5 maps, 2 genealogies, 1 figure
Text language: German
Tradition and history are central terms in anthropology. Hitherto very few studies have actually delt with the definitions and connotations of these core concepts, although the distinction often becomes crucial when applied in legal or political contexts. Drawn from long-term research in a northern Australian Aboriginal community, the case studies presented in “… same but different …” provide the basis for epistomological as well as practical critique, analysis and discussion of these concepts and for the theoretical elaboration of more precise definitions.
Central to the book is an analysis of the everyday life of an Aboriginal community dealing with the impact of land grants und the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territories) Act, 1976: how people understand, interpret and integrate the granting of land as a result of formalized legislation; how they operate with this legislation in their everyday lifes; how it influenced relations to land as well as local conceptions of the past. Certain legal provisions have led to some lively communal examinations of ostensibly established notions of tradition and history, thereby revealing supposedly static structures to be highly dynamic.
Beyond politics and legitimation, the local reconstructions of history and tradition provide people with meaning, sense and orientation in a world of continuous change. The creation of the past, however, involves much wider social processes, which are determined by and related to the present. In order to approach the conceptual foundations of tradition and history, the author focusses on the present as a framework for the active and constructive creation of the past.