P141
Between innovation and tradition: ethnographies of change

Convenors:
Jennifer McDowell (Tohoku Gakuin University)
Location:
Multi Purpose Room
Start time:
17 May, 2014 at 13:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Through examples of divergent interactions like collecting and protesting within venues of tradition and cultural heritage, this panel contributes to a greater understanding of the processes by which tradition is created, innovated upon, and maintained.

Long abstract:

Anthropology has long been concerned with how human actors negotiate their social worlds especially during times of transition and change, and the props and dialogues they choose during these negotiations. This panel focuses on several diverse cultural topics that contribute to a greater understanding of the processes by which tradition is created, innovated upon, and maintained. Through examples of divergent interactions (collecting, protesting, creating, or preserving) within venues of tradition or cultural heritage, including the appropriation of the past, or the introduction of new, often unwanted, cultural practices into the social milieu, it is hoped a conversation forms around the types of research strategies that these topics require, bringing a fresh approach and perspective to a classic anthropological topic. As communities continue to look to the past for ways to negotiate the present, rally against social change, often in the name of preservation, or openly embrace innovation, the importance of these topics to our anthropological futures is evident. As each panel participant brings a viewpoint from a different point on the spectrum, the discussion is intended to reveal potential convergence of the historic and current attitudes and practices of social interaction. It also affords the opportunity to attempt and delineate some of the overall issues affecting studies of tradition and heritage and, from there, invite participants to offer suggestions as to where we are now and where we might be going next.