Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Across and Within the Imagined Community

I was similarly interested in Anderson’s discussion of pilgrimage. The experiencing of a pilgrimage fostered more than companionship for individual but a “consciousness of connectedness (Why are we here together?) emerges.” (56) While Anderson discusses these  “journeys of imagination” (55)  as responsible for creating a sense of absolutism by allowing  individuals to experience a sense of interchangeability, he focuses his discussion on the movement of bureaucrats from peripheral areas to government centers.  His definition of pilgrimage seems to be limited to members of a specific social strata who are exchanging positions of authority. What if we consider the movements of migrant workers, individuals who seek manual worker in places outside of their home, as a type of pilgrimage and their movements geared towards both the edges and the center, across national borders and within countries?
Would we consider this type of pilgrimage nation-making, and does it breed any form of unification within an imagined community or does it undermine conceptions of community? Anderson’s feudal nobles exchanged position and control, religious pilgram exchanged and shared faith and religious identity, and I am curious, when considering discussions of labor, what is exchanged or shared between individuals who exist in this type of transience? What is the premise of this community?
What does it mean when an imagined community exists simultaneously in a borderless place and within national borders? 

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