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Transcultural Identity Constructions in a Changing World

Edited By Irene Gilsenan Nordin, Chatarina Edfeldt, Lung-Lung Hu, Herbert Jonsson and André Leblanc

This volume takes a broad outlook on the concept of transculturality. Contributions from 19 authors and specialists, of almost as many diverse origins, grapple with this concept, each in their own way. How can transculturality be described? How can it help us understand our world? Many of the chapters deal with literary texts, others with the stories told in movies, drama, and visual art. There are texts about the complexity of the European Burqa-Ban debate, the negative aspects of Portuguese multiculturalism, or the border-crossing experiences of Filipino immigrants in Ireland. Several chapters examine stereotypes, the idea of movement, the dissolution of cultural borders, or the nature of bilingual writing. It is a unique contribution to the field, on a virtually global scale.
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Cultural Relations and Aboriginal Identity in Sally Morgan’s My Place

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Over the last half-century or so we have seen a development of cultural concepts. The normal definition of culture concerned the traditions, customs, and ways of thinking of a group or nation, also expressed in material things or artefacts. With trade, colonisation, growing globalisation, and migration, what had become unified national cultures are increasingly leaving room for all kinds of mixtures. The development seems to have progressed via clashes of culture or misunderstandings and what they could lead to – as we can see in the works of Conrad and Achebe, to mention only two out of many writers on colonial civilisation in relation to indigenous culture – then moving on to interculturality in the sense of attempts at understanding one another, especially the Other’s expression and behaviour/way of expressing themselves. The next step seems to be a greater openness to the variety of other cultures or multiculturality, developing further so as to arrive at forms of cultural transfer, a transcendence of cultural barriers, exchange and blending of cultures, hybridisation or what is here called transculturality.1 The question is then: On whose conditions does the blending of cultures develop and in what way does this apply to the Australian situation?

The problem with the various “culturality” terms is that certain values have been attached to them. If we look at Wolfgang Welsch, a strong advocate of transculturality as the only solution in the future to a variety of cultural problems, it is his concept of cultures as national...

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