Imagining Difference: Legend, Curse, and Spectacle in a Canadian Mining Town

Imagining Difference: Legend, Curse, and Spectacle in a Canadian Mining Town

By: Leslie A. Robertson (author)Hardback

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Stories are important vehicles for social knowledge, as they're used to construct and transmit perceptions of the world around us. They are powerful imaginative resources that help to explain or negotiate conflict in the contexts of colonialism, war, immigration, labour strife, natural disaster, treaty making, and globalization. As such, they allow us to engage with different understandings of human difference.In Imagining Difference, Leslie Robertson turns to a popular local legend to explore the social construction of difference through ideas of "race," "foreignness," and regional, class, and religious identity, as expressed by residents of Fernie, British Columbia, a coal mining town on its way to becoming an international ski resort. The legend revolves around a curse cast on the valley by indigenous people in the nineteenth century. Successive interpretations of the story reveal a complicated landscape of memory and silence, mapping official and contested histories, social and scientific theories, as well as the edicts of political discourse. Cursing becomes a metaphor for the discursive power that resonates in political, popular, and cultural contexts, transmitting ideas of difference across generations and geographies. Paying close attention to public performances, mass media, and processes of place-making, Robertson examines forms of social knowledge circulating within local settings, which shape shared understandings and common-sense views of the world. While situated historically and socially in Fernie, this ethnographic study offers significant insights into the cultural foundations of rural communities generally. It shows how people summon imagery from diverse European traditions and personal histories to weave complex webs of representation.

About Author

Leslie A. Robertson teaches in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia.


Illustrations Acknowledgments Preface: Knowing Who Your Neighbours Are Introduction: Ideas Make Acts Possible Part One: Politics of Cursing 1. Conversations among Europeans and Other Acts of Possession 2 Latkep Ansicht View B??: Constructing the "Foreign" 3 "The Story As I Know It" Part Two: Imagining Difference 4 A Moment of Silence 5 Getting Rid of the Story 6 Development, Discovery, and Disguise 7 One Step Beyond Epilogue: Waiting Notes References Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780774810920
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 348
  • ID: 9780774810920
  • weight: 580
  • ISBN10: 0774810920

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