Banaal kosmopolitisme en The Lord of the Rings – Over de conceptualisering van de natiestaat in vergelijkend communicatiewetenschappelijk onderzoek / Banal cosmopolitanism and The Lord of the Rings – On the conceptualization of the nation-state in comparative communication research | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286




Under current forces of globalization, blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings seem to travel easily beyond national and cultural boundaries. After sketching theorizations of the nation-state, we try to map out national differences in reception of the Lord of the Rings, based on the world-wide dataset. We look particularly at the choice of character, the generic classification and the involvement with the complete trilogy. Statistical analysis reveals easily interpretable patterns, but no clear national patterns, with the exception of a cluster analysis, which suggests a stronger overall involvement in the Anglo-Saxon countries. This inspires us to a critique on research projects that take the nation-state as the most important basis for comparative research. We instead interpret The Lord of the Rings as a case of banal cosmopolitanism that by and large ignores national boundaries. Rather than celebrating the movie as transcending national boundaries, we conclude by observing that texts like The Lord of the Rings are deeply embedded and implicated in a profoundly globalized political economy that may increasingly colonize the imagination of audiences.

, Abstract


Communicatiewetenschappelijk onderzoek neemt dikwijls de natiestaat als vertrekpunt van haar analyses. In de context van globalisering is dit in toenemende mate problematisch. Dit onderzoek gaat op zoek naar verschillen in de receptie van The Lord of the Rings op basis van de mondiale dataset; een speurtocht die laat zien dat de natiestaat hooguit ten dele verschillen in receptie kan verklaren.


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