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Media As A Tool For Building Identity

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Discuss about the Media As A Tool For Building National Identity.



The primary purpose of this paper is to evaluate the role and contribution of media as a vital tool in the development of national identity among the people. The paper will reflect the desired comparison between the literature proposed by various researchers in evaluating the depth of the facts regarding the national identity.  National identity can be defined as the desired sense of nation within people which is represented by distinctive traditions, cultures as well as various languages. Media has been utilized as the vital tool which helps in communicating the sense of being national among the people throughout various channels.


Aim: "To evaluate the role and contribution of media in building the national identity." 

There are various ways by which media has created the desired sense of thinking among people regarding being nationals and living for the country. Therefore, the primary purpose of this paper is to reflect the contribution and importance of media as the most effective tool which develops or generates the desired sense of national identity among the people living throughout various parts of the world (Yao and Haggard, 2016).  Furthermore, the evolution of media in developing the sense of national identity as already started from the past among people and there exists social categorization of people which is done by the people within the community.

Literature review

Media is considered as the vital tool in developing the national identity. The media has been recognized as to play the pivotal role in the effective maintenance of the societal structures, values as well as identities. There has been the argument by various scholars regarding the contribution of media is shaping distribution and institutionalization of the identities. It has also contributed towards the mass education system which is also considered as towards the major agencies of the socialization. As per Criterion Quarterly, (2013) the national identity has been recognized as the underlying theme in the communication research since the 1950s. The definition of nation critically evaluates the fact that it is an imagined political community having a large number of the people. In other words, the nation can be explained as the stable community of people which is developed on the basis of common language, economic lie as well as the territory or psychological that is manifested within a common culture. According to Editor et al., (2016) there are three crucial functions of national identity as it provides the satisfactory answer concerning the fear of personal oblivion with the help of identifying a nation. Secondly, it provides personal renewal as well as dignity and thirdly is helps in enabling the realization of the feelings of fraternity by using symbols and ceremony. In the words of Ershov, (2015) one of the most potential sources of the national identity is identified as the shared political culture of the respective public domain. The national culture is defined as the sense not entirely at the mercy of the concerned forces working for modernization.  It is seen that modernization crucially demands that there need to be institutions concerning economic, political as well as education, the preferred national culture is likely to be more resistant towards change. As per Kania-Lundholm and Lindgren, (2017) the role and contribution of media such as newspapers, radio, and televisions encourage their respective audiences for seeing the world in their concerned national terms as well as to think patriotic about their own national culture and nation.


Theoretical frame

In few of the cases, it has been seen that the national identity collides with the civil identity of a person. Considering the example of Israeli Arabs, they associate themselves with various people like Arab or the Palestinian nationality, whereas at the same time it is also found that the people of Israel are having various types of conflicts with the Palestinian nationality (McLeod, 2018).   The use of the social identity theory helps in evaluating the issues related to the understanding of national identity in a proper way. Social identity can be explained as the sense of a person which are based on the group membership. Henri Tajfel critically proposed that stereotyping is effectively based on the normal cognitive procedure which is having the tendency for grouping things together. In doing this, it is vital to exaggerate:

  • The differences among the groups
  • The similarities among the groups

The use of the social identity theory includes social categorization, social identification, and social comparison. If the first stage of categorization, the objects as well as the persons are categorized for understanding and identifying them. The people categorized for understanding the social environment. It has been seen people use social categories like black, whites, Muslim Christian etc.  While in the second stage, the adoption of identity is done as for example, if one person is recognized as the student then he will adopt the identity of a particular student (Turner, 2017). The third stage critically refers to the social comparison which is done on the basis of categorization done with people (Packer et al., 2014). People in different social groups are compared and it has been also seen that two different groups often grant themselves as to be rivals. It is evident to know that people often categorize themselves on the basis of language. The identification of national identity is crucial and media plays the vital role in increasing the sense of nationalism among people.  


The use of qualitative research is recognized as crucial in finding out more regarding the development of national identity by media. Considering the field of study, qualitative approaches consists of various concepts as well as methods carried by several researchers from numerous published academic fields. It helps in analyzing the work evaluated by various researchers regarding the area of study. Moreover, the use of this method critically provides knowledge and deeper understanding regarding the evaluation of the topic.  It has been seen that the aim of the qualitative research project varies with the various disciplinary background like in-depth knowledge concerning the human behavior. The qualitative methods effectively produce various explanations in various cases as well as it helps in providing depth understanding regarding the facts and figures of the case. Moreover, this method can also be used for seeking further mathematical support for various research hypotheses (Samuel, 2016). The qualitative method is considered as the integral component of the five angels of analysis which is fostered by the data percolation process.  The wide range of techniques are adopted by qualitative researchers in order to gather accurate data regarding the particular topic and in this case, it helps in evaluating the facts regarding the role of media as the vital tool in building the national identity.  Sometimes interviews, as well as surveys, are also conducted in order to bring out the desired opinions of the people that will help in evaluating the exact findings regarding the particular survey executed. The analysis of the qualitative data is done with the help of data available from various reliable sources (Tsygankov, 2016). The way of participation and observation should be conducted in the effective manner as to find out the exact information from the particular case.  Fewer of the qualitative methods are considered as the use of the focus groups as well as the key interviews in order to generate the correct and accurate results.              

Expected conclusion

The paper critically reveals the fact that media has contributed to a great extent in the development of the sense of national identity among the people. The paper presents the literature proposed by various researchers in order to understand the concepts of national identity concerning various types of social categorization. The use of the qualitative methods s considered as to be effective in finding out the best and accurate data regarding the media as a tool in building the national identity. There are various media sources such as newspapers, radio, televisions which help in developing the sense of national identity among the people.



Criterion Quarterly. 2013. Role of Media in National Development in the 21st Century - Criterion Quarterly. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Editor, T., Seo, E., Dali, A., Aijaz, N., Daud, N., Lim, I., Dali, A., Aijaz, N., Daud, N., Bonanomi, A., Editor, T., Bonanomi, A., Editor, T., Editor, T., Editor, T., Editor, T., Lankov, A., Editor, T., Editor, T., Lim, I., Min, K., Lankov, A., Mathur, P., Times, T. and Huseynov, R. 2016. Media as a tool for building National Identity. [online] THEAsiaN. Available at: [Accessed 17 May 2 Ershov Ershov, Y. 2015. National Identity in New Media. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 200, pp.206-209.

Kania-Lundholm, M. and Lindgren, S., 2017. Beyond the nation-state Polish national identity and cultural intimacy online. National Identities, 19(3), pp.293-309.

McLeod, S. 2018. Social Identity Theory | Simply Psychology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 May 2018].

Packer, J., Ballantyne, R., Uzzell, D., and Roppola, T., 2014. On being Australian: exploring the role of ANZAC museum and heritage interpretive experiences in developing visitors' sense of national identity.

Samuel, R. ed., 2016. Routledge Revivals: Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity (1989): Volume I: History and Politics. Routledge.

Tsygankov, A.P., 2016. Russia's foreign policy: change and continuity in national identity. Rowman & Littlefield.

Turner, K., 2017. British Travel Writers in Europe 1750-1800: Authorship, Gender, and National Identity: Authorship, Gender, and National Identity. Routledge.

Yao, Q.Q. and Haggard, C., 2016. The Mediated Communities: Testing Media Effects on the Construction of National Identity, National Pride, and Global Identity in China, Brazil, India, South Africa, and the US. China Media Research, 12(3).


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