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'Community': a useful concept in heritage studies?

Berger, Stefan, Dicks, Bella ORCID: and Fontaine, Marion 2019. 'Community': a useful concept in heritage studies? International Journal of Heritage Studies 26 (4) , pp. 325-351. 10.1080/13527258.2019.1630662

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This article aims to show the clearly differentiated national context in which concepts of community as used in heritage developed from the late nineteenth century to the present day. In the first part of this article, we look at the origins of the academic use of ‘community’ in Germany from the late nineteenth century to the present day arguing that its association with National Socialism has tainted the concept permanently. In the second part of this article, we move to France, where we also find a long-term scepticism when it comes to the concept of community. The strong republican tradition, which mistrusted everything that was capable of constructing identities that would divide and compartmentalise the republican ethos, rejected notions of community. Ideas associated with community were usually seen as particularist and therefore incompatible with the universalism of republicanism in France. In the final part of the article, we compare the sceptical reception of ‘community’ in the German and French cases with a far more positive left-wing tradition of community studies in Britain. The comparison of the uses of the concept of community in those three countries shows how a transnational dialogue can lead to more theoretically aware use of the concept of ‘community’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1352-7258
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 6 June 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 07:17

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