American writer Gertrude Stein uses “There is no there there” in the book Everybody’s Autobiography to describe Oakland. She spent her girlhood in Oakland, but she perceived that Oakland was inauthentic. When she mentioned France, where she lived most of her life, she said: “It is not real but it is really there” (Stein 1970: 2). France is more tangible to her than her nation. What does the nation mean to Stein? What is the essence of nation? Watson posits that “a nation is a community of people, whose members are bound together by a sense of solidarity, a common culture, a national consciousness” (Watson 1997: 1). A more familiar definition was coined by Anderson: “It is an imagined political community and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign” (Anderson 1991: 6). If Anderson’s definition is rigorous, why did Stein fail to perceive the intimate connection with America? Stein could not maintain the identification of the US according to the memory of her girlhood. On the contrary, her real life is in France, it is not the imagination. Robins regards the people like Stein as the “empirical people” (Robins 2003: 196) in his book. The imagined community is not distinct to them because it is far away from the real life. The imagined community cannot surpass the reality all the time. Thus it can be postulated that the nation bases on a sense of belonging to an imagined community, but it is not a compulsive ideology; the sense of belonging may become vague when the individual lack the interaction with the nation.
Then how to maintain the sense of belonging of the population becomes a pivotal question to the nation. This is the reason why the nation has been aiming at building an intimate relationship with medi...
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Ruigrok, Nel and Atteveldt, Wouter van, Global Angling with a Local Angle: How U.S., British, and Dutch Newspapers Frame Global and Local Terrorist Attacks , the Harvard International Journal of Press, Politics 2007, volume:12.
Robins, Kevin, Beyond Imagined Community? Transnational media and Turkish Immigrants in Europe, Media in a Globalized Society, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2003.
Stein, Gertrude, Paris, France, New York: liver light, 1970.
Volkmer, I, Journalism and Political Crises: In Journalism after September 11, London, New York: Routledge, 2002.
Watson, Hugh Seton, Nations and states: an enquiry into the origins of nations and the politics and nationalism, Methuen young books, 1977.
Zakaria, Fareed, How to invest jobs for America, November 1, 2010.
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