Contemporary articles citing Anderson B (1983) Imagined Communities

state, role, contemporary, public, forms, cultural, sphere, members, drawing, collective

Adut, Ari. 2012. "A Theory of the Public Sphere." Sociological Theory. 30:4 238-262. Link
The dominant approach to the public sphere is characterized by idealism and normativism. It overemphasizes civic-minded or civil discourse, envisions unrealistically egalitarian and widespread participation, has difficulty dealing with consequential public events, and neglects the spatial core of the public sphere and the effects of visibility. I propose a semiotic theory that approaches the public sphere through general sensory access. This approach enables a superior understanding of all public events, discursive or otherwise. It also captures the dialectical relationship between the public sphere and politics by (1) specifying the mechanisms through which visibility and publicity become resources or constraints for political actors, (2) explaining the political regulation of visibility, (3) showing the central role that struggles over the contents of public spaces play in political conflict, and (4) analyzing the links among social structure, social norms, and political action in the transformation of the public sphere.

Santos, Martin. 2009. "Fact-totems and the Statistical Imagination: the Public Life of a Statistic in Argentina 2001." Sociological Theory. 27:4 466-489.
Statistics are key elements of contemporary life. They figure prominently in the media, in political discourse, and in daily conversations. They also weigh heavily within the economic and political spheres of modern societies. Yet, the study of statistics in the public sphere has been neglected by social scientists in favor of a focus on their production and history. This article remedies this lacuna by focusing on the public life of statistics. Through a case study of a financial indicator-country risk-that exhibited a rich public life in Argentina in 2001, it argues that statistics are not simply transparent fragments of information, but rich symbols and collective representations able to condense multiple meanings and generate deep emotional reactions. Using in-depth interviews, newspaper covers, headlines, and leads, cartoons and archival materials, this article shows that country risk became a powerful collective representation and introduces a new concept, the fact-totem, to make visible the cultural life of statistics. A fact-totem is a statistic with high media presence that captures the imagination of diverse publics and becomes articulated with basic identity narratives of a collectivity. This article begins to elaborate dramatic dimensions of statistics in public.

Earl, Jennifer & Katrina Kimport. 2009. "Movement Societies and Digital Protest: Fan Activism and Other Nonpolitical Protest Online." Sociological Theory. 27:3 220-243.
Sociologists of culture studying ``fan activism'' have noted an apparent increase in its volume, which they attribute to the growing use of the Internet to register fan claims. However, scholars have yet to measure the extent of contemporary fan activism, account for why fan discontent has been expressed through protest, or precisely specify the role of the Internet in this expansion. We argue that these questions can be addressed by drawing on a growing body of work by social movement scholars on ``movement societies,'' and more particularly on a nascent thread of this approach we develop that theorizes the appropriation of protest practices for causes outside the purview of traditional social movements. Theorizing that the Internet, as a new media, is positioned to accelerate the diffusion of protest practices, we develop and test hypotheses about the use of movement practices for fan activism and other nonpolitical claims online using data on claims made in quasi-random samples of online petitions, boycotts, and e-mailing or letter-writing campaigns. Results are supportive of our hypotheses, showing that diverse claims are being pursued online, including culturally-oriented and consumer-based claims that look very different from traditional social movement claims. Findings have implications for students of social movements, sociologists of culture, and Internet studies.

West, Brad. 2008. "Enchanting Pasts: the Role of International Civil Religious Pilgrimage in Reimagining National Collective Memory." Sociological Theory. 26:3 258-270. Link
The burgeoning activity of Australian backpacker tourists visiting the WWI Gallipoli battlefields is analyzed to explore the rite of international civil religious pilgrimage. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs, it is argued that this ritual form plays an important role in reimagining and enchanting established national mythologies. At Gallipoli, this occurred through the development of a dialogical historical narrative combining Australian and Turkish understandings of the past. The broader influence of this narrative on Australian historical understanding illustrates how global forces can be integrated within the study of national collective memory.

Vandenberghe, Frederic. 2007. "Avatars of the Collective: a Realist Theory of Collective Subjectivities." Sociological Theory. 25:4 295-324. Link

Langman, L. 2005. "From Virtual Public Spheres to Global Justice: a Critical Theory of Internetworked Social Movements." Sociological Theory. 23:1 42-74. Link
From the early 1990s when the EZLN (the Zapatistas), led by Subcommandte Marcos, first made use of the Internet to the late 1990s with the defeat of the Multilateral Agreement on Trade and Investment and the anti-WTO protests in Seattle, Quebec, and Genoa, it became evident that new, qualitatively different kinds of social protest movements were emergent. These new movements seemed diffuse and unstructured, yet at the same time, they forged unlikely coalitions of labor, environmentalists, feminists, peace, and global social justice activists collectively critical of the adversities of neoliberal globalization and its associated militarism. Moreover, the rapid emergence and worldwide proliferation of these movements, organized and coordinated through the Internet, raised a number of questions that require rethinking social movement theory. Specifically, the electronic networks that made contemporary globalization possible also led to the emergence of ``virtual public spheres'' and, in turn, ``Internetworked Social Movements.'' Social movement theory has typically focused on local structures, leadership, recruitment, political opportunities, and strategies from framing issues to orchestrating protests. While this tradition still offers valuable insights, we need to examine unique aspects of globalization that prompt such mobilizations, as well as their democratic methods of participatory organization and clever use of electronic media. Moreover, their emancipatory interests become obscured by the ``objective'' methods of social science whose ``neutrality'' belies a tacit assent to the status quo. It will be argued that the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory offers a multi-level, multi-disciplinary approach that considers the role of literacy and media in fostering modernist bourgeois movements as well as anti-modernist fascist movements. This theoretical tradition offers a contemporary framework in which legitimacy crises are discussed and participants arrive at consensual truth claims; in this process, new forms of empowered, activist identities are fostered and negotiated that impel cyberactivism.

Blau, JR & ES Brown. 2001. "Du Bois and Diasporic Identity: the Veil and the Unveiling Project." Sociological Theory. 19:2 219-233. Link
Positioning Du Bois's arguments in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) within social theory enhances our understanding of the phenomenological dimensions of radical oppression and of how oppressed groups build on members' differences,as well as on what they share, to construct a cosmopolitan and richly textured community. Du Bois wrote Souls just at the beginning of the Great Migration but indicated that geographical dispersion would deepen racial solidarity, enhance the meaningfulness of community, and emancipate individual group members through participation in mainstream society while maintaining their black identity. Du Bois's writings have powerful implications for understanding how to promote racial justice, and contemporary readers might consider that they have implications for social justice more generally. An analysis of black newspapers that were published during the period of 1900 to 1935 illustrates how Du Bois's conceptions were woven into discourse and everyday practices.

Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23. Link
Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.

Ku, AS. 2000. "Revisiting the Notion of ``public'' in Habermas's Theory - Toward a Theory of Politics of Public Credibility." Sociological Theory. 18:2 216-240. Link
There exist around the notion of the public three different yet overlapping dichotomies posed on different levels of analysis: public (sphere) versus private (sphere), public versus mass, and publicness versus privacy/secrecy. Habermas's book ([1962]1989) incorporates all the three sets of dichotomy without resolving the contradictory meanings and bridging the gaps among them. As a result, his conception of the public sphere becomes paradoxical in terms, and it undertheorizes the cultural properties of publicness. This article proposes all alternative conception of the public that may encompass the structural, institutional, and cultural levels of theorization in a more precise and coherent way. It is argued that the public is an imagined category about citizen membership that is attached to both institutions of state and civil society: In political practices, a symbolic ``public'' is institutionalized through an open communicative space where it is called upon, constructed, and contested as the central source of cultural references. In this connection, a notion of public credibility is introduced as an attempt to bring forth a richer and more dynamic conception about the role of culture in democratic struggles than that of critical rationality by Habermas.

Sites, W. 2000. "Primitive Globalization? State and Locale in Neoliberal Global Engagement." Sociological Theory. 18:1 121-144. Link
Drawing widely from sociology, political science, and urban studies, this article introduces the term ``primitive globalization'' in order to address issues of state and governance for localities that globalize within a national context. Suggested by the discusssion of primitive accumulation in Marx's Capital, this conceptual frame highlights the ways in which states neither circumvented by globalization nor resistant to it may facilitate neoliberal globalization by ``separating'' or disembedding social actors from conditions that otherwise impede short-term economic activity. This conception, which is considered primarily in relation to the United States, positions the state as both facilitator and victim of globalization, draws attention to state fragmentation and national politics, and places the role of the national state in the local state at the center of unstable linkages. It is suggested that under these conditions the national/local state may be caught between the roles of government and governance; for this reason, as well as others, contemporary globalization remains transitional.

Ku, AS. 1998. "Boundary Politics in the Public Sphere: Openness, Secrecy, and Leak." Sociological Theory. 16:2 172-192. Link
The issue of openness/secrecy has nor received adequate attention in attention discussion on the public sphere. Drawing on ideas in critical theory, political sociology, and cultural sociology. this article explores the cultural and political dynamics involved in the public sphere in modem society vis-a-vis is the practice of open/secret politics by the state. It argues that the media, due to their publicist quality are situated at the interface between publicity and secrecy which thereby allows for struggles over the boundary of state openness/secrecy in the public sphere. A theory of boundary, politics is introduced that is contextualized In the relationship among state forms, the means of making power visible/invisible (media strategies), and symbolic as well as discursive practices in the public sphere. In explaining the dynamics of boundary politics over openness/secrecy three ideal-types of boundary creation are conceptualized: open politics, secrecy and leak. The theory is illustrated with a case study of the Patten controversy in Hong Kong.

Whitmeyer, JM. 1997. "Endogamy as a Basis for Ethnic Behavior." Sociological Theory. 15:2 162-178. Link
In this article I argue for endogamy as a fundamental cause of human behavior that is often classified as ethnic. Specifically, I show that it would make evolutionary sense for people to help possible co-progenitors of their descendants. This suggests that in many situations people will help preferentially the minimal endogamous set of people to which they belong. Such help mostly will be restricted to providing benefits that are nearly ``non-rival''-benefits that group members can ``consume'' without making others consume less. This (partial) explanation of pro-ethny behavior reconciles key points from various approaches to ethnicity and agrees with many empirical observations, such as the link between endogamy and ethnicity and the variability of criteria for ethnicity. This explanation yields predictions and explanations in a number of problematic areas; for example, it suggests that expansion of the marriage pool, often occurring as a result of urbanization, is a crucial factor in the transformation of local identities into nationalism.

COMAROFF, JL & PC STERN. 1994. "New Perspectives on Nationalism and War." Theory and Society. 23:1 35-45. Link

MEDRANO, JD. 1994. "Patterns of Development and Nationalism - Basque and Catalan Nationalism Before the Spanish-civil-war." Theory and Society. 23:4 541-569. Link

BENAMOS, A & E BENARI. 1995. "Resonance and Reverberation - Ritual and Bureaucracy in the State Funerals of the French Third-republic." Theory and Society. 24:2 163-191. Link

Cormack, P. 1996. "The Paradox of Durkheim's Manifesto: Reconsidering the Rules of Sociological Method." Theory and Society. 25:1 85-104. Link

Soysal, YN. 1997. "Changing Parameters of Citizenship and Claims-making: Organized Islam in European Public Spheres." Theory and Society. 26:4 509-527. Link

Fukase-Indergaard, Fumiko & Michael Indergaard. 2008. "Religious Nationalism and the Making of the Modern Japanese State." Theory and Society. 37:4 343-374. Link
This article explores the role of religious nationalism in the making of the modern Japanese state. We describe a process of adaptation featuring bricolage, as an alternative to imitation accounts of non-Western state formation that privilege Western culture. The Meiji state, finding it could not impose Shinto as a state religion, selectively drew from religio-nationalist currents and Western models for over two decades before institutionalizing State Shinto. Although we see some similarities to Europe, distinctive features of the Japanese case suggest a different path to modernity: a lack of separation between state and religion, an emphasis on ritual and a late (and historically condensed) development of popular religious nationalism, which was anchored by State Shinto disciplinary devices including school rituals and shrines deifying the war dead.

Pula, Besnik. 2008. "Becoming Citizens of Empire: Albanian Nationalism and Fascist Empire, 1939-1943." Theory and Society. 37:6 567-596. Link
This article uses the case of Albanian nationalism during the period of Italy's occupation of Albania (1939-1943) to challenge prevailing conceptions of nationalism that define it primarily as a political doctrine that espouses national self-rule. Using archival research, the article discusses the nationalist discourse of Albania's pro-Italian political and cultural elites during Italian domination and examines the discursive strategies employed by these elites in reconciling nationalism with foreign domination. Among other techniques, the article shows how both empire and fascism's claim to universality enabled such reconciliation. More fundamentally, the article shows how nationalism's historical power does not primarily lie in the enunciation of a political doctrine of national self-rule, but rather its constitution of the ``inner'' cultural sphere of the nation around the problem of split temporality, in which tradition and modernity co-exist disharmoniously. The resolution of this cultural problem requires the exercise of state power within both the political and cultural realms, a solution that Albanian nationalists saw in empire and fascism.

Ghaziani, Amin. 2009. "An ``amorphous Mist''? the Problem of Measurement in the Study of Culture." Theory and Society. 38:6 581-612. Link
Sociological studies of culture have made significant progress on conceptual clarification of the concept, while remaining comparatively quiescent on questions of measurement. This study empirically examines internal conflicts (or ``infighting''), a ubiquitous phenomenon in political organizing, to propose a ``resinous culture framework'' that holds promise for redirection. The data comprise 674 newspaper articles and more than 100 archival documents that compare internal dissent across two previously unstudied lesbian and gay Marches on Washington. Analyses reveal that activists use infighting as a vehicle to engage in otherwise abstract definitional debates that provide concrete answers to questions such as who are we and what do we want. The mechanism that enables infighting to concretize these cultural concerns is its coupling with fairly mundane and routine organizational tasks. This mechanism affords one way to release the culture concept, understood here as collective self-definitions, from being ``an amorphous, indescribable mist which swirls around society members,'' as it was once provocatively described.

Davis, Diane. 2010. "Irregular Armed Forces, Shifting Patterns of Commitment, and Fragmented Sovereignty in the Developing World." Theory and Society. 39:3-4, SI 397-413. Link
Historically, the study of state formation has involved a focus on the urban and national conditions under which states monopolize the means of coercion, generate legitimacy, and marshal sufficient economic resources to wage war against enemies while sustaining citizen allegiance through the extension of social programs, new forms of national solidarity, and citizenship. In Charles Tilly's large body of work, these themes loomed large, and they have re-emerged in slightly reformulated ways in an unfinished manuscript that reflected on the relationship between capital and coercion in which he also integrated the element of commitment-or networks of trust-into the study of state formation. This article develops these same ideas but in new directions, casting them in light of contemporary rather than historical developments. Taking as its point of departure the accelerating rates of criminal violence and citizen insecurity in cities of the developing world, this essay suggests that random and targeted violence increasingly perpetrated by ``irregular'' armed forces pose a direct challenge to state legitimacy and national sovereignty. Through examination of urban and transnational non-state armed actors who use violence to accumulate capital and secure economic dominion, and whose activities reveal alternative networks of commitment, power, authority, and even self-governance, this essay identifies contemporary parallels with the pre-modern period studied by Charles Tilly, arguing that current patterns challenge prevailing national-state forms of sovereignty. Drawing evidence primarily from Mexico and other middle income developing countries that face growing insecurity and armed violence, the article examines the new ``spatialities'' of irregular armed force, how they form the basis for alternative networks of coercion, allegiance, and reciprocity that challenge old forms and scales of sovereignty, and what this means for the power and legitimacy of the traditional nation-state.

Srinivas, Smita. 2010. "Industrial Welfare and the State: Nation and City Reconsidered." Theory and Society. 39:3-4, SI 451-470. Link
Industrial welfare history presents important challenges to developmental state theories in ``late'' industrialization. This article expands the debate by examining how nation-states create statutory welfare by addressing institutional variety beyond markets. It is simplistic to argue linear growth of national welfare or of states autonomously regulating markets to achieve risk-mitigation. I contend that welfare institutions emerge from the state's essential conflict and collaboration with various alternate institutions in cities and regions. Using histories of Europe, India, and Karnataka, I propose a place-based, work-based, and work-place based welfare typology evolving at differential rates. Although economic imperatives exist to expand local risk-pools, it is precisely the alternate institutional diversity that makes late industrial nation-states unable or unwilling to do so. This results in institutionally ``thin,'' top-down industrial welfare. Ultimately, theories that overly depend on histories of small nations, homogenous nations, or city-states, provide weak tests of the economics of industrial welfare.

Mariot, Nicolas. 2011. "Does Acclamation Equal Agreement? Rethinking Collective Effervescence Through the Case of the Presidential ``tour De France'' During the Twentieth Century." Theory and Society. 40:2 191-221. Link
This article discusses the integrative function frequently assigned to festive events by scholars. This function can be summed up in a proposition: experiencing similar emotions during collective gatherings is a powerful element of socialization. The article rejects this oft-developed idea according to which popular fervor could be an efficient tool to measure civic engagement. It raises the following question: what makes enthusiasm ``civic'', ``patriotic'', ``republican'' or simply ``political''? Based on a study of French presidential tours in France from 1888 to 2007, this article casts a different light on the topic. The enthusiasm of the crowds interacting with the successive French presidents is not civic because an inquiry may find ``patriotism'' into participants' minds. It can be called civic simply because the forms and meaning of the festive jubilation, which may be summarized into the formula: ``if spectators applaud, it means they support,'' necessarily preexist its multiple manifestations.

Beckert, Jens. 2013. "Imagined Futures: Fictional Expectations in the Economy." Theory and Society. 42:3 219-240. Link
Starting from the assumption that decision situations in economic contexts are characterized by fundamental uncertainty, this article argues that the decision-making of intentionally rational actors is anchored in fictions. ``Fictionality'' in economic action is the inhabitation in the mind of an imagined future state of the world and the beliefs in causal mechanisms leading to this future state. Actors are motivated in their actions by the imagined future and organize their activities based on these mental representations. Since these representations are not confined to empirical reality, fictional expectations are also a source of creativity in the economy. Fictionality opens up a way to an understanding of the microfoundations of the dynamics of the economy. The article develops the notion of fictional expectations. It discusses the role of fictional expectations for the dynamics of the economy and addresses the question of how fictional expectations motivate action. The last part relates the notion of fiction to calculation and social macrostructures, especially institutions and cultural frames. The conclusion hints at the research program developing from the concept of fictional expectations.

Moon, Dawne. 2013. "Powerful Emotions: Symbolic Power and the (productive and Punitive) Force of Collective Feeling." Theory and Society. 42:3 261-294. Link
This article argues that emotions can be a medium of social power. Using qualitative interview material from American Jews discussing anti-Semitism and its relationship to contemporary politics, it engages recent scholarship on emotions and political contention and shows how emotions make effective the various forms of symbolic exclusion by which group members exercise what Bourdieu calls symbolic power. It also explores the emotional connections to group membership by which some ``excluded'' members can engage in symbolic struggle over ``the principles of vision and division'' Bourdieu (Sociological Theory 7(1), 14-25, 1989) that define the group. Finally, it shows how emotions work to incite discipline in some group members, inspiring them to conform to dominant definitions of group membership so as to avoid both symbolic struggle and exclusion.