My most recent community of interest has been that of greek life organizations. I don't know if it's because rush and recruitment are in the air but it seems like I can't escape all of the brotherly and sisterly love! I wonder how the idea of a community is changed when you get to pick the people who are included in it. Are the connections more intense? It would seem as though a community such as a sorority should be more real (less imagined) than an entire nation . . . but is that really so? When I think of the "families" that are created it all just seems pretty inauthentic to me, pretty imagined. Especially the way that as soon as someone new is initiated the sisters claim to love that girl as if they've known her all their lives. It's all a bit over the top if you ask me. I'm not trying to offend people who are involved in greek life by any means! I just think it's interesting that small communities of people imagine bonds similar to those an entire nation creates, that on some level all communities (even close-knit ones) are imagined.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Sororities: What Would Benedict Anderson Say?
When Benedict Anderson wrote about communities he was basing his ideas around nationalism and how it makes large groups of people imagine connections between themselves and those they will never meet. But that hasn't stopped me from trying to think of ways in which this idea of imagined communities could be brought down to a much smaller scale. I find the idea of communities being all in our heads oddly fascinating because it's one of those instances where I understand that it's a tad ridiculous to feel connected to people I will never truly know and yet I still have those sentiments. It's an odd phenomenon.