On Places, Emotions, Senses and Affects. A Case Study on the Cluj-Napoca Jewish Community
Alina BRANDA*1, 2 * Corresponding author 1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of European Studies, Department of European Studies and Governance, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA 2 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Territorial Identities and Development Research Centre, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
Abstract. This article is the result of a long-time research (entirely conducted with qualitative methods) on the Cluj-Napoca Jewish community. The research developed gradually: from a first stage, when I paid attention to the process of community cultural identity representation (searching for coagulation factors, definability criteria, as well as for interlocutors’ responses regarding their feeling of belonging to the Jewish community), to later stages, documenting life histories (as salvage ethnography was a necessity), to analysing migration in the post-1989 period and its consequences on Jewish residents in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In all stages, the topic of place attachment was very much present in the interlocutors’ narratives and responses. The main goal of this article is to analyse the ways in which place attachment has a very important role in the process of the Jewish community construction and representation. Meanwhile, I explore the ways place attachment is defined by the community members, which are its characteristics and functional mechanisms. The methods engaged to approach these topics are participant observation, semi-structured interviews, life histories and content analysis.
K e y w o r d s: place attachment, Jewish community, Romania, fieldwork, qualitative methods