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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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2. Contemporary social order and identifications

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Due to social transformations that resonate with technological development, the development of mass media and global connectivity, the repertoire of social information has increasingly become a matter of choice. It has been argued that new unpredictable and uncertain social areas have emerged, which influenced a number of transitions in everyday life as reflected in the character of social organisation and in the structuring of the global system (cf. Beck, Giddens, Lash 1994). The world we live in seems to be unstable; everything appears to always be on the move. Social, economic and cultural connectivity have come to be an inevitable fact and the regular movements of people, goods and ideas have increasingly become part of everyday reality. The accelerating “time-space compression” (Harvey 1989) forms a condition for social change that expresses dynamics between agents and social structures on several global and local levels. Individuals and their position in society have come to be seen in the light of ever-changing global conditions and transnational connections.

The influence of the rapid flow of mass media images, scripts and sensations brought about “a new order of instability in the production of modern subjectivities” (Appadurai 1996, p. 6), while networks of social relations, cultures of adaptation, and political and economic institutions also work on global and transnational levels. Expansive changes in communication technologies and structures led to the relativisation of our established cultural and individual practices, while the multiplicity of ideas influences the perception of the self and identities (Gergen...

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