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The European Puzzle
The Political Structuring of Cultural Identities at a Time of Transition
Edited by Marion Demossier
236 pages, bibliog., index.
ISBN 978-1-57181-626-9 $135.00/£99.00 hb Published (August 2007)
ISBN 978-1-84545-371-8 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (August 2007)
eISBN 978-0-85745-863-6 eBook
“Despite the variety of approaches and themes developed, the book successfully bridges this interdisciplinarity and provides a coherent flow of analysis of European identity which, as the title best illustrates, still remains a puzzle to be explored. The book therefore highlights the complexity of constructing European identity from political and cultural means…Overall it intellectually alerts the reader to some of the most significant challenges facing European identity and will be very useful to experts in the field.” · Political Studies Review
The twin concepts of “Culture” and “Identity” are inescapable in any discussion of European Integration and yet over the last ten years their meaning has become increasingly contested. By combining an anthropological and political perspective, the authors challenge the traditional boundaries within the issue of the construction of Europe. In the first part, historians and anthropologists from various national traditions discuss the process of the construction of Europe and its implications for cultural identities. The second section examines a number of topics at the core of the process of Europeanization and presents up-to-date information on each of these issues: political parties, regions, football, cities, the Euro, ethnicity, heritage and European cinema. Emphasis is be placed on the political structuring of cultural identities by contrasting top-down and bottom-up processes that define the tensions between the unity and diversity of the European Community.
Marion Demossier is a senior lecturer in French and Anthropology at the University of Bath. She is the co-ordinator of a postgraduate Euromasters and Trans-Atlantic Masters course on ‘Culture and identity in Europe’ which has provided the material for this book. She has published extensively on the Anthropology of rural France and has recently edited a book on Recollections of France: Memories, Identities and Heritage (Berghahn, 2001). Her first monograph Hommes et Vins, une anthropologie du vignoble bourguignon was published in 1999 (éditions universitaires de Dijon) and won a prize. She is currently preparing a monograph on Wine Culture and Consumption in France.