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9 juni: lezing prof. Dagnoslaw Demski

Plaats: Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam
Aanvangstijd: 11.00 uur

HOW AND WHY (ETHNIC) IDENTITY MATTERS IN EVERYDAY INTERACTION. REFLECTIONS FROM FIELDWORK IN LITHUANIA

The subject of my study is micro-situations or encounters as the basic category of social interaction, characterized by a mutual focus of attention. Individuals taking part in an encounter bring along their cultural capital (power, authority, education, involvement in social networks); a level of emotional energy (positive or negative evaluation of the power of the other); a definition and monitoring of the encounter situation (through knowledge of their own resources and those of the other, calculations of gains or losses as a possible outcome of this encounter).

How does this work in a multi-cultural environment? The study of everyday interactions between different cultural groups gives a glimpse into patterns of stratification and forms of
organization. Greetings, showing respect or disrespect, talk, non-verbal gestures, action and so on are part of recurring encounters. Conversations of people having similar resources become more personal, flexible and long. Inequality leads to impersonal contacts, highly
routinized and short. The main questions of the presentation are: how do such encounters and patterns manifest themselves, in my case, in the Vilnius region of Lithuania? And how do power relations become visible on the level of everyday communication? And how are narrative versions of some events designed for various of audiences – transnational, national, local.