Community In Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities

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Benedict Anderson the author of Imagined Communities identifies a nation as an imagined political community that is limited and sovereign, as well. The political community consists of a sect of people who feel as if they are united based on a common ground. The people of a nation feel united and identify themselves as an “us” and people outside of the nation would be considered as a “them”. The limitation in the imagined community is the boarders of the nation, no nation can be considered as infinite. In addition, the sovereign requirement is people having a right to self-rule or elect representatives. An imagined community can be considered as having a horizontal or vertical structure. For a community to be horizontal it means for everyone …show more content…
The community must be limited, sovereign and have a sense of unity, print capitalism is a leading factor that helps establish the sense of unity and consciousness. A modern nation emphasizes equality among the citizens of the nation. The horizontal structure that Anderson discusses allows everyone to be part of the political process by having the opportunity to be elected or to be voting. This sense of sovereignty among the people is a characteristic for a modern nation. In addition, for a nation to be considered modern it would have to move from the feudal system toward capitalism. The feudal system consisted of a vertical political structure, which is frowned upon for a modern nation according to Anderson who favors a horizontal structure. A third characteristic of modernity is to move away from traditional values. In the past people would associate themselves with religion prior to associating themselves to a nation. The traditional values would be for people to be very religious and to follow the church ruling in every matter. The church was considered a vertical structure consisting of God, Pope, divine leader (king), archbishop etc. following regular people. However, when this traditional view is removed a horizontal structure is created where everyone would be considered as equals. A common attribute for a nation to be considered a modern is the underlining theme of equality, which follows the horizontal

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