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Real and imagined things: Possessions and their crucial role in extreme circumstances
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology. Etnologi.
2008 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The relevance and meaning of things, both material and imagined, is discussed.

In this paper I focus on people and their efforts to give life meaning after having experienced deportation, forced emigration or hiding during the Holocaust or death of loved ones during the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. I also focus on two different kinds of objects: Real ones, visible, touchable and present, and imagined ones, invisible and illusory for most of us but handled and kept by some people like real things. The question has been whether or not things serve as life savers and tools in extreme circumstances, and if they can serve as a bridge between a secure but lost past and an insecure but present today. In the center of interest is how people use real things as transitional objects. Moreover, how imagined things, like an often repeated phrase by a now dead husband serves as a linking object. Furthermore, in what way they are used to facilitate the process of synchronizing life before the turning point or event that changed everything forever, with life after it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. 11- p.
Keyword [en]
traumatic events, personal loss, liminality, bridging, transitional objects, linking objects
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-17790OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-17790DiVA: diva2:45561
Available from: 2008-08-29 Created: 2008-08-29

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