Skip to main content
×
Home

In Search of Natural Identity: Alpine Landscape and the Reconstruction of the Swiss Nation

  • OLIVER ZIMMER (a1)
Abstract

Elias Canetti, in a brief passage of his Crowds and Power (first published in German in 1960), argued that neither language, nor territory or history are at the heart of what today we would call national identity. What nations can not do without, however, and what has contributed most to turning different individuals into conscious members of a particular nation, is a national “crowd symbol.” Canetti then went on to show that most European nations possessed one such symbol around which a popular feeling of national belonging could be generated and sustained. In the case of England, he maintained, it was the sea that took this function; while for the Germans it was the forest. In France, on the other hand, it was the Revolution that came to play this very role. And in Switzerland—the case Canetti probably knew best from his own experience—it was the mountains (see Canetti 1960:191–203).

Copyright
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 101 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1588 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.