Setting the Context
Hardly a week passes in the British media without someone somewhere posing questions about who we are and to which formations — personal, social, cultural, geographical, national, transnational — we do or do not belong. Britain is not unusual in this respect, since questions of belonging, of cultural identities and identifications represent some of the most significant challenges to social life in our times, in Europe and the world in general. That these questions have acquired such urgency shows very clearly that in a world marked by socio-political upheavals and transnational mobilities there are no easy answers to be had and that our self-understanding of identity and belonging has come under stress. The need for adaptation, reconfiguration and reconceptualization of cultural identity is not only felt at the larger levels of politics and institutional change, such as in the alterations of internal and external borders between regions, nationstates and transnational formations such as the European Union, but it is keenly experienced at the everyday level of ordinary living and human relations.
KeywordsIdentity Construction Town Hall Border Community German Border Democratic Centralism
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