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Living Beyond the Nation

European Transnational Social Fields and Identifications

Tea Golob

The book provides key insights in experiencing lives and attitudes of the increasing number of people who reside beyond national boundaries and strategically create their life-paths. It is a brief but comprehensive introduction to the latest theoretical developments combining issues of reflexivity and habitus resulting in unique empirical and practical implications. Intended for the readers who are looking for a combination of scholarly insights and everyday life stories of the people living beyond the national constraints, no matter whether they are interested in contemporary social trends and their impact to individuals, ethnographic research, globalization trends or the future visions of the European Union.


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1. Introduction


The common thread of this book reflects interests in the processes of identifica- tion linked to transnational social spheres. It elucidates the fact that transnational layers of identification are instrumental and result from strategic deliberations. The ability to add a transnational component to other layers of identity signi- fies reflexive individuals who are more capable to recognise enablements and constraints of an ever more complex and differentiated society than those wed- ded solely to national social context. Social spheres, be they national or trans- national, are perceived as social environments in a broader sense, not limited to physical spaces or communities, but pertaining to socially constructed or imag- ined spaces. With increasing complexity of the social systems, individuals have begun to enter a variety of social environments and were confronted with the multiple meanings of social order. Semantics offered by social environment trig- ger individuals to actively respond to a social context. However, we do not just intend to discuss contemporary transnational identifications in general, but to put flesh on the bones as well. we further deploy the theoretical assumptions in regard to possibilities for empirical implications, which call for the consideration of social fields, particularly the European ones. The book draws its insights from the in-depth interviews with civil servants working in different departments and services of the European Commission, who are participating in the transnational social field of the Eurocracy. Their identifications reflect a complex geometry of definition of a self within a variety of social, political and...

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