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Accepted Paper:

Revitalizing 'community': new perspectives on an old notion  
Roberta Clara Zanini (University of Turin)

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on the heuristic value of a classic anthropological concept, that of community. During the last twenty years the need to "rethink the community", by assessing which elements of the original concept can still be useful to depict present situations, has been emphasized. The "macro-concept" of community has been substituted by many intermediate categories that cover lower portions of the research field, allowing, however, for more appropriate levels of research. I intend to focus on two specific aspects: the study of the symbolic dimension of the community and the examination of its boundaries, both real and symbolic, by borrowing some conceptual tools from "micro-history". In fact, the analysis of a community involves also the investigation of how it is perceived by its members, in order to understand the community itself and its relations with the outside.

Panel W007
Intermediate categories
  Session 1