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Vocational Migrants and a Tradition of Longing

Marchand, Trevor H.J. (2007) 'Vocational Migrants and a Tradition of Longing.' Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, 19 (1). pp. 23-40.

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Abstract

This paper challenges the assumption that ‘tradition’ is a quality pertaining chiefly to objects, stylistic conventions or use of materials. Equally it refutes the notion that tradition is merely the perpetuation of ritualised practices or skilled techniques. By considering the complex relation between vocational migration, heritage and identity among contemporary fine woodworkers at London’s Building Crafts College, I argue that ‘tradition’ is a state of mind, and more specifically a recurring nostalgia for an idealised past or the desire for a utopian future. More specifically, the paper investigates a ‘tradition of longing’ for engagement in non-alienating modes of production, aesthetic work and an authentic way of living.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 10502092
Depositing User: Trevor Marchand
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2008 09:10
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4944

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