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Transnational Movements and the Limits of Citizenship: Redefinitions of National Belonging in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8434-1747
2011 (English)In: 6th Global Conference Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship, Prague, Czech Republic, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Scholars in globalisation studies coincide in regarding the increased volume and pace of the flow of people as one of the most dramatic changes that society has experienced in the last two decades. The number of migrants has reached peaks never experienced before. However, as globalisation analysts contend, the phenomenon of migration is not new, but what makes it different from previous migratory movements is “the scale and complexity of movement [whose] consequences have exceeded earlier predictions” (Papastergiadis 2000: 2). One of the most noticeable consequences of these transnational migratory movements is the redefinition of a traditional understanding of the nation as “an imagined political community [. . .] inherently limited and sovereign” (1983: 6), whose members regard themselves as sharing the same cultural roots and “an immemorial past” (1983: 11). These traditional definitions of the nation, in which cultural artefacts including literary works play an essential role, are implicitly based on the binary opposition of inclusion of its members of the same kin, and exclusion of those regarded as not sharing the same lore. However, the interconnected processes of globalisation and migration have destabilised these traditional definitions of the nation and, thereby, the foundations of the nation-state. In his novel Netherland (2008), Irish-born, multicultural and American citizen writer Joseph O’Neill presents a diverse group of characters resident in New York, marked by transnational movements, and who see their sense of personal and social identity shaken by the global repercussions of the 9/11 events. The aim of this paper is to analyse how Joseph O’Neill exposes the limitations imposed on individuals by a homogeneous understanding of national identity, inextricably intertwined with definitions of full-right citizenship, and how he suggests ways to redefine the nation and constructs of national belonging by recognising what Homi Bhabha has called the other within ourselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Prague, Czech Republic, 2011.
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Transcultural Identities: The Construction of Identity in Cultural Encounters
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5457OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:5457DiVA, id: diva2:522282
Conference
6th Global Conference Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship , Prague, Czech Republic, 11-13 March, 2011
Available from: 2011-03-22 Created: 2011-03-22 Last updated: 2016-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
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More styles
Language
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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