An imagined community is a concept developed by Benedict Anderson in his 1983 book Imagined Communities to analyze nationalism. Anderson depicts a nation as a socially-constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of a group.[1]:6–7

Anderson focuses on the way media creates imagined communities, especially the power of print media in shaping an individual's social psyche. Anderson analyzes the written word, a tool used by churches, authors, and media companies (notably books, newspapers, and magazines), as well as governmental tools such as the map, the census, and the museum. These tools were all built to target and define a mass audience in the public sphere through dominant images, ideologies, and language. Anderson explores the racist and colonial origins of these practices before explaining a general theory that explains how contemporary governments and corporations can (and frequently do) utilize these same practices. These theories were not originally applied to the Internet or television.

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