Volume 14, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Contexts for the performance of banal nationalism and belonging have changed markedly with the emergence of the Internet as a significant constituent and mediator of everyday activities. National anthems, depicted as echoed realizations of the imagined community, now exist in cyberspace, offering new public spaces for observing, participating in and responding to anthem spectacles. Drawing on the notion of ‘networked narratives’ (Page, Harper and Frobenius 2013), and previous research on modes of belonging (Jones and Krzyzanowski 2008, Krzyzanowski and Wodak 2008) this paper analyses user comments posted on six YouTube sites featuring New Zealand anthems. The analysis reveals how the commenting affordances of YouTube act as sites of narrative production for both the assertion of belonging, the evaluation of others’ claims and also for the drawing of boundaries. Through this analysis of imagined communities in cyberspace, it is argued that web 2.0 spaces offer us a different way of accessing situated practices of banal nationalism and belonging, while highlighting the interface between the personal and the political in the complexities and contingencies of belonging.


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