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Robert A. Parkin

While it can claim some historical depth, essentially Lubuskie is a new province in western Poland that emerged from the local government reforms of 1999. It is thus located in a part of the country taken over by Poland from Germany in 1945, which as a consequence experienced a complete replacement of populations (Polish for German) at that time. This makes the province a useful case in which to study the emergence of a new identity over time. At present its identity is not as strong as in the case of its neighbours like Silesia and Wielkopolska, though it is being cultivated where possible by some local bureaucrats and politicians. It is argued that it is nonetheless justified to study such cases in order to determine and account for differences in the strength of regional identities in the same nationstate. The wider framework is regional identities within Europe as part of the process of European integration and its articulation with nation-states in the EU.

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Anne Magnussen

The introduction offers an overview of English-language and Spanish-language scholarship about Spanish comics since 2000. This research is typically concerned with one of four main chronological periods, i.e. early comics history 1875-1939; the Francoist dictatorship 1939-1975; the Political Transition 1970-1985; and Democratic Spain from the early 1980s, and some of its recurrent themes are memory, gender, regional identities and history, and/or a focus on social or educational comics. The articles in the two special issues on Spanish comics (11.1 and 11.2) almost all relate to these periods and themes in different ways, and together they show that comics scholarship about Spanish comics is a fascinating field, and one that offers plenty of opportunities for further study.

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Regions and Regionalism in Social Anthropology

Possibilities and Approaches – The Case of Slovakia

Alexandra Bitušíková

The article deals with the study of regionalism in European social anthropology with the focus on Slovakia's regions, regional diversities and identities in a broader perspective of European integration and regionalisation. It looks at socio-anthropological research on regionalism worldwide and in Slovakia particularly. The key objective is to examine the impact of geographical conditions and political-administrative reforms on the development of historic regions, sustainability of regionalism and the survival of regional differences and identities in Slovakia. The essay also discusses the creation of transborder regional co-operation and the establishment of Euroregions that only started to develop in the new democratic conditions after 1989. What do transborder regions mean to local people? Are they only bureaucratically constructed entities based on co-operation of formal authorities or do they also have an impact on people's identities? The essay aims at drawing attention to the importance of this research orientation in contemporary European social anthropology.

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Touring the Regions

(Dis) Uniting the Kingdom on Holiday

Hazel Andrews

the identity and unity of the group, which creates the reality of the unity and the identity of the group. (221; emphasis in original) However, as Marry K. Anglin notes in relation to her examination of national and regional identity in Appalachia, in

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"When They Came to Take Our Resources"

Mining Conflicts in Peru and Their Complexity

Wendy Coxshall

This article focuses on the debates over the Río Blanco mining project in Piura in northern Peru. Using Tsing's notion of 'friction', I explore the complexity and global connections in this case and show how the actors engaged universal categories to pursue their agendas. I argue that the campaign against Río Blanco is an example of indigenous mobilization in contemporary Peru because the local protestors invoked the global term 'indigenous', although they mobilized as peasants and as ronderos/as (civil defense patrollers). Their decision to campaign as peasants, however, illustrates the continued relevance of class in a contemporary global context. By using their peasant identity strategically in combination with their regional identity and their identity as marginalized peoples, the local population of Piura gained a more powerful voice.

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Eric Drott

This article examines the role played by the nòva cançon occitana (new Occitan song) in disseminating post-1968 regionalist ideologies, particularly the contention that Occitanie constituted an “internal colony” of France. While both the nòva cançon and the internal colonialism thesis proved instrumental in advancing the Occitanist cause, they also raised intractable problems. The depiction of Occitanie as a colonized territory consolidated a fragile sense of regional identity, but in so doing demanded that individuals repress the French dimensions of their identity. In addition, nòva cançon performers did not simply convey regionalist ideals through music, but were compelled to embody these ideals in their behavior, ideological stance, and self-presentation. To illuminate such tensions, the article considerers the controversy triggered when one Occitan singer-songwriter, Joan Pau Verdier, signed with an international label, thereby opening himself up to charges of having betrayed the Occitanist cause.

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Iterative Modernism

The Design Mode of Interwar Engineering in Belgium

Greet De Block and Bruno De Meulder

This article traces the implicit spatial project of Belgian engineers during the interwar period. By analyzing infrastructure planning and its inscribed spatial ideas as well as examining the hybrid modernity advocated by engineers and politicians, this article contributes to both urban and transport history.

Unlike colleagues in countries such as Germany, Italy and the United States, Belgian engineers were not convinced that highways offered a salutary new order to a nation traumatized by the First World War. On the contrary, the Ponts et Chaussées asserted that this new limited access road would tear apart the densely populated areas and the diverse regional identities in Belgium. In their opinion, only an integration of existing and new infrastructure could harmonize the historically fragmented and urbanized territory. Tirelessly, engineers produced infrastructure plans, strategically interweaving different transport systems, which had to result in an overall transformation of the territory to facilitate modern production and export logics.

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Katalin Solymosi

Using the concept that landscapes are ideas formed by viewers about their physical surroundings, this article examines visitors' landscape perceptions of two peripheral regions of Europe: Gyimes in the Romanian Eastern Carpathians, and Las Hurdes in the Northern Extremadura of Spain. Both are characterized by exceptional, historically-evolved cultural landscapes and a population that culturally or ethnically differs from the national mainstream surrounding them. Based on literature review, expert consultations, and a questionnaire survey conducted in the research areas, I conclude that due to historical developments, socio-economic settings, and ethnic differences, the outsiders' view of these landscapes can be strongly distorted. In the tourist, misinformation and wishful thinking create a “mental map” that does not represent reality. I also note that along with having a possible impact on inhabitants' landscape perception and their strong regional identity, the outsiders' view might influence policy decisions and therefore the general development of a region.

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Pavel Grebenyuk

This article investigates cultural trends and promotion of cultural establishments in the northeastern USSR in the 1950s and 1960s. I examine the relationships of the government and intellectual network in the context of new sociocultural policy in the unusual conditions of the outgoing Dalstroy epoch. The Magadan Region underwent a kind of “perestroika” in this period, but it was a “perestroika” within the outlined ideological boundaries and under conditions of strict party control. The cultural policy and authorities’ activity on background changes in public-political life was directed on “de-Dalstroy” process by formation new regional identity and creation of numerous new avenues of regional self-expression in the form of institutions, creative unions, and organizations.

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Dieter K. Buse

Historians and political sciences have begun to discuss how and when postwar Germany overcame its authoritarian past and reestablished democracy and a tolerant civil society. This article argues that the national and regional Offices for Political Education have contributed significantly to the recivilizing process. The article provides the first preliminary academic attempt to outline the offices' historical background, their changing institutional structure, and their place in the civic education context since the mid 1950s. A series of case studies examine the historical literature disseminated by specific offices to illustrate the process of overcoming a problematic past and constructing new identities. In turn, the historical role models promoted by the offices, the manner in which federalism was presented, the timing of and fashion in which the Holocaust became a significant theme and the way in which regional identities were understood and fostered, are examined. These cases illustrate how historical information was employed, at first in fairly simple and propagandistic fashion, but always to inculcate democratic and civil norms. The question of the impact of the offices' work is left open, since research on reception has yet to be undertaken, but some evidence about their important contributions to reshaping German values is provided.