Tradition and Agency: tracing cultural continuity and invention

Otto, Ton, and Pedersen, Poul (2005) Tradition and Agency: tracing cultural continuity and invention. Aarhus University Press, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Abstract

Tradition helps ensure continuity and stability in human affairs, signifying both the handing down of cultural heritage from one generation to the next, and the particular customs, beliefs and rituals being handed down. In the social sciences, tradition has been a central concept from the very start.

Yet - to update the old quip about nostalgia - tradition is not what it used to be. Twenty years ago, Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger helped revolutionize the understanding of tradition in anthropology, history and sociology, stimulating an enormous amount of research on invented and imagined traditions.

However, most of this research has focussed on the cultural dynamics of specific local innovations and reactions to global developments.

The present anthology seeks to highlight instead just how widespread the invention and revival of traditions is. The individual chapters feature a fascinating series of case studies from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Australia, and Europe, while the editors provide an overview of how the various discussions address the larger questions of cultural continuity, agency and the use of cultural resources.

Item ID: 16715
Item Type: Book (Edited)
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ISBN: 978-87-7934-138-8
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2011 01:32
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
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