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From a given to a construct: Heritage as a commons

AuthorsAlonso González, Pablo
Keywordscultural heritage; common; community; knowledge practices; social theory; post-industrial economy
Issue Date2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationCultural Studies 28(3): 359-390 (2014)
AbstractThe transition towards a cognitive and post-industrial economy has led to the emergence of new strategies of capture of the immanent productive capacities of the social forces. Heritage entities are subject to, and also participate in, processes by which common creativity and knowledge are being harnessed by novel forms of rent and control. The objective of this paper was to show that conceiving heritage as a common situated in specific contexts rather than as a universal essence can open up novel epistemological spheres of communication between different knowledge practices. Also, it can help bridge some ontological gaps among the various stakeholders in the arena of heritage, such as academics, managers, architects, local communities and market forces. This entails considering heritage as an emergent material and immaterial construction process involving many different agents. Currently, these processes tend towards the privatization of common values and the shattering of local communities. Normally, this situation entails a fundamental alienation between objects and subjects, and the reification of heritage. This paper suggests that considering heritage as a common could provide a different perspective to tackle this crucial problem. Accordingly, scholars should not only be bound to a critical discursive stance, but should also commit to ‘ontological politics’ that would situate them as mediators between the global hierarchies of value generated by heritage and the common productive potential of local communities.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2013.789067
Appears in Collections:(INCIPIT) Artículos
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