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Social club sociability as a model for national solidarity

Social club sociability as a model for national solidarity Whereas theorists of nationalism often consider mass solidarity to be an abstract relation between strangers, this essay presents a new theoretical approach for studying national solidarity through the prism of friendship and sociability. Building on Simmel’s relational approach and Neo-Durkheimian accounts of intermediate associations, it is argued that modern institutions operate as social clubs of sorts where unaffiliated strangers can transform into friends. Drawing on a range of examples ranging from the mass army and Masonic lodges to interactive media, it is shown how social club sociability engenders a form of “public intimacy” that extends feelings of familiarity, exclusivity, and loyalty to wider society. The growing segmentation and differentiation of institutional life place increasing demands on individuals to successfully transform strangers into friends. This competence carries symbolic meanings and is part of what enables a mass society to be continuingly imagined as a nation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Social club sociability as a model for national solidarity

American Journal of Cultural Sociology , Volume 6 (1) – Sep 20, 2016

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Sociology, general; Sociology of Culture; Media Sociology
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-016-0014-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Whereas theorists of nationalism often consider mass solidarity to be an abstract relation between strangers, this essay presents a new theoretical approach for studying national solidarity through the prism of friendship and sociability. Building on Simmel’s relational approach and Neo-Durkheimian accounts of intermediate associations, it is argued that modern institutions operate as social clubs of sorts where unaffiliated strangers can transform into friends. Drawing on a range of examples ranging from the mass army and Masonic lodges to interactive media, it is shown how social club sociability engenders a form of “public intimacy” that extends feelings of familiarity, exclusivity, and loyalty to wider society. The growing segmentation and differentiation of institutional life place increasing demands on individuals to successfully transform strangers into friends. This competence carries symbolic meanings and is part of what enables a mass society to be continuingly imagined as a nation.

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 20, 2016

References