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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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Introduction: Transcultural Identity Constructions in a Changing World


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

Introduction: Transcultural Identity Constructions in a Changing World

Although the phenomenon of transculturality has existed as long as human culture, the increased speed of movement and communication worldwide has made it impossible to ignore in any aspect of cultural studies. In a society where changes were slow and foreign influences were few, an illusion of culture as homogeneous and static may have been easy to uphold, but in today’s ever-increasing flux of cultural change, the perspective of transculturality is more satisfactory in understanding human identity constructions. Compared with concepts such as interculturality, multiculturality, or hybridity, which all may have some relevance for describing cultural encounters, but which often presuppose the notion of cultural essentialism, the concept of transculturality has the advantage of recognising change and diversity, rather than focusing on boundaries or differences.

As a result of changes taking place in society and the need to re-evaluate the concept of “culture” – from the idea of it being ‘folk-bound’ and representing a single and delimited entity, moving towards conceptualising it as a complex cross-setting of various influences1 – we have recently seen something that can be called a “transcultural turn” in several disciplines and research fields, in trying to understand the processes operating in the formations of culture and societies, as well as in the constructions of individual and collective identities. In the last couple of decades, the analysis of transcultural...

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