Coming out of an international conference in Paris on "Global Identities" at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes during April 2011, these essays begin from the lived experience of groups and individuals as they problematize and engage their own social connectivity and historical directionality. The authors help us to understand as they assemble these building blocks how we can best approach a broader understanding of the emerging global processes of identity formation. The essays in this volume are organized around the four major themes that emerged from the Conference: Re-Imagining Group Identity, Embracing Hybridity, The Challenges of Assimilation, and Locating the Individual in the New Terrain. The groupings highlight the critical tensions which characterize these liminal spaces: the search for new commonalities among emerging communities and social groupings; a brief survey of the essays will reveal the enormous richness of the topics under discussion, through ethnography, interviews, popular culture, literature and poetry, musicology, religion, the culinary arts, history, and social theory.
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