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|Title:||Celebrating Ethnicity: The Icelanders of Manitoba|
|Authors:||Brydon , Anne|
|Keywords:||Icelandic community of Manitoba, festival, identity, production, reproduction, transformation, social relations,|
|Abstract:||Using data collected in the Icelandic community of Manitoba in the summer of 1985, this thesis outlines an alternative approach to the understanding of ethnicity in North America through analysis of the Icelandic Festival held each summer in Gimli, Manitoba. The Festival provides an entree through which the dynamics of the production, reproduction and transformation of West Icelandic identity are revealed. It is argued that when ethnic identity is conceived as being resident in the possession of particular attributes or characteristics, change becomes a threat to the continued existence of the ethnic group. As defined in this thesis, ethnic identity is an ideological representation of social relations which is contextualized in a particular historic formation. It involves a constant negotiation of the symbolic representation of identity through social interaction, and is contingent upon the consequences of these actions. Change, therefore, is a normal process of ethnicity which does not necessarily end in assimilation. Though the content of identity changes according to changing circumstances, it must retain the appearance of an "authentic" representation of the past. The Festival is a location of the political negotiation of Icelandic identity, as seen in the debates which exist in the community regarding the relevance of its Icelandic cultural content. It is argued that, while the Festival continues to address a public image of how the organizers believe the community should be perceived by the larger society, it is also a time when a private celebration takes place. This latter aspect of the Festival is where the perpetuation of the meaningfulness of Icelandic identity occurs. It is contained within the family reunions which take place during the Festival and the return to a sense of the past which is linked to a shared West Icelandic history.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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