Identity Destabilised

Identity Destabilised : Living in an Overheated World

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The world is overheated: Too full and too fast; out of sync, contradiction-ridden and unequal. It is the age of the Anthropocene, of humanity's indelible mark upon the planet. In short, it is globalisation - but not as we know it.

This collection explores social identities in today's `overheated' world, seen from an anthropological perspective. The focus is on contradictions, tensions and paradoxes: How can an identity be stable if its border is constantly shifting? How can a community survive if it is incorporated into a huge entity? How does belonging work in new cities? And what can indigenous peoples do to retain a sense of self in a fast-moving neoliberal world?

Ethnographically rich and diverse in its scope, Identity Destabilised contains chapters from many parts of the world, including the Philippines, Israel, Australia, the Cape Verde Islands and Afghanistan. The authors investigate how identity changes in response to contemporary forces, from rapid industrialisation, the enforced return of migrants and the silencing of indigenous groups to sudden population growth in boomtowns and the touristification of local culture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745399126
  • 9780745399126
  • 1,327,785

Table of contents


Introduction: The art of belonging to an overheated world - Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Elisabeth Schober

1. Down with identity! Long live humanity! - Jeremy MacClancy

2. Frozen Cosmopolitanism: Involuntary return and cultural alienation in times of accelerated mobility - Heike Drotbohn

3. `We are all strangers here': Labour and belonging in a desert boomtown - Astrid Stensrud

4. Identifying with accelerated change. Modernity embodied in Gladstone, Queensland - Thomas Hylland Eriksen

5. Transnational guardians of the frontier: Precarity and endurance in an Israeli border town - Cathrine Thorleifsson

6. Cultural Wounding and Healing: Change As Ongoing Cultural Production in a Remote Indigenous Australian Community - Amanda Kearney

7. Indigenous Endurance Amidst Accelerated Change? The Aeta of Subic Bay - Elisabeth Schober

8. Politics of Localness: Claiming Gains in Rural Sierra Leone - Robert Pijpers

9. Too many khans: Old and new elites in Afghanistan - Torunn Wimpelmann

10. Do Homosexuals Wear Moustaches? Controversies around the first Montenegrin Pride Parade - Branko Banovic

11. 'I'm not sure what our identity is anymore': The overheated tension between Manchester United FC and Manchester United PLC - Keir Martin

12. Frozen Moments: Visualising the Polity in Times of Overheating - Iver B. Neumann

Afterword: Eurovision identities - Chris Hann
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Review quote

'A powerful book ... already a benchmark classic of its discipline' -- Manchester Review of Books 'Accelerated change may be a general characteristic of human life today, but the diverse and multi-facetted studies in this volume nevertheless document a significant variety of perceptions, reflections and agency in response to this volatile situation' -- Karen Fog Olwig, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, co-editor of Climate Change and Human Mobility: Challenges to the Social Sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2012) 'This provocative and ethnographically diverse volume illuminates the complexities that shape attempts to reconcile social belonging and self-consciousness in today's world' -- Noel Dyck, Professor of Social Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
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About Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and former President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. He is the author of numerous classics of anthropology, including Small Places, Large Issues - 4th Edition (Pluto, 2015) and What is Anthropology? - 2nd Edition (Pluto, 2017). Elisabeth Schober is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo, where she is affiliated with the 'Overheating' project. She is also the author of Base Encounters: The US Armed Forces in South Korea (Pluto Press, 2016).
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