Kulturarv som livsvärden : En kritisk undersökning av kulturarvsbegreppet
This critical examination of the concept of cultural heritage is based on an overall phenomenological approach, with focus on Alfred Schütz’s further development of Edmund Husserl’s idea of the lifeworld. With strong emphasis on the subjective and intersubjective dimensions, the concept of cultural heritage is contextualized, analysed and criticized from different aspects for the purpose of enriching the discourse of cultural heritage.
A literature based methodology is used, including a hermeneutic analysis of theoretical texts in the field of cultural heritage studies and the new Swedish Culture Environmental Law (“Kulturmiljölagen”) and related bills. Qualitative interviews deal with people’s notions about the concepts of culture, cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage. Finally, this study includes field observations of the Mount Dajti National Park in Albania, involving a visual methodology (photos) and non-visual field notes.
A linguistic analysis with a gender perspective, finds that the concept of cultural heritage can be criticized for its patriarchal connotations. The central issue with the concept of cultural heritage concerns its involvement in the complexity of fixed notions and definitions, causing arbitrariness and ambivalence. The interview data indicates a strong connection between cultural heritage and history, despite their distinction. The field observations verify this complexity through an account of the relationship between cultural and natural heritage. The constitutions and values of cultural heritage are established within the Authorized Heritage Discourse (AHD), obviating alternative notions of heritage. Thence, this thesis stresses the importance of going beyond the discursive frames and of transparency and critical reflection within the field of cultural heritage. Phenomena can always be interpreted in a subjective or intersubjective way, leading to dissonant and contested heritage, and a new term called “life values”.
This is a two-year master’s thesis in Archive, Library and Museum studies.
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