Geographies of Consumption in Eastern Europe. The Symbolic Dimensions of European Union Regulations Cover Image
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Geographies of Consumption in Eastern Europe. The Symbolic Dimensions of European Union Regulations
Geographies of Consumption in Eastern Europe. The Symbolic Dimensions of European Union Regulations

Author(s): Narcis Tulbure
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane Gheorghe Şincai al Academiei Române
Keywords: the European Commission; the European Union; the Acquis communautaire; the slaughtering of pigs; the commercialization of alcoholic beverages; “Europeanization”; national identity; border practices

Summary/Abstract: Discussions over the importance of tradition and the subsequent stimulation of debates related to different ways of collective self-understanding, hosted generously by the central or local newspapers, have been prompted by the recommendations of the European Commission (EC) made to Romanian government, as well as those of the other acceding countries, with regards to the adoption of the Acquis communautaire. Among the numerous legal provisions elaborated at the European Union (EU) level, governments of accession countries were demanded to enforce EU regulations forbidding the slaughtering of pigs and the use of knives in killing them, an important practice that is part of the “tradition” of Christmas in Romania. In this paper I analyze the EU’s regulations concerning the slaughter of pigs and the commercialization of alcoholic beverages, as well as the reception of these regulations in Romania, which is set to join the EU in 2007. I put forward a symbolic interpretation of the above mentioned phenomena as a meeting ground for processes of “Europeanization” and resilient senses of national and local identity. Based on this, I surmise that the new (that is, EU imposed) regulations and the practices they enforce have the effect of creating new symbolic boundaries and geographies within Europe. At a theoretical level, I argue for the usefulness of the concept of border practices understood as everyday practices with a particular symbolic charge that have the effect of reifying the imagined group/ethnic/national boundaries.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 08+09
  • Page Range: 280-297
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English