Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies
Contestation and Symbolic Landscapes
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
312 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 11 illus.
- ISBN: 9780812221978
- Published: February 2012
From cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper to displays of the Confederate battle flag over the South Carolina statehouse, acts of cultural significance have set off political conflicts and sometimes violence. These and other expressions and enactments of culture—whether in music, graffiti, sculpture, flag displays, parades, religious rituals, or film—regularly produce divisive and sometimes prolonged disputes. What is striking about so many of these conflicts is their emotional intensity, despite the fact that in many cases what is at stake is often of little material value. Why do people invest so much emotional energy and resources in such conflicts? What is at stake, and what does winning or losing represent? The answers to these questions explored in Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies view cultural expressions variously as barriers to, or opportunities for, inclusion in a divided society's symbolic landscape and political life.
Though little may be at stake materially, deep emotional investment in conflicts over cultural acts can have significant political consequences. At the same time, while cultural issues often exacerbate conflict, new or redefined cultural expressions and enactments can redirect long-standing conflicts in more constructive directions and promote reconciliation in ways that lead to or reinforce formal peace agreements. Encompassing work by a diverse group of scholars of American studies, anthropology, art history, religion, political science, and other fields, Culture and Belonging in Divided Societies addresses the power of cultural expressions and enactments in highly charged settings, exploring when and how changes in a society's symbolic landscape occur and what this tells us about political life in the societies in which they take place.
1. Cultural Contestation and the Symbolic Landscape: Politics by Other Means?
—Marc Howard Ross
2. The Rise and Fall of a Sacred Place: Ayodhya over Three Decades
—Richard H. Davis
3. Social Lives of the Dead: Contestation and Continuities in the Hawaiian Repatriation Context
4. Flagging Peace: Struggles over Symbolic Landscape in the New Northern Ireland Dominic
—Bryan Clifford Stevenson
5. Conflict Transformation, Cultural Innovation, and Loyalist Identity in Northern Ireland
—Lee A. Smithey
6. Islamic Headscarves in Public Schools: Explaining France's Legal Restrictions
—Elaine R. Thomas
7. Minority Language Policy in France: Jacobinism, Cultural Pluralism, and Ethnoregional Identities
8. Symbols of Reconciliation or Instruments of Division? A Critical Look at New Monuments in South Africa
9. Emerging Multiculturalisms in South African Museum Practice: Some Examples from the Western Cape
10. Strategies for Transforming and Enlarging South Africa's Post-Apartheid Symbolic Landscape
—Marc Howard Ross
11. Invisible House, Invisible Slavery: Struggles of Public History at Independence National Historical Park
12. Politicizing Chinese New Year Festivals: Cold War Politics, Transnational Conflicts, and Chinese America
13. Paddy, Shylock, and Sambo: Irish, Jewish, and African American Efforts to Ban Racial Ridicule on Stage and Screen
—M. Alison Kibler
—Edward T. Linenthal
List of Contributors
"[This volume's] strong comparative framework reflects both the careful scholarship of each author as well as the excellent editorial work of Marc Howard Ross. He has managed to elicit from this collection a drive and coherence that makes the entire book a pleasure to read."—Political Psychology