Blood Sacrifice and the Nation
Totem Rituals and the American Flag
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Blood Sacrifice and the Nation by Carolyn Marvin
Book DescriptionThis compelling book argues that American patriotism is a civil religion of blood sacrifice, which periodically kills its children to keep the group together. The flag is the sacred object of this religion; its sacrificial imperative is a secret which the group keeps from itself to survive. Expanding Durkheim's theory of the totem taboo as the organizing principle of enduring groups, Carolyn Marvin uncovers the system of sacrifice and regeneration which constitutes American nationalism, shows why historical instances of these rituals succeed or fail in unifying the group, and explains how mass media are essential to the process. American culture is depicted as ritually structured by a fertile center and sacrificial borders of death. Violence plays a key part in its identity. In essence, nationalism is neither quaint historical residue nor atavistic extremism, but a living tradition which defines American life.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521626095
(228mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 11-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Carolyn Marvin
Blood Sacrifice and the Nation, Hardback (February 1999)
A groundbreaking study of American patriotism and the symbolic power of the national flag.
When Old Technologies Were New, Paperback (May 1990)» View all books by Carolyn Marvin
This study describes how two late 19th-century electronic technologies - the telephone and the electric light - were publicly envisaged both by specialized engineering trade journals and the popular media.
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