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Festivity and sociability : a study of a Celtic music festival

By Catherine M Matheson


This article centers on authenticity and social relations within a commodified Celtic music festival framework. The impact of the tourism commodification process upon environs and culture has generated a veritable plethora of studies, the precursor to this being MacCannell's theorization of the leisure class. In an attempt to explain the meaning and significance of social relations within a festival context, specific attention is paid to Maffesoli's theory of the neo-tribe and emotional community. Drawing upon empirical data from a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews with festival producers and consumers of a Celtic music festival in Scotland, this article challenges Maffesoli's dismissal of the relevance of class grouping and suggests dimensions of the backstage region of festival social space: first, through participating in "real" culture in an intimate environment; second, by playing an instrument or singing; third, through the strengthening of social networks. It is argued that the tourism commodification process is resisted to attain authentic social relations through the backstage region of social space

Topics: GT
Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corp
Year: 2005
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