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Title: The maintenance of cultural identity : a comparative study of the Windward Maroons of Jamaica and the Amish of Ohio
Author: Sim, Allan James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3411 7731
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1994
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In the past the theories of the Cooley/Mead "looking-glass self" [1934, 1964] and the social negotiation of identity have been applied to the individual. This research aims at studying whether the theory can also be applied to specific groups strategies for the maintenance of their identity. The Windward Maroons and the Amish of Ohio were chosen for this research on the basis of factors of comparability. The origins and the social structure of each of the two subject groups is discussed in detail. Their communal development is discussed in detail in terms of the three central bases of group solidarity, ie. myth/ritual, language and land. The origin myths of both the Amish and the Maroons are discussed within the context of a general analysis of the topic of the interpretation of myths. The manner in which myth is utilised by the two cultures to maintain their identity is examined. The effects of tourism on the Maroons and the Amish is an integral piece of this research. The economic repercussions of tourism on identity are analysed. The appropriation and commodification of cultural symbols is discussed and linked with the theory of the "looking-glass self". Due to the greater concentration of the tourist sites and tourist centred advertising there is a greater focus on the Amish in this matter than on the Maroons. The relative ease of access to the Amish sites, in comparison to those of the Maroons, also contributes to this. My findings reveal that there is at the present time a possibility that both of the cultures studied will be subject to the increased erosion of their distinct cultural identity. As their defining symbols continue to be commodified their capability of negotiating their identity with the wider society will be impoverished.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology