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View Diary: DK as imagined community (38 comments)

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  •  Thanks for this more detailed explanation of (4+ / 0-)

    Anderson's views. I was planning on fleshing them out tonight when I had time, but you've saved me the trouble!

    I first came across the phrase "imagined community" in relation to recent book on dissent in Czechoslovakia (Jonathan Bolton's 2012 book Worlds of Dissent). Bolton argues, quite interestingly and convincingly, that "dissident" movements like Charter 77 and Czech musical underground are best understood as "imagined communities" in Anderson' sense of the term. After all, Charter only had a few hundred actual signatories in a population of around 15 million... but it had tremendous influence (or at least its creation triggered a massive campaign of repression by the regime). Once the word started getting out, even people who didn't, and wouldn't, identify themselves as "dissidents" could feel affinity for Charter, a sense of belonging, because a mythological space for identification had been created on the cultural scene. It seems to me that the same is becoming true of the lefty blogosphere, and it's important.

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