Accepted Paper:

(Re)creation of Europeanness: construction of Self and the Other by Polish tourists visiting former Soviet Union countries   

Author:

Anna Horolets (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

In Europeanist research tourism deserves detailed anthropologists' analysis which would allow linking institutional frameworks, cultural policies, business exchange and fashions to individual practices of meaning-making.

Paper long abstract:

In Europeanist research tourism deserves detailed anthropologists' analysis which would allow linking institutional frameworks, cultural policies, business exchange and fashions to individual practices of meaning-making.

How Europeanness is defined through the bodily practices, images, people met, material settings, articulated and implied values, narratives and contrastive institutional settings that are encountered and/or constructed during travel experiences - are intriguing questions.

In my paper I would like to address these question on the basis of the analysis of narratives of young Poles traveling to former Soviet Union. In rapidly modernizing and Europeanizing (Westernizing) post-communist Poland the Europeanness is a very old and at the same time ever renewing idea and identity. Political changes after 1989 in Poland have influenced the imaginary of the former Soviet Union, also as a tourist destination. I will analyze the young people's incentives to travel, images of the people encountered as well as the narratives of natural/material, institutional and personal obstacles to traveling. I aim at studying the processes of experiencing and (re)constructing Europeanness among Poles of the generation for whom "real socialism" is still a personal yet fading memory.

Panel W089
Europe and anthropology: new themes and directions in Europeanist eesearch