Disentangling traditions: culture, agency and power

Otto, Ton, and Pedersen, Poul (2005) Disentangling traditions: culture, agency and power. In: Otto, Ton, and Pedersen, Poul, (eds.) Tradition and agency: tracing cultural continuity and invention. Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 11-49.

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[Extraxt] Two decades ago, Hobsbawm and Ranger published their celebrated anthology The Invention of Tradition (1983), which included articles on the emergence of new traditions in Europe, colonial India and Africa. A year before, Keesing and Tonkinson edited a special issue of the journal Mankind (1982) under the title "Reinventing Traditional Culture: The Politics of Kastom in Island Melanesia", which deals with similar issues in a different region. One can only speculate about the causes for this synchronous discovery of a new field of research, but one possible explanation is that this was prompted by cultural developments in the recently decolonised regions in the Pacific, Africa and elsewhere as well as a revived interest in regional traditions in Europe, as the continent was moving towards greater economic and political integration. Whether this is a sufficient explanation for the sudden academic interest in the phenomenon or not, the idea that traditions can be newly constructed and serve political and social functions freed up an enormous amount of scholarly energy among historians, anthropologists, ethnologists and political scientists, and led to the production of a substantive corpus of literature on similar processes all over the world.

Item ID: 16691
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-87-7934-138-8
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2011 04:26
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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