essay 2 - Akber Malik Due February 19, 2010 World Cultures:...

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Akber Malik 1 Due February 19, 2010 World Cultures: Islam, Jews, and the West Matthew Watkins Benedict Anderson’s definition of a nation being an “imagined community” sounds, on the surface, like he is calling nations imaginary, but there is a significant difference between “imaginary communities” and “imagined communities”. He is not saying that these communities that are referred to as nations do not exist, or are imaginary. Anderson is saying that these communities are imagined , that is, we have an image of our community. Anderson says, “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 community,” (Anderson 6). Anderson even refers to another philosopher’s (Ernest Gellner) assertion that, “Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist,” but he goes on to say that Gellner says this intending for “invents” to have a negative connotation along the lines of “fabricate” rather than “create” (Anderson 6). Anderson is asserting that the belief and imagining of a community is what makes a nation a nation, and that there need not be an actual face-to-face encounter with every individual to believe in a nation. He also asserts that the unifying feeling of nationalism comes from an imagined community that is limited and sovereign. Every nation is
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essay 2 - Akber Malik Due February 19, 2010 World Cultures:...

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