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A Divided City in a Common Market: EU Citizenship and Everyday Instrumentalities on the Polish-German Border

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Abstract:

Based on an ethnographic case study in the border cities of Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Słubice, Poland, this article explores the construction and maintenance of ethnic difference within the transnational economic and social spaces created by the European Union's common market. Through an examination of three domains of cross-border citizenship practice – shopping and consumption, housing and work – this article argues that even as the European Union deploys policies aimed at creating de-territorialised and supranational forms of identity and citizenship, economic asymmetries and hierarchies of value embedded within these policies grant rights differentially in ways that continue to be linked to ethnicity and nationality.

Keywords: BORDERS; CITIZENSHIP; ETHNICITY; EUROPEAN UNION STUDIES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2011.200203

Publication date: September 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures relaunched in 2008 as the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

    Previously published as the Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures

    Published since 1990, AJEC engages with current debates and innovative research agendas addressing the social and cultural transformations of contemporary European societies. The Journal serves as an important forum for ethnographic research in and on Europe, which in this context is not defined narrowly as a geopolitical entity but rather as a meaningful cultural construction in people's lives, which both legitimates political power and calls forth practices of resistance and subversion. By presenting both new field studies and theoretical reflections on the history and politics of studying culture in Europe anthropologically, AJEC encompasses different academic traditions of engaging with its subject, from social and cultural anthropology to European ethnology and empirische Kulturwissenschaften.
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