By Edited by Mairead Nic Craith Edited by Ullrich Kockel
Drawing on anthropological fieldwork, this publication provides case stories illustrating the discovery or re-conceptualization of heritages and traditions in chosen destinations in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. The authors assessment the significance of oral traditions as markers of id and think about competing narratives of background in post-colonial societies. lately, the history h...
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Extra resources for Cultural Heritages as Reflexive Traditions
Slater, J. (1995) Teaching History in the New Europe (Warsaw: Cassell). html 2 Reflexive Traditions and Heritage Production Ullrich Kockel The sociologist Ulrich Beck distinguishes three stages of development of society: pre-industrial or pre-modernity, industrial or modernity, and what he terms the ‘risk society’ (Beck 1992). With regard to Western societies, he identifies their current phase of development as ‘reflexive modernization’. ‘Tradition’ is often cast as the opposite of modernity, and as consequently detrimental to modernization.
In the former case, we are dealing with tradition as heritage, whereas in the latter case tradition is more a continuously evolving process of creation, recreation and modification. We are used to thinking about tradition in the former sense, in which ‘tradition’ is associated with fixed formations derived from the past (or projected into it) that hold back or corrupt progress. It is invoked by ‘yesterday’s men’ as a reflex, in order to stall innovation and change. If necessary or merely opportune, tradition may even be invented, especially in societal contexts where anything with an air of antiquity is already regarded as venerable by definition.
In this regard, as indicated earlier, the jury is still out on Ulster–Scots. This new ‘tradition’, however, draws attention to a critical aspect of identities, which inherently define a Self by excluding Others. This in itself need not be problematic. Identity is always an affirmation of what one is and, thereby, what one is not. The critical issue is the use differentiation is then put to. In the 1970s, the right to be different was Reflexive Traditions and Heritage Production 29 celebrated as part of an agenda for social emancipation.