The psychology of patriotism

This is Your Brain on Patriotism

If you want to understand how patriotism works in the United States, a good place to start is a swim meet in southern California, near the University of California, Irvine campus. It’s hot, and kids are lined up by the pool in swim suits, ready to race. But before the meet can begin, the crowd hushes, then belts out the contorted notes of The Star Spangled Banner. David S. Meyer, a sociologist who studies political movements and dissent at UC Irvine, is at the meet cheering on his kids. In many other countries, he notes, the local national anthem rarely gets sung before professional sporting events, much less kids’ swim meets. ….[READ]

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