Theorists tend to limit ‘history's’ role in the dynamics of ethnicity to that generally played by collective memory. By bringing the notion of historical consciousness to the fore, new possibilities may, however, emerge for discerning how history, as one cultural mode of remembering among many others, impacts both ethnicity delineations and fluctuations in boundary maintenance. In encapsulating the many forms of commemoration as well as the different dimensions of historical thinking, the contribution of historical consciousness accordingly lies on how group members historicize temporal change for moral orientation in time. By likewise signifying past events for negotiating their ethnicity and agency toward the ‘significant Other’, social actors gate-keep group boundaries. And, depending on their capacity and willingness to recognize the ‘significant Other's’ moral and historical agency in the flow of time, they can transform group delineations and render ethnic boundaries more porous.
Historical Consciousness and Ethnicity: How Signifying the Past Influences the Fluctuations in Ethnic Boundary Maintenance
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Paul Zanazanian; Historical Consciousness and Ethnicity: How Signifying the Past Influences the Fluctuations in Ethnic Boundary Maintenance. Ethnic Studies Review 1 January 2010; 33 (2): 123–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2010.33.2.123
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