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When traditional festivals are dissonant with social integration

AuthorsMartí Pérez, Josep
Issue Date2004
PublisherMaria Curie-Skłodowska University
CitationWhen traditional festivals are dissonant with social integration", in Mieczyslawa Marczuka (ed.), The Universal Values and National distinctiness of Traditio¬nal European Cultures, Lublin: IOV - Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, pp. 138-144
AbstractFestivals are an important sector of folk and popular culture. Because of the current importance given to culture and tradition considerable effort has been invested in the maintainance and fostering of such festivals. Nevertheless, as an expression of the past, the world-view which these festivals imply can occasionally collide against current social values, which are directly correlated to the issue of people living together in harmony. In this case, we very often speak from a traditionalism which is clearly based on an acritical and reified view of culture. This particular way of understanding culture may permeate not only traditional folk festivals but also other ones which, according to well-intentioned multiculturalist perspectives, are organized more and more in Western Europe. Although the aim of these festivals is to support social integration, throughout their reified view of culture they may, in fact, contribute toward legitimizing social constructs which tend to strengthen hierarchical differences between authoctonous and immigrants. We are here faced with a paradox which demands a clear and critical stance by anthropologists.
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