ENTANGLED GENEALOGIES

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Anne Eriksen University of Oslo anne.eriksen@ikos.uio.no

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Growing reflexivity within folklore studies has established an understanding of tradition as a keyword of Western modernity, and of folklore studies as part of the modernisation processes. The article explores this field by examining how processes that produced a modern idea of history also gave birth to the notion of tradition. The contention is that as twin products of a uniquely modern temporality, history and tradition are mutually constitutive concepts. A temporalised notion of History as an overall process, and as a “collective singular”, had its parallel in the understanding of Tradition as a separate but related mode of temporality with its own processes of change and transformation. The discussion is based on British and Nordic examples.

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