Narratives, or stories, provide people with a sense of identification and belonging to a political container known as the nation. In his landmark study on the origins of nationalism, Benedict Anderson noted how even the members of the smallest nations will never come to intimately know the vast majority of their compatriots. Yet, in each of their minds lives an imagined association with those that they call their countrymen. 1 The people of a nation come to understand this affiliation through historical stories that are told about it, stories that are defined by linearity, their focus on origins, and their ability to stir emotion. The nation, therefore, represents a particular kind of celebratory and inevitably teleological narrative of social connection, of a group of individuals imagining that they have something powerful and, often, ancient in common.
|Title of host publication||Diaspora at War|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Chinese of Singapore between Empire and Nation, 1937-1945|
|Editors||Kah Seng Loh, Khai Khiun Liew|
|Place of Publication||Netherlands|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|