“My point of departure is that nationality, or, as one might prefer to put it in view of that word’s multiple significations, nation-ness, as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind. To understand them properly we need to consider carefully how they have come into historical being, in what ways their meanings have changed over time, and why, today, they command such profound emotional legitimacy … [T]he creation of these artefacts towards the end of the eighteenth century was the spontaneous distillation of a complex ‘crossing’ of discrete historical forces; but … once created, they became ‘modular,’ capable of being transplanted, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, to a great variety of social terrains, to merge and be merged with a correspondingly wide array of political and ideological constellations. I will also attempt to show why these particular cultural artefacts have aroused such deep attachments” (4).
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso Press, 1991. Revised Edition.