Travel is one of the important modes of identity construction. It is influenced by individual choices as well as by macro-contexts of institutional practices and changes. Based on the study of the accounts of young middle-class Polish travellers to the former Soviet Union countries, this article attempts to demonstrate the ways in which macro-processes of systemic transformation and European integration affect the identity-building processes. After offering a discussion of the cultural meanings of emphasising the uniqueness of their experience and difference from 'mainstream tourists' by the travellers, the article turns to the interpretation of the role of the encounter with local dwellers as an important identity-formation related experience. The analysis of the acceptance or rejection of food from local dwellers demonstrates the ambiguous attitude of travellers to the local dwellers and attempts to place this ambiguity in the macro-context.
Andrés Barrera-González and Anna Horolets
There are two meanings attached to the concept ‘Europeanist’ when applied within the boundaries of our discipline. The term can be used to refer to the practice of anthropology in Europe (e.g. Grillo 1980; Macdonald 1993). This usage primarily indicates the region where fieldwork and research is carried out, as when we label other such fields of anthropological practice ‘Africanist’ or ‘Americanist’. It is thus a mere indication of the regional focus of interest. A more circumscribed usage would take Europeanist anthropology as the anthropology of Europe (e.g. Goddard, Llobera and Shore 1994; Barrera-González 2005). The broader object of study being Europe itself, the term could not be properly applied to whatever piece of research and writing done on some part of Europe. Instead, it would entail studies with a substantial comparative dimension and/or a regional outlook.