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The Diasporic Condition

Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World

The Diasporic Condition

Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World

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. 

248 pages | 1 halftones, 5 line drawings, 2 tables | 6 x 9

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography

Middle Eastern Studies

Sociology: Individual, State and Society


"This sophisticated, captivating ethnography demonstrates how anthropological understanding can be applied to a diasporic mode of living and how the mobile subject contributes to expanding analyses of culture, belonging, and place. . . . Highly recommended."


“With his typical creative brilliance, Hage probes the diverse and divergent angles through which Lebanon appears in migratory memories and movement, and, in the process, upends our understanding of the politics of ancestry and inheritance in diasporic worlds.”

Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of The Inheritance

“With this book, Hage carefully journeys us through the complex experiences of the Lebanese diasporic condition. Living in an internationalized space of viability, the Lebanese are shown to occupy a multiplicity of entangled and flickering realities—always engaged and always aware that, in the end, they are stuck with each other. The journey is exquisite, painful, exhilarating, saddening, inspiring, and deeply human. The Diasporic Condition is a must-read for both the Lebanese and the non-Lebanese.”

Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis

Table of Contents

One Lebanese Capitalism and the Emergence of a Transnational Mode of Existence
Two On Being Propelled into the World: Existential Mobility and the Migratory Illusio
Three Diasporic Anisogamy
Four From Ambivalent to Fragmented Subjects
Five On Diasporic Lenticularity
Six Lenticular Realities and Anisogamic Intensifications
Seven The Lebanese Transnational Diasporic Family
Eight Diaspora and Sexuality: A Case Study
Nine Diasporic Jouissance and Perverse Anisogamy: Negotiated Being in the Streets of Beirut

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