- Practised imagination : tracing transnational networks in Crete and beyond ; paper for the conference 'Alltag der Globalisierung. Perspektiven einer transnationalen Anthropologie', January 16-18, 2003, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (2003)
- The imagination has become a major site for studying transnational cultural flows. Yet it is mainly the mass media that are explored as channels directing the imagination from "the West" towards "the rest". And there is still little empirical "testing" of this field. How do such ‐ and other ‐ imaginary sources work into social practice? And what does such "practised imagination" imply for the practice of transnational anthropology? This article attempts to address these questions from the perspective of fieldwork in progress. In and between Crete and Germany I traced transnational networks based on the reciprocal mobilities of migration, remigration, and tourism. Here, multiple domains of imagination are drawn upon by various audiences, thus effectively contributing to the creation of these relations and the places in which they localise. Anthropological research on tourism and migration has tended to separate the imagination ‐ as being an external impact ‐ from local practice. Yet, transnational ethnography needs to challenge this opposition and is in itself a strategy to do so, in that it perceives the imagination as a practice of transcending physical and cultural distance.
- Global Heimat Germany : migration and the transnationalization of the nation-state (2005)
- The article explores the increasing gap between the cultural dynamics of transnationalization in Germany and the national self-perception of the German society. While concepts of “in-migration” (Zuwanderung) and ”integration” still stick to notions of the nation-state as being a ”container” embracing and controlling a population and a culture of its own, the various processes of material and imaginary mobility across the national borders contradict and challenge this notion as well as its political implications. By drawing on the transnational lifeworlds and the cultural productivity of migrants, anthropological research has made important contributions to render visible this challenge. It is argued, however, that an all too exclusive focus on migration may, in fact, rather conceal the wider effects of transnationalisation and cultural globalisation on the society and its cultural fabric as a whole.