Uncertainty and reflexivity: the legacy of Victor Turner
Donatella Schmidt (Università di Padova)
Giovanna Palutan (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Start time:
11 July, 2012 at 14:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Is a rereading of Turner's social drama, particularly of the redressive and reflective phase, capable of unveiling the sense of what is occurring in our towns experiencing profound transformations? We invite panelists to explore this question drawing upon their specific field studies

Long abstract:

The contemporary European and Mediterranean scenario is experiencing profound transformations which fall under the rubric of globalization spin-off: juvenile upsurges demanding a renewal of the status quo, (the "indignados" in Spain, violent rioting in London neighborhoods, the "Arab spring" in North-African countries); the role of social network in spreading protest movements; African refugees perilously crossing the Sicilian channel; migratory flows and new multicultural contexts that are forcing the redefinition of national narratives; the inclusion of new histories as the iron curtain was lifted across the Continent; the difficulties experienced by supranational institutions vis-à-vis regional loyalties. Often overlooked, however, is that this large scale dynamism has concrete repercussions on local realities often struggling not to become strange to themselves; such repercussions are particularly visible in the public sphere where conflicts are displayed and where new images of selfhood are constructed. In this process, no change of perspective is accepted passively by the actors engrossed in it. We query whether Turner's 'social drama' is an applicable model for exploring a range of questions: are the dynamics that are upsetting local space recognizable as crises? Can public narrative and performative moments help in overcoming them? Which mechanisms are set up to handle crises and to imagine an alternative future?" Finally, is a rereading of Turner's processual model, particularly of the redressive and reflective phase, capable of unveiling the sense of what is occurring in our towns, in the dozens of public events of the actors involved? We invite panelists to explore these questions, drawing from their specific field studies.