SOC310 Culture, Tradition, Heritage

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2016
Extent and Intensity
1/1. 10 credit(s). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Alternate Types of Completion: z (credit).
Miklós Vörös, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Csaba Szaló, Ph.D. (lecturer)
prof. PhDr. Ladislav Rabušic, CSc.
Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Soňa Enenkelová
Supplier department: Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 6. 10. 13:30–16:45 U34, Fri 7. 10. 11:30–15:00 U34, Thu 3. 11. 13:30–16:45 U34, Fri 4. 11. 11:30–15:00 U34, Thu 24. 11. 13:30–16:45 U34, Fri 25. 11. 11:30–15:00 U34
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 15 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 4/15, only registered: 0/15, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/15
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
This reading and research seminar examines the emergence of a new conceptual approach in cultural and historical studies in the early 1980s: social constructivism. In the first half of the course students read and discuss key texts published in this genre and then gradually turn their attention to a specific field of debate: the cultural heritage discourse of the last thirty years. The course explores how this discourse has influenced our conceptions about history, culture, and identity and led to the institutional development of heritage tourism in an increasingly globalized cultural landscape.

By the end of the seminar students should be able to:
-- Understand and work with the concepts of culture, tradition, and heritage.
-- Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural heritage discourse.
-- Conduct cultural research autonomously in the field of heritage studies.
  • 1. Introduction and course orientation
  • 2. Theories of identity: Essentialism and constructivism
  • 3. The role of imagination in constructing reality
  • 4. Key terms: Culture, tradition, heritage
  • 5. The invention of 'culture' in anthropology and beyond
  • 6. The location of culture: territorialization
  • 7. The problem of the ethnographic present
  • 8. Beyond culture: critical rethinking of a key concept
  • 9. The invention of tradition in modern societies
  • 10. Presentism and nostalgia: The past in the present
  • 11. Authenticity: identifying origins and authenticating the past
  • 12. The uses of folklore and intangible heritage
  • 13. The invention of heritage in late modern societies
  • 14. Transnational heritage discourse: policies and practices
  • 15. Manufacturing and marketing heritage for cultural tourism
  • 16. Discussion of case studies
    required literature
  • AlSayyad, N. (ed.) 2001. Consuming Tradition Manufacturing Heritage. Routledge, London.
  • Hobsbawm, E., Ranger, T. (eds.) 1983. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.
Teaching methods
The format of the course is a combination of brief lectures and a controlled discussion of various assigned readings (including book chapters, journal articles, case studies, as well as policy documents).

The students should be prepared to give concise presentations on some key readings and case studies during the class meetings and carry out brief research tasks between them.
Assessment methods
Class attendance (10%):
Students are required to attend every seminar meeting

Two class presentations (50%):
1. A critical review of a course reading
2. A case study of a cultural heritage site

Final essay (40%)
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2009, Autumn 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Autumn 2011, Spring 2012, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014, Autumn 2015.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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