Imagined Communities is a term coined Benedict Anderson in his book by the same name published in 1983 , which discusses the growth of the idea of nationalism and its development as a worldwide phenomenon.
The term "imagined community" is used by Anderson to describe large groups of people, united around a unifying idea that makes them function as a community , although in practice the connection and similarity between the individuals that make them up, and groups of individuals in the content, are minimal or non-existent. The consciousness of the community is so strong in these groups that it has the power to take their men to war on distant battlefields and die for them, as if it were a matter of protecting their private home and family. According to Anderson, a nation and a nation-state are contemporary examples of imaginary communities, which throughout history have replaced other imaginary communities, such as the great believing communities of Christianity , Islam and Buddhism . These ancient communities were made up of millions of people from different cultures , speakersDifferent languages , cohesive solely around a religious idea and a system of scripture (usually written in a language foreign to them).
The nation , according to Anderson, is a political entity that is imagined as a limited and sovereign community . It is imagined as a community , because even the members of the smallest nation will never be able to know or meet all the other members of it, and yet the image of the community they share lives in the consciousness of everyone, even in nations where there is exploitation and inequality . It is imagined to be naturally limited , because every nation has finite borders, beyond which lie other nations, and has no aspirations to become universal, as Christianity and Islam have aspired in the past. It is imagined as sovereign because the national idea was born at a time when the Enlightenment and the revolutions rejected the legitimacy of kingdoms ruled by dynasties"In the name of God," and asked to be freed from them. The sovereignty of the nation is the symbol and instrument of its freedom.