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Inventing Tradition

The definition of the term tradition is wide ranging and fluid. It is commonly accepted to refer to a set of practices, customs, or values, largely of a symbolic nature, that are passed through generations through repetition (and often ceremony) thus inferring a sense of continuity and identity. Traditions are often held in high regard, as perceived wisdom transmitted from one generation to the next to be revered and protected. The term inventing tradition was first coined by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger in their 1983 publication The Invention of Tradition to describe fictitious, socially constructed practices, which are governed (both overtly and tacitly) by accepted rules and/or ritual to inoculate certain values, norms, and behaviors. This groundbreaking but contested collection of essays questioned the ...

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