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The Case for Religious Transmission

Time and Transmission in the Anthropology of Christianity

Vlad Naumescu

Acknowledging the growing interest in issues of religious transmission, this article reviews two promising yet contradictory approaches to religion that could be described as historicist and universalist. It offers an alternative view premised on their convergence in a pragmatic approach that can link the material, contextual, and institutional dimensions of transmission with corresponding cognitive, perceptive, and emotional processes. This perspective recognizes the historicity of religious transmission and its cognitive underpinnings while attending to the materiality of its semiotic forms. The article focuses on the relationship between time and transmission in recent ethnographies of Christianity that show how Christian temporalities influence perceptions of social continuity or rupture and individuals' becoming in history. Within this frame, it examines the case of Old Believers, an apocalyptic movement that emerged out of a schism in seventeenth-century Russian Orthodoxy, to indicate how a pragmatic approach works in practice.

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Ziyareti

Imagined Sacred Places and Cultural Transmission among Georgians in Turkey

Tamta Khalvashi

This article attempts to analyse the role of collective remembering and imagination of certain traditions, practices and rituals that are related to sacred places through the process of cultural transmission and social change among Muslim Georgians living in north-eastern Turkey. For this purpose, I refer to nineteenth-century ethnographic narratives collected by the Georgian critic Zakarya Chichinadze, as well as my own fieldwork materials. I aim to show how these narratives mediate collective remembering of sacred places that is modified with additional imagined constructs.

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Generational Transmission in Local Culture

An Exploration of European Research Drivers in Central Slovakia

Ivan Murin

This article presents some findings from the ethnography exploration of priority research in the European Research Area. The title of the priority is ‘Connecting People with Heritage’. The Old Generation and Generation Y are the drivers contained in the document’s strategic research agenda (SRA). The research has been conducted by European experts within the Joint Program Initiative in Cultural Heritage (JPI CH). Revitalisation of local society is related to sustainability of specific local forms of culture. The demographic changes, mobility and new forms of cultural transfer are only some of the phenomena affecting generational transmission in the local culture. Both generations are dissimilar in their attitudes to roles and values in the local culture. Generational interactions in a living form of intangible culture in central Slovakia exemplify its significance for anthropology.

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Teresa Oteíza, Rodrigo Henríquez and Claudio Pinuer

The purpose of this article is to examine history classroom interactions in Chilean secondary schools in relation to the transmission of historical memories of human rights violations committed by Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship from 1973 to 1990. Corpora of this research are comprised of history lessons filmed in the two types of public schools that coexist in the Chilean educational system, namely government subsidized and partially subsidized schools. This research draws on linguistics resources framed by the sociosemiotic perspective of systemic functional linguistics. We incorporate into this theoretical framework the notions of semantic gravity and semantic density from legitimation code theory in order to understand the variations of levels of specialization and abstraction that build cumulative knowledge and ideological cosmologies when one is dealing with a sensitive and complex aspect of Chilean society.

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"The Truth about the Mistake"

Perpetrator Witness and the Intergenerational Transmission of Guilt

Katharina von Kellenbach

Based on the archived correspondence between Artur Wilke, a convicted member of Sonderkommando 1005, and Hermann Schlingensiepen, a former professor of theology who acted as spiritual advisor to imprisoned Nazi perpetrators, this article examines the moral and political lessons that Nazi perpetrators communicated to their children. In a seventy-seven-page letter written to his son in 1966, Artur Wilke tried to preserve his paternal authority and moral integrity by denying personal wrongdoing. Instead, he portrayed himself as a victim of his teachers, of politicians, and of religious and legal authorities. He counseled his son to distrust the state and the law, and to submit only to divine authority. His political lessons and deep disillusionment with the German state resonated with the radical politics of the student rebellion of 1968.

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Andrea Felicetti

This article analyzes contemporary democracies from a deliberative democratic standpoint and focuses on the connection between public and empowered spaces. The idea of deliberative systems and the concept of “transmission” are introduced to discuss the ways in which the public is able to affect the empowered spaces. While elections perform important democratic functions, alone they cannot provide a good quality means for connecting deliberation in the public to that of actors in the empowered space. The problem with transmission is exacerbated to the extent that alternative forms of participation are neglected. The limited ability of the public to affect the empowered space in deliberative and democratic ways contributes to the crisis of democratic systems. One solution to this problem is to acknowledge the role of citizens' deliberation. The article argues for the systematic introduction of spaces for citizens' deliberation that would parallel existing decision-making.

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Patricia Springborg

In this article the author examines the way in which concepts of citizenship and rights have been transmitted not only by conquest, but also by the imitation of Greek and Roman models. Also, the article discusses the way in which early modern empires, modelling themselves on the classical Roman empire in particular, bring these two elements together. Extensive historiographical work on the reception of European thought in the New World has been produced on both sides of the Atlantic and some important contributions that deal with the impact of the New World encounters in European thought have recently been made. However, the author argues that little work has been done on classical modelling as a vehicle for the transmission of concepts. The long tradition of classical learning, revived in the European Renaissance, made Latin the lingua franca of Europe, and school curricula across Europe ensured that members of the Republic of Letters were exposed to the same texts. This, together with the serviceability of the Roman model as a manual for Empire, ensured the rapid transmission of classical republican and imperial ideas. The author takes England and the British Empire as a case study and provides a variety of examples of classical modelling.

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The Discipline of Discovery

Reflections on the Relationship between Internal and External Conditions of Knowledge Formation

Ulrike Kistner

Starting with Foucault's articulation of factors in the formation of an order of discourse, and Ludwik Fleck's ideas on the structures of thought collectives and thought styles, this article mounts some reflections on the relationship between internal and external conditions of knowledge formation. In particular, it will look at the productive function of thought constraints – discipline – in the formation and transmission of knowledge, and bring this consideration to bear on some perils besetting the humanities not only 'from without', but also 'from within', notably the turn from academic teaching to externally oriented professional training, and an uncritical, general-programmatic proclamation of 'Multi-, Inter, and Trans-Disciplinarity' ('MIT') reorganising discourses, disciplines and orders of knowledge.

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Humans, Plants, and Networks

A Critical Review

Laura Calvet-Mir and Matthieu Salpeteur

In recent years, Social Network Analysis (SNA) has increasingly been applied to the study of complex human-plant relations. This quantitative approach has ennabled a better understanding of (1) how social networks help explain agrobiodiversity management, and (2) how social relations influence the transmission of local ecological knowledge (LEK) related to plants. In this paper, we critically review the most recent works pertaining to these two lines of research. First, our results show that this fast-developing literature proposes new insights on local agrobiodiversity management mechanisms, as well as on the ways seed exchange systems are articulated around other social relationships, such as kinship. Second, current works show that inter-individual connections affect LEK transmission, the position of individuals in networks being related to the LEK they hold. We conclude by stressing the importance of combining this method with comprehensive approaches and longitudinal data collection to develop deeper insights into human-plant relations.

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Collective Memory and Tourism

Globalizing Transmission through Localized Experience

Vida Bajc

The articles in this issue highlight the relationship between collective memory and tourism. In what ways are practices of collective remembering implicated with those of tourism? Where do collective memory scholarship and tourism studies meet? How might the two interdisciplinary academic fields be shaped through each other’s concepts? We suggest that experiencing the collective past is integral to specific forms of tourism, particularly what is called ‘heritage tourism’. So, too, are certain kinds of public practices of collective remembering increasingly connected with the tourism industry. In the absence of, or complementary to, financial support for the historic preservation efforts, the entrepreneurial approach to the collective past turns objects of such memory into tourist attractions to keep them economically viable. Thinking about collective remembering in relation to tourism directs our analytical focus to the authority of experiencing the past in a specific tourist place in the present. It centres our attention on what is involved in making this experience possible.