Living the nation

Leong, Susan (2006) Living the nation. In European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) 2006 Conference, Reviewing Humanness : Bodies, Tecnologies and Spaces, 23 to 26 August 2006, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. (Unpublished)

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Belonging to and identifying with a nation has, since the latter half of the 18th century, been a distinctly human quality. To be human is to be part of a nation. Yet, contemporary theorists such as Appadurai and Fukuyama argue this universal human trait is undergoing vast change, threatened, it seems, by irrelevance and obsolescence, a return to tribalism and widened conceptual horizons represented by the likes of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. These same threats are often attributed to the changing ideas and experience of spatiality and temporality enabled by information and communication technologies such as the Internet, spurred on by the rising intensity of flow amongst and within the human population.

This paper argues that in the analysis of changes to the nation—which I suggest is best considered as the nexus of the body politic, the social body and human bodies—it is the notion of lived time and lived space that is most appropriate. The notion of the lived is borrowed and extended from Henri Lefebvre, who theorises that between mentally conceived and physically perceived space, lies its socially lived counterpart, which he defines as “the materialisation of social being”. As such, lived space (and time) draws on both its material and mental aspects. It is the thesis of this paper that against such a background as lived time and lived space the nation becomes much more than a political concept and/or project and is revealed as lived phenomenon, experienced in and through the dynamics of everyday praxis. Inherent to this argument is the understanding that it is the interplay between the possibilities imagined of the nation and; its eventual realisation through social acts and practices that marks it as a profoundly human institution.

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ID Code: 37706
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Belonging, National identification, Appadurai
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2010 21:23
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2010 21:25

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