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Strategies for Nation Building

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1527 words Published: 12th Oct 2017

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2.1 Defining nation

The term nation is hard to define. Therefore various scholars have come up with different definitions of the term nation. Karlsson (2009) sees a nation as a birthmark. A nation can be described as an idea searching for a reality which a minority often violently forced upon a majority with standardization as a goal and with an iron glove as an instrument to eradicate previous diversity. Nations are constructed and invented.

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Nation is defined as mobilizing ideology in force that is used to concientise the masses against any kind of oppression or resistance that might be seen as opposing feature. The order of precedence of the factors that characterize a nation has always been a subject to discussion ranging from mutual traditions and collective political awareness, common antecedents, affiliation to a tribe or people, joint territory, customs and language, culture and religion. The inhabitants of a country are a nation despite their different languages and cultures.

Karl Proper, the philosopher, stated at the Second World War that “it has been said that a race is a collection of people who are united by their origin but by a common misconception about their antecedents”. Karlsson compares this to a nation as he states that a nation is a collection of people united by a common misconception about their history.

Thus, nations are not eternally defined entities, but they are in fact created. Nationalism invents nations where they do not exist Anderson (1990), Smith (1990) and Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2007) are of the view that a nation is an imagined community where members share the same history and envision reality in the same way. It is synonymous with self determination for those who have the good fortune to live in a society which has its own history, language, culture and religion but it can also be xenophobic, intolerant, aggressive, hegemonic and authotarian, lacking the will and ability to allow others what the nation claims for.

Renan (1882) was concerned in that nation affinity was not a question of race, religion place of birth, but instead was a matter of daily referendum. A nation is based on all individuals having something in common. A nation is a spiritual principle with its origins in the deep complexity of history, an intellectual family not only by sacrifices one has made and those that one is disposed to make again. It supposes a past; it renews itself particularly in the present by a tangible deed, the approval, the desire, clearly expressed to continue the daily life. The existence of a nation is a referendum.

Nationalism can be defined as the process of identity making can be best understood in the words of Reicher and Hopkins. This understanding of nationalism is further amplified by a British Labor politician who likened nationalism to electricity that can be used for good and bad purposes. He continued that it can electrocute someone in the electric chair or it can heat and light the world adding that:

“Nationalism can be exhilarating revolutionary force for progress but we only have to open our newspapers today to areas where nationalism becomes in the wrong hands. A primeval force of darkness and reaction… I can say originally, we ought to utilize the potential revolutionary force of nationalism by our readership to ensure that the dark side does not emerge”

Nationalism can be manipulated to serve one interests. Hence this nationalism can be hegemonies as the elites can influence nationalism for their own good and suppress the lower class in the process.

2.1 Defining nation building

Nation building is a highly complex term that means different things to different people. Nation building is evolutionary as it takes time and is a social process that cannot be achieved from outside. The notion of nation is used in a different way. It can be used not to challenge the existing territorial and political order, but to create a sense of national unity for a given polity. This sort of work is often called nation b building.

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Zolberg (1967:461) notes that nation building takes predominance over all tasks including economic development. This implies that nation building involves the political development, social development and economical development in a nation. In the African context, Young (2004) noted how “innumerable rituals of state drummed the national idea into the public consciousness: national holidays, national anthems, and daily flag raising ceremonies at all administrative headquarters. In a dozen banal ways, the nation was subliminally communicated through its ubiquitous flag, its currency, its postage stamps, its identity cards.” Soon after independence African states created their national holidays, national anthems, changed their country names from colonial names and had their own currency. In way this helped to build nation as everything had to be nationalized to suit the African society.

Nation building is whereby a society with diverse origins, cultures, histories, languages and religion come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system an integrated national economy, shared symbols and values, as equals, to work towards eradicating the divisions and injustices of the past, to foster unity and promote a country wide consciousness of proudly Africans promoted to the country and open to the continent and the world.

Nation building by www.usip.org is not just about the physical construction service provision or material wealth. It is also about using the country’s shared customs to prevent further escalation of conflict as well as upholding values, customs, traditional practices that can be enshrined in national identity. In other words, a nation is not the sum of material possessions. Rather people are the most important asserts that, they are the nation and how each citizen behaves becomes the reflection of nation’s characters. The best way for the nation to hold itself to its own standards is to teach the youngest citizens to remind everyone of whom they are as people.

The following section will be looking at the processes of nation building with relation to print media.

3.2 Process of nation building

3.2.1 Sports

Sport is an aspect of nation building. Riordan stresses that it is overt that sport in many societies is a serious business with serious functions to perform. It is accordingly, state controlled, encouraged and shaped by specific Unitarian and ideological designs. It is by no means a matter of fun and games. Riordan further points out that in Africa, Asia and Latin America, sports development is closely associated with hygiene, health, defence, patriotism, integration, productivity, international recognition, even cultural, identity and nation building. Sport therefore has a role of being an agent of social change with the state as the pilot.

During the twentieth century nearly sixty new states have been established. Houlihan states that many of these new states were faced with the acute problem of establishing a sense of national identity. For former colonies it meant that they were the enemies of the newly independent nations. Maguire argues sport could form one of the significant arenas by which nations become more real. Particular sports came to symbolize the nation. The close bind of sport with national identification arenas by which nations become more real. Particular sports come to symbolize the nation.

Sport can forge and reinforce community or national identities. It can foster also unity among societies. In particular attention to Zimbabwe, every year during the independence celebrations there is the uhuru cup whereby local soccer teams contest for the cup. Soccer is used to foster unity among a nation. In celebrating Independence Day, sports are used for entertainment and also fostering unity.

With the regard to the use of sports for nation building, Houlihan points out that modern state want not only national unity and distinctiveness but also an international stage on which to project that identity utilizing an increasing common array of cultural symbols to demonstrate their individuality. In cases like Olympics when one individual is victorious in any of the games, the national anthem is sung and the flag is raised. Success in sports events and particularly by the hosting of sports events provides a benign and uncritical backdrop of the parade of national achievement (Dauncey and Hare 1993). They go on to point that the victory of France in the 1998, football World Cup save a great opportunity to demonstrate public services, values, successful French integration and traditional French values in the international arena.



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