mobile society whre some luck, a good education, and a whole bunch of other stuff you can change your circumstance.

Finally, this week was a great lesson about how integral a role the  media plays in how nationalism is perceived.  I think the relationship between media and nationalism is manifested in the concepts of “imagined communities” and the “public sphere.”  Once again, these are things I’ve thought about before this class but our discussion and the readings made things more clear.