Established as a staple in studies of globalisation, the concept of the network implies that stable hierarchies and structures are giving way to nodal, multi-centred and fluid systems, and that this change takes place in numerous fields of interaction. Although the term itself is relatively uncommon, glocalisation is a standard theme in nearly all anthropological writing about globalisation as well as most of the sociological and geographical literature. Moreover, concepts describing impurity or mixing – hybridity, creolisation and so on – are specific instances of this general approach stressing the primacy of the local. The local–global dichotomy is, in other words, misleading. Bauman’s term ‘liquid modernity’ sums up this theoretical focus, which emphasises the uncertainty, risk and negotiability associated with phenomena as distinct as personal identification, economies and world climate in the ‘global era’. Ambivalence and fundamentalism in the politics of identity are seen to stem simultaneously from this fundamental uncertainty.
The concept of ethnogenesis offers a theoretical approach to hybridity and syncretism that finesses the tensions between “New Amazonian Ethnography” and “New Amazonian History” by simultaneously encompassing the study of indigenous ontologies and alternative constructions of history (i.e., “mytho-historical narratives”) as well as the reconstruction of history from all available sources. Ethnogenesis can be defined as a process of authentically re-making new social identities through creatively rediscovering and refashioning components of ‘tradition,’ such as oral narratives, written texts, and material artefacts. Understood in these terms, ethnogenesis allows us to explore the cultural creativity of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples alike in the making of new interpretive and political spaces that allow people to construct enduring social identities while moving forward in the globalizing nation-states of Latin America.
The essay introduces the Gramscian concept of hegemony to the study of identity politics, with a special focus on the distinction established by Jean and John Comaroff between hegemony and identity. The case of Catholic identity in Lithuania is used as an illustration why identity politics tend to fail when they are perceived to serve the ends of ideology rather than creating a hegemonic consensus.
In this article I look at popular forms of self-representation in Lithuania, which are born out of a period of time where EUrope, EUropeanization and modernization are getting increasingly important. I argue that such discourses tend to exclude certain parts of the population and thus show a limited part of a complex picture. As I argue with an example from rural Lithuania, all Lithuanian citizens still respond to the many changes which came about with the EU and incorporate new features in their everyday life. They are, sadly enough, not the ones who get to formulate what it means to be Lithuanian in present day society.
Using case studies from Macedonia and Lithuania, the authors develop a three level theory of the formation and dynamics of national identity. Case study material is used to show how first order levels of identity such as common language, religion, ethnicity and history are by themselves unmotivated until they are anthropomorphized as national characteristics and capacities, usually in heroic proportion. This second level order of national identity gives life to national identity but also can emphasize differences between different groups of people; a third epistemological level is often required which, if it is effective is a way of selectively emphasizing similarities and eliding differences across these disparate groups that constitute the nation. This theoretical model integrates “top down” and “bottom up” approaches to understanding the formation of national identity and case studies are used to support and illustrate the theory.
The article aims at delineating particular shape of identity used among those contemporary Texans who are descendants of the Lithuanian immigrants of one hundred and fifty years ago. It is argued that such an identity can be understood as traced, evoked and reclaimed, as well as based on local heritage and genealogy and thus local rather than ethnic. What is important for the modern ethnic (or post-ethnic) identity of the Texan Americans of Lithuanian descent is not the traditional criteria of ethnicity (such as language retention or endogamy), but rather recent histories, compiled via the internet, and recently constructed or even invented symbols and narratives of ethnic belonging. The historical marker for ‘Lithuanians in Texas’ and also narratives of the ethnic pride on ‘Lithuanians as Texas pioneers’ are among the examples of that.
In this article we shall put forward a typology of the various expressions of political regionalism in Europe grounded in the assumption of the existence of two basic yet, surprisingly enough, not fully divergent forms; i.e. ethnic regionalism and transnational regionalism. In the first case, we paradoxically encounter a scaled down replica of the national State (Catalonia, Basque Country, “Padania” etc.) while in the second case, apparently with a post-ethnic connotation, just as paradoxically we are dealing with transnational yet not entirely non-ethnic projects (Black Sea Region, Tatarstan etc.).
This short paper presents some aspects of regionalisation in France in the light of different ideological contexts since the 1789 revolution and especially the permanent struggle between centralism and ‘décentralisation’. This historic perspective evokes the changing sociopolitical attitudes in France in regard to regions and their cultural diversity. In a second part, the author proposes some reflections about the conceptual use of the idea of region in Europe today in the light of its use during the French nation-building process. The paper concludes by suggesting that the region as an intermediary spatial category always appears to the anthropologist as a necessarily ambivalent category of belonging between wider inclusive and smaller included identities.
Since 1990 many Germans travel to the former German regions in Eastern Europe from which they or their relatives had been displaced in the course of World War II. Studying the case of Nida on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania – the former Nidden in East Prussia and the Memel district, respectively – the article examines the role of ‘roots-tourism’ (Heimattourismus) for the visitors as well as for the town Nida. Visits to the former homeland spark the examination of one’s own life story. This enables the former inhabitants to overcome their homesickness so that they gradually become ‘normal’ tourists. In this process they reinforce the ‘place-myth’ of this region as an idyllic paradise at the Baltic Sea. Tourism, thus, provides for continuity by reconstructing the past in the mind of the visitors as well as in the tourist place. The article points out how the tourism industry tunes its ears to the visitors’ demands and offers different approaches to the past.