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Exploring Transculturalism

1. 2 Culture and Identity in a Postmodern World Michel Foucault's statement that: "The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition" (M. Foucault 1986: 22) heralded a new approach to identity in the contemporary world by suggesting that one's identity is formed not as a result of the cultural and national values and history one has inherited, but rather as a result of the different spaces through which one travels. In other words, one's identity is no longer perceived as an inherited construct but rather as something flexible that changes as one moves through the more fluid spaces of the contemporary, globalized world and internalizes a mixture of the different cultures and ideas that one encounters. The idealized contemporary traveller will thus effortlessly cross national and cultural borders and negotiate a constantly changing and flexible identity for himself. Andy Bennett argues that it is no longer even possible to conceive of identity as a static entity, forged from a communal history and value system, because all of the traditional certainties on which identity formation were based in the past have been fatally undermined by a postmodernist flux and fluidity: "Once clearly demarcated by relatively static and ethnically homogenous communities, the 'spaces' and 'places' of everyday life are now highly pluralistic and contested, and are constantly being defined and redefined through processes of relocation and cultural hybridisation" (A.
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With contributions by Wolfgang Berg, Christin Buchheim, Cristina Cheveresan, Magda Danciu, Marta Fulop, Serine Haghverdian, Catherine Leen, Janina Lehr, Aoileann Ni Eigeartaigh, Gerald David Naughton, Franziska Scholze

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A Biographical Approach

About the Author

Dr. Wolfgang Berg is a professor for European Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Merseburg, Germany. Dr. Aoileann Ni Eigeartaigh is a lecturer in literature and cultural studies in Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland.

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