Blood Sacrifice and the Nation by Carolyn Marvin
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Blood Sacrifice and the Nation
By Carolyn Marvin

Blood Sacrifice and the Nation

Totem Rituals and the American Flag

By (author) See other recent books by Carolyn Marvin See other recent books by David W. Ingle
Series edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander See other recent books by Jeffrey C. Alexander
Format: Paperback

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Blood Sacrifice and the Nation by Carolyn Marvin

Book Description

This 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 Details

ISBN: 9780521626095
ISBN-10: 0521626099
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 11-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Carolyn Marvin

Blood Sacrifice and the Nation by 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 by Carolyn Marvin When Old Technologies Were New, Paperback (May 1990)

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.

» View all books by Carolyn Marvin

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