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Practices of Belonging: Identity Among Polish Tatars

Weber, Kelsey; (2023) Practices of Belonging: Identity Among Polish Tatars. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The recent success of right-wing parties in countries around the world, including Hungary, the US and Poland, has brought renewed attempts to understand how forms of identity have been politicized as a way to navigate a world that is portrayed as increasingly variegated and uncertain. Through research among the historic Muslim Polish Tatar community in the politically conservative Podlasie region, I attempt to unpack how group identity and boundary formation occurs. My work focuses on how conceptions of (be)longing are reproduced and/or tactically contested in affective and bodily ways, such as through emotionally replete communal gatherings for Ramadan Bajram, food practices that both uphold and contest Islamic dietary prohibitions, and dance practices which fuse Polish, Turkish and Tatar traditions. In my research I attempt to unpack how narratives of origins, blood, and rooted-ness do not foreclose possibilities of movement, but rather connect peoples across paths which allow for multiple, conflicting lens of belonging. Building on existing literature on religious communities and group formation, I am interested in where tensions and slippages occur between idealized narratives of group membership based on religion and ethnicity, and how individual identities are actually practiced and performed. My research attempts to foreground the affective capabilities and motility of the body to understand how belonging differentially flows and sticks to individuals at the nexus of gender, community, and religious positionalities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Practices of Belonging: Identity Among Polish Tatars
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2023. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10170987
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