Nations and national identity in urban Latin America: the case of Buenos Aires

Produced by: 
Universidad del CEMA
Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Fernando Lopez-Alves (Universidad del CEMA)
Year: 
2013

The literature has long argued that the nation is a community, either “imagined”, ”invented”, or of “sentiment”. The existence of such a “national community” has strongly relied upon the assumption that members share –or feel/believe that they share-- something/s in common. It stands to reason that members of the national community, therefore, should have some degree of consciousness as to what unites them as a nation. Theoretically, they ought to somewhat concur in identifying the features that characterize their nations and differentiates them from others. Very seldom, however, has literature asked members of the nation what the nation means to them. In this paper I do and thereby I question well-known arguments in current literature on the nation. I seek to establish to what degree, if at all, the nation exists as a construct in the popular imaginary. I attempt to identify the concepts and images that members of the nation associate with their national identity.

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