As someone who has studied identity theory mostly within the context of one specific subculture/movement/religion, I found this book an enlightening iAs someone who has studied identity theory mostly within the context of one specific subculture/movement/religion, I found this book an enlightening introduction to this particular discourse in cultural anthropology and sociology. While Jenkins' work confirmed many of my own hunches and conclusions based on my limited fieldwork and discourse analysis, it also opened my eyes to new ways of viewing the relationships between individual and collective identities. It is a fairly easy read for newcomers to relevant fields, referencing supporting studies without elaborating on quantitative data within the text. Jenkins also provides helpful clarifications in terminology - e.g. group, category, institution, organization, individual, person, self - challenging common usages of terms we may take for granted or give little consideration in everyday conversation. In this sense, again, Social Identity is a useful starting point for social theorists, and an eye-opening text for anyone else interested in key concepts in identity theory.
Also, this is only the 3rd book I have read on my Kindle for Mac app, and I'm still getting used to this type of reading. This is the kind of text I would prefer to read on paper, making it easier to highlight and write notes in the margins....more
This book is an excellent introduction to problems within various claims of authenticity, cultural ownership, and identity. Lindholm's writing is acceThis book is an excellent introduction to problems within various claims of authenticity, cultural ownership, and identity. Lindholm's writing is accessible and engaging, so even readers outside of the social sciences can appreciate his informative and balanced approaches to many paradoxical attempts at rediscovery, revitalization, or preservation of treasured cultural products. The structure of this book is simple, perhaps obvious, but effective in demonstrating the diverse manifestations of authenticity discourse: food, tourism, music, nationalism, religious experience, ethnic identity, and even the ethnographic project are all examined in a way that should give pause to those who subscribe to any singular option as "real" or "original." Aside from a few typographical errors, my only complaint with this book was that the author did not devote more attention to issues of authenticity and ownership of music. Although Lindholm devotes sufficient attention to each topic for what is clearly an introductory overview, my primary research interests include perspectives on musical origins and ownership, so I would have liked to see, at the very least, more references to authors who deal with authenticity and music in more detail....more
Not bad for an introduction, but I would have liked to read more about the blues, gospel, and other African American music. Spencer has written extensNot bad for an introduction, but I would have liked to read more about the blues, gospel, and other African American music. Spencer has written extensively on these genres in his other works, which I look forward to reading, yet he barely scratches the surface here. Still, this is a nice introduction to the theoretical backgrounds of theomusicology, and the writing is more than sufficiently accessible for readers without any ethno, anthro, or RS experience....more