Examine Anthony Smith’s Fundamental Features of National Identity
National identity refers to the set of attributes and beliefs shared by those who belong to the same nation, the legitimate form of a political organization. Our independence and the way the achieve liberty is through self-rule. According to Anthony Smith a nation is a self-identifying group or community based on such factors as a common culture, history, language, ethnicity and religion. (Power Point Lecture) Nations can adopt a degree of common culture and belief, a set of common understandings such as language and ambitions to promote a cohesive unit. National identity is multi-dimensional and there are 5 fundamental features: historic territory or homeland, common myths and historical memories, a common mass public culture, common legal rights and duties for all members, and common economy with territorial mobility for members.
The first feature is historic territory or homeland. Without territory that we call our own we can’t have national identity. One example is the singing of the National Anthem. This is clearly a well-respected song of praise about the land that brings us freedom which we view as our beautiful country. Territory is land that is claimed and called their own, yet there are nations in the past that have had their state and now became nations without states like Catalonia and Scotland. The United States is an example of a nation that doesn’t have a dominant group and a multi-cultural society as a civic nation. An example from the lecture was how we cannot particularly identify an “American” here in America, but if we were to fly to Japan, an American can be identified very quickly because of their dominant groups. Second, are the common myths and historical memories which are told. This pertains to national identity of people and about their origins. Historic memories refer to illustrations and historical events that become a part of the national story. An example...
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