Off the Edge: Experiments in Cultural Analysis (Ethnologia Europaea)

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9788763505093: Off the Edge: Experiments in Cultural Analysis (Ethnologia Europaea)
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Have you ever heard of the cream effect or witnessed the power of cultural backdraft? Have you watched the slow process of fossilization or used the tactics of cultural stealth? You might be waiting for just the right word to describe what you have seen and done. This collection revitalizes the study of the cultural processes of stability and change. The 25 essays invent new processes for a rapidly changing world. They illustrate how different perspectives enrich cultural analysis and add a bit of playfulness and experimentation to a longstanding academic issue. The authors—from anthropology, European ethnology, sociology, and cultural studies—are peeking into blind spots and looking under the furniture in order to understand why and how some kinds of social life become visible, while so many others remain unseen. This book will inspire researchers and students to develop new approaches in cultural analysis. This is a reprint of the journal Ethnologia Europaea - Journal of European Ethnology—Vol. 35.

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"Meant neither as normative description nor as a manual for the future, the book suggest alternative ways of looking at culture, as well as alternative aspects of culture to look at, thereby opening up a necessary and, som might argue, long overdue debate. ... this reviewer hopes very much that its contributors will join the panels and workshops at the 2008 conference of the Societe Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore in their endeavour of 'liberating the ethnological imagination'." - Ullrich Kockel, Ethnologia Scandinavica, vol. 37, 2007 "Off the Edge: Experiments in Cultural Analysis, edited by Orvar Lofgren and Richard Wilk, is a delightfully quirky and wonderfully provocative collection of twenty-five short essays dedicated to new ideas about cultural analysis. ... The importance of Off the Edge ... does not lie in its theoretical and methological claims. Rather, it is the playful and inviting nature of the project that promises to open up discussion, to push us in new (or perhaps old) directions, and to get us thinking in novel ways. ... As with all edited volumes, some essays in Off the Edge are stronger than others. However, as you read through the collection as a whole, the pleasure of thinking along with the authors as they undertake the challenging excercise of (re)inventing a cultural proces or a new style of cultural analysis far outweighs any of the individual weaknesses or flaws. In addition, Off the Edge is full of ironic, witty, incongruous photographs that enrich both the aesthetic as well as the intellectual quality of the book. ... In gratitude, we should continue the spirit of their project among ourselves, with our colleagues in other disciplines, and with our students." - Kimberley J. Lau, Journal of American Folklore 122 (2009)

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Lofgren, Orvar (edt); Wilk, Richard (edt)
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