Reimagining the Nation : Mass Media and Collective Identities in Europe



The interrelationschip of culture, nation and communication is one of the key themes in the study of collective identities and nationalism. In this opening article to this special issue this interrelationship is being assessed. The article aims to contribute to a discussion ofthe assumptions on which the above interrelationship is built.
It is argued that nationhood is at the point of intersection with a plurality of discourses related to geography, history, culture, polities, ideology, ethnicity, religion, matriality, economics, and the social. The discourse of nationhood can best be understood in relation to boundedness, continuities and discontinuities, unnity and plurality, the authority of the past, and the imperative of the present.
Contributions of a number of contemporary thinkers (Benedict Anderson, Wimal Dissanayake, Ernest Gellner, Sutart Hall, Eric Hosbawm, anthony Giddens, among others) are incorporated in this article in order to underline the complex and contested discursive terrain that nationhood undoubtedly is. It is concluded that various cultures also manifest different and fragmented identities.


How to Cite: Servaes, J. (1997) “Reimagining the Nation : Mass Media and Collective Identities in Europe”, Res Publica. 39(2). doi: