Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Death and its effect on tradition and history.

It is the phenomena of death that creates change.  Have you noticed how major changes seem to only happen generation to generation?  It is true that older persons are more set in their ways and beliefs, and when the mid-liners of a generation (20's, 30's, etc) start to come into their own, differently opinionated mindset, the changes and acceptances really take place as the children of this generation grow up.

In the same way, traditions really spike and change generation to generation - as the same mid-liners become older, they also become experts of certain subjects or traditions.  And with their slightly different mind-set, they are bound to change and innovate (for different reasons from artistic innovation to repugnance of certain bits, etc - it all depends on the person, the time period, what is accepted, etc) within the tradition.

With their expert status, and no older generation to challenge them and stagnate the changes, the younger generation perceives these new introductions as inherently part of the tradition.  And so, with death, traditions have the ability to change quite fluidly and without protest.  I believe Richard Schechner elaborates upon this phenomena within his book, Between Theater and Anthropology.

Maybe this is something everyone knew already but I had to write down this connection because it brings up the idea that perhaps it's not individual people who change and accept something new but literally the environment you grow up in, making it more a community phenomena.

No comments:

Post a Comment