Since its publication more than a decade ago, Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities has offered an enticing, if romantic, way of conceptualising nationalism. Fine-grained ethnographic analysis, however, of the ways in which local populations actually imagine their community raises some questions for the continuing viability of such a notion. In many places around the world, people consciously and conspicuously place themselves outside of the imagined community, and it is the social, cultural, and political consequences of such actions that this article seeks to explore. Drawing on a period of ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in France in the mid-1990s, this article examines very public contestation and sabotage of the Tour de France by pro-Basque supporters. This specific case study of political activism through sport provides a compelling example of the ways in which a dominant symbol of French national identity is usurped and upstaged by a minority group so as to reinvent or re-imagine a new kind of community.
Robert J. Lake
community” of British Wimbledon fans who demonstrate their loyalty through personal involvement in these traditions. Benedict Anderson ( 1991 ) popularized the term imagined community in reference to national identity, which he described as follows: It is imagined because the members of even the
John Vincent and Jane Crossman
This study compared how The Globe and Mail and The New York Times covered the Canadian and U.S. women’s and men’s ice hockey teams competing in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A content-analysis methodology compared the amount and prominence of coverage devoted to the women’s and men’s teams. Each newspaper provided more coverage of the men’s teams and to its own national teams, particularly in prominent locations. Textual analysis was used to analyze how the gendered themes intersected with national identity in the narratives. Theoretical insight was drawn from Connell’s theory of gender–power relations, Anderson’s concept of the imagined community, and Hobsbawm’s theory of invented traditions. Four themes emerged: the future of hockey at the Winter Olympic Games, postgame celebrations, gendered discourses, and the importance of the gold-medal games. A discussion of each theme is presented.
particular, like Rachael Joo’s Transnational Sport ( James, 2003 ; Joo, 2012 ), he gives the useful example of the Olympics where spectatorship derives pleasure from affinity to certain national sporting bodies which then trigger “imagined communities” ( Anderson 1991 ) into place. The authors interject
Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko
they did not show similar attributes or behaviors. Conversely, a group of fans wearing the same team jersey may be perceived highly entitative even if the fans did not actually know each other. Foster and Hyatt ( 2008 ) suggested that sports fan communities are imagined communities. Imagined
Liam Kennedy, Derek Silva, Madelaine Coelho and William Cipolli III
Canadians gather to “do” national identity in key spaces, including on hockey buses, rural roads, and in arenas. “Doing” national identity in this context involves complex ways that we perform and express membership in an ‘imagined community’ (see Anderson, 1983 ). This is particularly salient in the
Jan Haut, Freya Gassmann, Eike Emrich, Tim Meyer and Christian Pierdzioch
considered as “imagined communities” ( Anderson, 2006 ), in sports they can seem “more real as a team of eleven named people” ( Hobsbawm, 1990 , p. 143; see also Dunning, 1986 ). International competitions such as the Olympics or world championships allow for a spectating public to express and to reaffirm
radio, it became an important tool to enhance the creation of a national identity and a citizen’s identification with a nation. Benedict Anderson and Anthony Smith agree the media play an important role in creating an imagined community. 22 The central objective for media policy in Canada has been to
, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. If a nation is an imagined community ( Anderson, 1983 ), then it includes all those categories of inclusion and exclusion imagined by the community, categories that include a sprawling collection of social relations, internal logics and discursive
John Wong and Scott R. Jedlicka
object with a stick on ice appears in other cultures’ histories, Canada is generally considered to be the birthplace of modern organized hockey. 3 For some, this belief in hockey as Canada’s game helps to forge a sense of shared Canadian identity, something that binds an imagined community from coast to