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Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:57:42 EDT by webmaster, 5356 views
University of Pécs
Cultural Studies paper by Fodor, Mónika (all papers)
Narrative Perspective on the Sites of Subjective Ethnicity
In this paper, I describe ethnic identity formation as a spatialized process tied to recognizable geographical locations—places that prompt ethnic activities or make the already existing practices memorable. I interpret four interview-based narratives within their discursive and narrative environment to discuss how storytellers relate to their subjective ethnicity against the backdrop of ethnically marked sites and locations. The four stories will highlight four modes of conceptualizing space related to ethnicity: 1) the ethnic neighborhood, 2) ethnic reclamation sites, 3) sites of heritage tourism, and 4) heterolocalism. I probe the space-centered stories in this conceptual matrix of ethnic geography to explore under which circumstances storytellers find ethnically imbued sites meaningful. I also reveal how narrators locate these sites as centers of cultural-social networking and thus a source of symbolic capital. Furthermore, the analysis pinpoints the ways in which investment becomes a necessary prerequisite to community formation and maintenance. I suggest that traditional ethnic identity sites as well as those newly designed cultural geographical formations rooted in the subjectivization of ethnicity gain long-term meaning and become sustainable if they are seen as an investment and their capacity to bring profits as symbolic capital.
Brief Professional Bio:
Monika Fodor works as assistant professor in the Department of English Literatures and Cultures at the University of Pécs. Her research interest includes narratives, identity, ethnicity, oral histories and ethnographic fieldwork. Since she has her degree in Applied Linguistics, she has also published in multidisciplinary fields such as teaching culture and narrative and translation studies. Most of her recent publications in English and Hungarian have been on exploring uncertainty and the complexity perspective in the context of assimilation and narrative identity construction. Her most recent work coedited with Eleftheria Arapogentitled “Mobile Narratives: Travel, Migration and Transculturation” that came out in the “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature” series of Routledge in 2014.