Research Group Transnationalism Working Paper
Travellerscapes : tourism research and transnational anthropology ; 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
- Even though tourism has been recognised as an important field for transnational research today, there are few attempts to place tourism in the context of transnational theories or to think about transnationalism from the perspective of tourists. I argue that in researching tourist practices one can add important aspects to transnational approaches. The prerequisites of mobility and interaction for example are the features chosen by backpackers to describe what their Round-The-World-Trip is about. A form of tourism is adopted, or created, that itself confronts many aspects of globalisation: First of all there is the immense dynamic that is involved. Backpackers try to cover as many places and experiences as possible, travelling at high speed. They adopt all kinds of touristic experiences ranging from beach to adventure to culture tourism. They don't focus on a specific area or country but travel the world. They cross national borders perpetually. Additionally they form a transnational network in which they interact with strangers of similar backgrounds (other backpackers, tourist professionals). This network helps them interacting with people from different backgrounds (the socalled hosts or locals). Considering my research Backpackers forge a certain identity from these transnational practices which I want to name globedentity. Globedentity expresses a type of identity construction that not only refers to the individual (I) but reflects the world (globe) in this identity. This globedentity is not fixed but is perpetually re-created and re-defined. It also embraces the increasing popular awareness of globalisation which backpackers, coming from highly educated middle class backgrounds, in particular have identified with. Due to the constant awareness of the latest global social, cultural and economic developments in these educated milieus they know exactly which tools to use to become successful parts of their societies.
Multiple modernities : the transnationalisation of cultures ; paper presented at the Conference Transcultural English Studies, annual conference of the Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (ASNEL/GNEL) at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt May 19-23, 2004
- During the past decade, processes associated with what is popularly though perhaps misleadingly known as globalization have come within the purview of anthropology. Migration and mobility ‐ and the footloose or even rootless social groups that they produce ‐ as well as the worldwide diffusion of commodities, media images, political ideas and practices, technologies and scientific knowledge today are on anthropology's research agenda. As a consequence, received notions about the ways in which culture relates to territory have been abandoned. The term transnationalisation captures cultural processes that stream across the borders of nation states. Anthropologists have been forced to revise the notion that transnationalisation would inevitably bring about a culturally homogenized world. Instead, we are witnessing a surge of greatly increasing cultural diversity. New cultural forms grow out of historically situated articulations of the local and the global. Rather than left-over relics from traditional orders, these are decidedly modern, yet far from uniform. The essay engages the idea of the pluralization of modernities, explores its potential for interdisciplinary research agendas, and also inquires into problematic assumptions underlying this new theoretical concept.