33 research outputs found

    Endangered Species of the Physical Cultural Landscape: Globalization, Nationalism, and Safeguarding Traditional Folk Games

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    Folk sports are the countertype of modern sports: invented traditions, bolstered by tangible ritual and intangible myth, played by the common folk in order to express a romantic ethnic identity. Like other cultural forms, traditional sports and games around the world are becoming marginalized in the face of modernization and globalization. In 2003, UNESCO ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in an attempt to counter such trends of cultural homogenization. As elements of intangible cultural heritage, folk sports now fall under the auspices of UNESCO safeguarding policies. As such, the objective of this study was to understand the reactions of UNESCO and national agencies to the folk sport revival movement and, conversely, to understand the effects of supranational safeguarding policies on the marginalization of folk sport. Through the lens of globalization theory, the primary research methodology employed was a comparative case study analysis of four UNESCO-safeguarded folk sports (Turkish oil wrestling, Brazilian capoeira, Kyrgyz kok boru, and Irish hurling). The selection of the case studies was based on geography, sport type, safeguarding mechanisms, type of nationalism, and marginality. Henning Eichberg’s folk sport modernization outcomes of sportification, pedagogization, and folklorization figured prominently throughout the cases, along with two newly-proposed methods: retraditionalization and nationalization. Upon examination of the four case studies, it became clear that the nomination of local folk sports to the UNESCO Representative List was dictated by touristic and nationalistic motivations, rather than cultural safeguarding ones. Although it was not evident that UNESCO heritagization had a direct affect on the practice, status, and meaning of folk sports, there was an affect on the relationship between folk sport preservation and nation-building narratives: External nationalists vie for global recognition through ‘UNESCO status’; folk sport (also termed ethnosport) remains a symbol of ethnonational identity; and cultural nationalists seek to bolster national unity through shared cultural traditions, such as the adoption of national folk sports. By mobilizing knowledge across a spectrum of academic disciplines, this study provides a renewed perspective to the notion of intangible cultural heritage and folk sporting traditions in our increasingly homogeneous global village

    Gender politics and security discourse

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    Since the United Nations Security Council adopted UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000, there have been debates about how to achieve "gender security". This thesis explores competing modes of constructions about "gender security" within feminist and women's NGOs in Serbia, highlighting the ways that personal-political imaginations of Serbia's conflict and post-conflict pasts, presents and futures affect the logics of "gender security". Part one explores the configurations of "gender security" amongst feminist and women's NGOs in Serbia. Post-structural discourse analysis strategies are deployed to investigate the personal-political imaginations of conflict and post-conflict constituting how feminism and security is thought about. Utilising field research conducted in Serbia during 2008 and 2009, the discursive construction of competing modes of thought about gender and/or security amongst activists is revealed, highlighting that the way that conflict and post-conflict is thought about profoundly affects these modes of thought. Part two is an in-depth examination of the performance of UNseR 1325 within two case studies. UNSCR 1325 is taken to be the site of discursive contact between gender and security, and is productive of the articulation and representation of gender security policies and agendas. The first case study centres upon the feminist-pacifist debate, focussing upon Women in Black. UNSCR 1325 is utilised as a political tool to support the advocacy work of Women in Black. In contrast, the second case study explores ways specific discourses of gender security has stimulated political action. An investigation of the broader domestic violence debate in Serbia makes clear how international gender security discourses triggered an increasing concern about small arms and light weapons (SALW) abuse within domestic violence. Subsequently, activists have pushed SALW concerns higher up the domestic violence agenda in Serbia. The variations in how UNSCR 1325 is utilised is a consequence of the particular configuration of gender security, arising from personal-political imaginations of conflict and post-conflict amongst activists

    “To Gallop Together to War is Simple-- To Make Peace is Complex” Indigenous Informal Restorative Conflict Resolution Practices Among Kazakhs: An Ethnographic Case Study

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    Advocates of restorative and transitional justice practice have long drawn from practices of indigenous peoples to form the basis for more sustainable, relational, participatory, community-based approaches to conflict resolution. With the resurgence in Kazakh nationalism since the Republic of Kazakhstan independence, repatriated diasporic Kazakhs, who through cultural survival in diaspora retain more of their ethno-cultural characteristics, influence a revival of Kazakh language and culture. The purpose of this study was to understand the indigenous informal restorative conflict resolution practices of the Kazakh people. The questions that drove this study were: What indigenous informal forms of dispute resolution have been in use among Kazakhs, as reflected in their folklore and proverbs; which have continued in use among diasporic semi-nomadic Kazakh populations; and, which, if any, are restorative in nature? This ethnographic multi-case study incorporates participant observation and semi-structured interviews of participants selected through snowball sampling from among diasporic Kazakhs in, or repatriated from, China. Kazakh folklore and proverb collections were examined for conflict resolution practices and values at the family and kinship levels. Key theories used to explore the topic include Post-Colonial Theory of Sub-Altern Agency, Essentialism Theory, Soviet Ethnos Theory, and Restoration of Trust Theory. This study expands the knowledge base regarding indigenous systems of conflict resolution and contributes to the ethnography of the Kazakh people. The existence of indigenous informal restorative Kazakh systems of conflict resolution can inform reassessment and reform of public policy as to alternatives to punitive criminal justice practices
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