Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies)

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9780521626095: Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies)

The authors argue that American patriotism is a civil religion organized around a sacred flag, whose followers engage in periodic blood sacrifice of their own children to unify the group. Using an anthropological theory, this groundbreaking book presents and explains the ritual sacrifices and regeneration that constitute American nationalism, the factors making particular elections or wars successful or unsuccessful rituals, the role of the mass media in the process, and the sense of malaise that has pervaded American society during the post-World War II period.

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Book Description:

American patriotism is a civil religion organized around a sacred flag. Its followers engage in periodic blood sacrifice of their own children to unify the group. Using an anthropological theory, this groundbreaking book presents and explains the ritual sacrifices and regeneration that constitute American nationalism, the factors making particular elections or wars successful or unsuccessful rituals, the role of the mass media in the process, and the sense of malaise that has pervaded American society during the post-World War II period.

Review:

"This is a book for those who are willing to examine some of their most basic assumptions about what it means to be an American. ...well written..." Choice

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780521626095

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780521626095

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