National Narrative – Anika Baunack
“The term ‘national narrative’ describes a certain kind of narrative, that is part of the collective construction of nations. National narratives give shape to the beliefs, the aspirations and the sense of identity of national groups or nations as a whole. Based on the assumption, that our world knowledge is due to socially produced symbolic systems or orders that are shaped in and through discourses, it can be assumed, that generally accepted interpretations of nations or national belonging, are also constructed by and strategically imparted through discourses . As their regulation system narrative schemes give meaning to discourses and have the potential to transform the knowledge orders that exist within them: Discourses are reproduced and transformed by specific collective narratives.
With regard to the question how a certain concept of a nation is established, Hall (2002) refers to what he calls ‘Narrating the Nation’ . He argues that the construction of a nation and national identity is based on generally accepted narratives about the nation, which we tell ourselves and that inspire our vision of it. Those stories are being told on the media level, they are being distributed through popular culture, formed and celebrated by national symbols and through rituals.
As components of discourses national narratives not only reflect pre-‐given concepts of a nation, they reproduce them and ‘both enact and perform the nation through reiteration’ .”
– Anika Baunack, University of Zurich
1 Cf. Reiner Keller: Doing Discourse Research. An Introduction, Wiesbaden 2007, S. 57.
2 Stuart Hall: Racism and Cultural Identity. Ausgewählte Schriften 2, Hamburg 2002, S. 202.
3 Cf. Hall 2002, S. 202.
4 Véronique Mottier: Narratives of National Identity: Sexuality, Race, and the Swiss ›Dream of Order‹. Paper presented at the European Consortium for Political Research Annual Sessions; Workshop: The Political Uses of Narrative Mannheim, 26-31 March 1999, 1999, S. 4. [online] Available at: https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/8f02e5e3-7d04-47fa-8596-175c8e6c6a00.pdf [Accessed 27 May 2018].