Author:Marit Melhuus (University of Oslo)
Paper short abstract:
The paper examines efforts that people make to forge connections in situations of heightened mobility and change. The focus is on phenomena that tend to essentialise origins and notions of belonging and is an attempt to conceptualise relationships between continuity and change.
Paper long abstract:
In a world characterised by a heightened sense of mobility and change, the making of meaningful relations takes on new significance. This paper examines on the one hand, some of the efforts people make to forge connections that enable a sense of certainty, stability or belonging. In that direction the focus is on phenomena that take on the semblance of being fixed, certain or true; phenomena which tend to essentialise origins and notions of belonging and identity. On the other hand, the paper examines anthropologists' efforts to come to grips with these processes. The attention then is on the conceptualization of the relationship between continuity and change. This relationship can be perceived as one between fixity and flow, movmement and stasis. This relation is mutually constituted, the challenge being to understand how. This paper works from the assumption that mobility presumes some structure of immobility.
Problems of continuity and change