Young Evenkis grow up in the middle of powerful colonial representations of their culture, community, and history. These are constructed in and disseminated through popular oral culture, education, museums, and shape both Russian ideas of Evenkis and the self-identity of the indigenous youth. This article discusses how the Evenki adolescents construct their personal identities and negotiate with dominant representations of Evenkiness within educational settings in Russia. When the indigenous culture is represented as locked in the past, the adolescents, while identifying themselves as indigenous, view themselves outside the culture. Fieldwork results show how the local approach to understanding “tradition” and “modernity” leads to the marginalization of indigenous culture and to assimilation among Evenki adolescents in Buriatiia, Russia.
Negotiating the Modern and the Traditional in Educational Settings
If nations are “imagined communities”, as many theorists like to define them, then they need an ideology to create a cohesive imagination. In modern times, the project of writing “history” has been an important instrument in the service of this ideological purpose of justifying and reproducing the modern nation-state as the predestined and legitimate container of collective consciousness. School textbooks, at least in South Asia, have long been among the most exploited media for the presentation of the history of the national collective. This essay is a study of school textbooks in Bangladesh. It looks at narrative representations of selected episodes from the past, both pre- and postindependence, in order to reflect on how they construct “history”. Through this work I endeavor to relate textual images to issues of community relations and identity by identifying and sharing the ways in which the audience for nationalist discourse is created, nurtured, and secured through symbolic means.
National Identity as an Everyday Way of Being in a Scottish Hospital
This article reports on research undertaken in a Scottish hospital on the theme of national identity, specifically Scottishness. It examines the ways and extents to which Scottishness was expressed in the workplace: as a quotidian aspect of individual and institutional identity, in a situation of high-pro file political change. The research was to situate nationality as a naturally occurring 'language-game': to explore everyday speech-acts which deployed reference to nationality/Scottishness and compare these to other kinds of overt affirmation of identity and other speech-acts when no such identity-affirmations were ostensibly made. In a contemporary Scottish setting where the inauguration of a new Parliament has made national identity a prominent aspect of public debate, the research illuminates the place of nationality amid a complex of workaday language-games and examines the status of national identity as a 'public event'.
A Study from Northern Ontario, Canada
Jane H. Roberts
While Putnam's communitarian conceptualization of social capital has significantly influenced our understanding of community cohesion, the concept of social capital is highly contested. Questions have been raised about the ways in which agency and power operate in a community's sense of connectedness. Within this critique, little attention has been paid to the conceptualization of cultural identity when framed in dominant constructions of social capital. This paper contends that Bourdieu's critical perspective on social capital is better placed to examine the complex relationships between multiple, conflicting and overlapping positions of cultural identity with a sense of belonging. In addition, a Bourdieurian analysis acknowledges that the dynamic relationships of habitus, capital and field produce multiple identities associated with conflicting notions of connectedness which are contextually contingent. The paper argues that ethnography is best placed to offer a different perspective to de-contextualized data, and supports any examination of identity and belonging as best viewed within the context in which such concepts develop and are situated.
Marching, Marketing and the Emergence of Gay Identities in Istanbul
The emergence of gay identities in Istanbul is often regarded as a practical result of mobilisation by minority sexual rights NGOs. Indeed, Istanbul Pride emerged in the early 2000s as a widely-referenced exemplar of the political promise of street-level activism in Turkey. Tracing how gay initially was used in the nightlife market around İstiklal Street and reconstructing the early history of agitation for an annual Pride march, I argue that street traders and small-scale entrepreneurs, not street-level campaigners, have played the critical role in prising open spaces where men could come to identify themselves and be identified as gay. Moreover, spaces afforded by particular fixed-place businesses in the nightlife market critically shaped the initial forms of political association involving gay men that were able to develop and consolidate in the city.
This article examines the book culture of the Buryat Buddhists of the Southern Siberia. Based on social archaeographic studies, the article posits a link between local book culture and the stable identity of Buryat Buddhist. Defining Buryat Buddhist identity based on an analysis of different aspects of their worldview, cultural life, and historical past, this article reveals how Buddhist book culture and home life are the most important aspects in the formation of local identity. The analysis confirms that a radical change in the mechanism of the transfer of tradition, social changes, and the economic crisis led to the transformation of the vector of development in the traditional book culture of the Buryats, highlighting that the main priority is not the religious but the ethnic component.
Approval, Gender and Identity in Toddlers & Tiaras
In spite of its popularity, makeover television is controversial with reality programs such as Toddlers & Tiaras transforming young girls into pint-sized versions of sexualized women. In this article I use various methods of analysis to better decode the visual images of the children appearing on the sensational series. Understanding the program makes clearer how gender and identity are constructed for the girls profiled in each episode. Findings reveal that youngsters' identity is approved of during beauty pageants only when they are hyper-gendered, follow heteronormative gender conventions, and undergo careful scrutiny of appearance by experts, yet exude original personality.
Early Seventeenth-Century Travelers to the Ruins of Troy
The article focuses on three early-seventeenth-century (English and Scottish) leisure travelers’ accounts of the (alleged) ruins of Homeric Troy, namely those penned by Thomas Coryat, William Lithgow, and George Sandys. It argues that their rumination on the specific remains both shaped and reflected their manifold, fractured, and precarious identities while it also highlighted the complex dialogue taking place in these texts between a ruinous past and a fragmented and malleable present. The essay also examines the three travelers’ broken poetics, interspersed in the aforementioned accounts, and shows that they constitute highly self-aggrandizing narratives through which their authors perform their fragile identities.
This article argues that the symbolic borders of Europe and the existence of external Others have been at times more important than Europe's center or its actual physical boundaries, especially during the first decades after the foundation of the European Communities. Analyzing textual and visual sources taken from some ninety French, Italian, and German history textbooks published between 1950 and 2005, the various sequences in which European integration has been constructed are highlighted. Communism, the first external Other, provided the first minimum common denominator for a nascent political Europe. It was not until the end of the Cold War that a projection of a distinct European identity appeared. Nevertheless, the role of new external Other(s) remains important for the evolution of the discourse of a European identity. This article draws attention to the Others, seeking to embed the Others' perspective in narratives of Europe.
Michael A. Di Giovine
The Early Modern era was an age of exploration and discovery: travelers dis covered foreign lands as well as themselves. In addition to being filled with titillating tales of the baroque and the bizarre, the narratives they produced also serve as keys to understanding the birth of the modern world system by representing and motivating European imperialism and proto-nationalism—often through the ways in which the individual writer fashions himself in relation to the Others he encounters. Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology, edited by Peter C. Mancall, and Nathalie Hester's Literature and Identity in Italian Baroque Travel Writing, provide detailed looks into the age of exploration, modern travel writing, and its effects on the explorer's identity claims.