This article examines how the nationalist imagination structures cyberspace from the bottom up, or what I call user-generated nationalism. It also looks at the interplay between nationalism and other, non-spatial modes of social identification. My analysis of a month of tweets indicates that religious, racialized, and partisan identities are quite pronounced online, but they also tend to be conflated with nationalism. I argue that nationalism is not simply banal itself: because of its fixity in place and political correctness, it is used to lend legitimacy to and ‘banalize’ other identities. This dynamic is key to understanding the explosion of right-wing populism around the ‘world of nations’ – especially the success of populist leaders in normalizing religious, racialized, and partisan identifications – and the central role being played by digital media in this process.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Information, communication & society|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|