Evropská etnologie a koncept nehmotného kulturního dědictví
European Ethnology and Concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage
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The article deals with critical analysis of contemporary acceptance of the intangible cultural heritage concept in field of European ethnology. European ethnology has strong historic experience with making the key analytical terms of its study (“folk”, “traditional folk culture”, “folklore”, “tradition”) problematical. In its long history, these terms were more times redefined, deconstructed or even fully abandoned. In the last years, external as well as internal criticism of this traditional ethnological terminology led to a quick acceptance of an applied and originally political term “intangible cultural heritage” that was primarily created for the UNESCO international agenda. Unlike the above mentioned traditional ethnological terms, this concept features a lot of undoubted advantages (modern understanding of culture as a process and practice, not only as a product; social construction of its meaning; taking into consideration the community’s and society’s decision about its passing down from generation to generation; international consensus about its meaning). On the other hand, however, it brings about a lot of problematical facts (derivation from an unclearly defined applied concept of “heritage”; nature of a mere enumeration of designates; weak theoretical reflexion of the concept in the contrast with its strong political and ideological background). On a ground of the concise overview Begriffgeschichte, i.e. a brief history of the European ethnology’s terminology, the essay tries to find a corresponding position for this concept and to contemplate its role for this unusual discipline that is located at the boundary line between historiography, social sciences and humanities.
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