Ghassan Hage, "The Diasporic Condition: Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

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Bridging the gap between migration studies and the anthropological tradition, Ghassan Hage illustrates that transnationality and its attendant cultural consequences are not necessarily at odds with classic theory.

In The Diasporic Condition, Ghassan Hage engages with the diasporic Lebanese community as a shared lifeworld, defining a common cultural milieu that transcends spatial and temporal distance—a collective mode of being here termed the “diasporic condition.” Encompassing a complicated transnational terrain, Hage’s long-term ethnography takes us from Mehj and Jalleh in Lebanon to Europe, Australia, South America, and North America, analyzing how Lebanese migrants and their families have established themselves in their new homes while remaining socially, economically, and politically related to Lebanon and to each other.

At the heart of The Diasporic Condition lies a critical anthropological question: How does the study of a particular sociocultural phenomenon expand our knowledge of modes of existing in the world? As Hage establishes what he terms the “lenticular condition,” he breaks down the boundaries between “us” and “them,” “here” and “there,” showing that this convergent mode of existence increasingly defines everyone’s everyday life.

Ghassan Hage is professor of anthropology and social theory at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He is the author of several books, including White Nation, Against Paranoid Nationalism, Alter-Politics, and Is Racism an Environmental Threat?

Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican

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