The Internet and National Solidarity: A Theoretical Analysis


Corresponding author: Oren Soffer; e-mail:


The increasing popularity of the Internet is often seen as eroding the national functions of mass media. In critically evaluating this assumption, this article examines online media consumption through 2 theories of traditional media that are considered of major significance in understanding the constitutive and reproductive roles of media in national experience: the ritual of simultaneous consumption, along with its implications on the imagination of national communities, and the discourse of media, with its embedded banal national assumptions. I contend that the element of ritual in media consumption seems to be decreasing. However, the emerging structure of the Net, the contents posted on the Web, and users' preferences and attitudes all reflect a banal national discourse.