DÖ FÖR DANMARK BERÄTTELSEN OM DEN PATRIOTISKA OFFERDÖDEN I DANSK OFFENTLIG DEBATT OCH POPULÄRKULTUR, 1940-2012
Nøgleord:patriotisme, offentlig debat, populærkultur, offerdød, martyrer
DIE FOR DENMARK
THE NARRATIVE OF PATRIOTIC SACRIFICE IN DANISH PUBLIC DISCOURSE,
The narrative of patriotic sacrifice is a significant element in the formation of national community and identity. Citizens who have perished in wars and conflicts have been utilized as role-models and national martyrs in state propaganda, popular culture and modern mass media. The martyrs of the modern Danish nationstate have chiefly been delivered by the 19th century Schleswig wars and the resistance struggle in 1940-45. These fallen patriots are integrated features of the Danish national repertoire, invoked in memorials and other kinds of state ceremonial, but also in songs, films and national newspapers. The public interest in fallen patriots started to dwindle by the 1960s, yet the narrative of patriotic sacrifice has experienced a renaissance in present day Denmark, as the country’s engagement in Afghanistan and other conflict-zones has resulted in a new generation of martyrs. The narrative of patriotic sacrifice fulfills a double function in society. Firstly, individual deaths are given a higher meaning through references to the greater good of the nation. At the same time, however, the narratives about death serve to strengthen the nation, by infusing it with a higher, transcendental meaning.
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