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Title:Bridging the Divide?: Ethnic Identity and Transnational Consumption in a "European City"
Author(s):Asher, Andrew D.
Subject(s):European Union
Politics and government
Abstract:In an effort to promote the free movement of people and capital, and to establish a supranational conception of identity that deemphasizes nationality and ethnicity as markers of difference, the European Union (EU) has pursued a specific policy agenda of "deterritorializing" its internal borders. Utilizing the urban area of Frankfurt an-der-Oder, Germany, and Slubice, Poland--two border cities divided only by the Oder River--as an ethnographic site, this paper examines the construction and performance of national and ethnic identities in the transnational context of the Polish-German border regions through the commonplace cultural interactions engendered by the deregulation of cross-border movements and consumption practices. By examining the everyday articulation and negotiation between different ethnicities and nationalities, this paper explores how residents of the Polish/German border regions employ different forms of ethnic, national and transnational identities, and how systems of ethnicity and nationality are reconfigured in response to the EU's expanding transnational institutions. In this way, Frankfurt(Oder)/Slubice acts as a microcosm for demonstrating transformations that are occurring throughout Europe, by virtue of its location as a place where what it means to be "European" is negotiated and contested through everyday cross-border practices and interactions.
Issue Date:2005
Publisher:European Union Center
Series/Report:Vol. 5, No. 1
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Asher, Andrew
Date Available in IDEALS:2006-12-11

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