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national identity

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The public image of an imagined community (Weber called it a ‘community of sentiment’), projecting an illusion of unity reflected symbolically in a flag, a national anthem, and distinctive rituals, and culturally represented in discourse primarily via historical mythologies and a popular cultural canon (including iconic images), narratively constructed and transmitted by social institutions, in particular the educational system (see also cultural literacy) and the mass media (notably in national news and in media events). Such essentialist representations seek to elicit individual identification with (and discursive reproduction of) a supposedly shared identity which claims to transcend other dimensions of identity such as class and ethnicity.

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