Tradition, cultures and communities: Exploring the potentials of music and the arts for community development in Appalachia

Brian McGrath, M. A. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the face of modernity and a host of social and economic challenges facing our communities, the loss of traditional cultures and ways of life has become an ever increasing concern. This is particularly disturbing in areas characterized by strong oral traditions and unique characteristics largely shaped by their cultural behaviors, such as storytelling, music, and social integration mechanisms. In the current environment of change and cultural loss, we believe that aspects of traditional culture deserve more attention in understanding contemporary community change and positive development. Based on exploratory research and a wide range of key informant interviews conducted throughout Appalachia, we explore the process and significance of creative cultural practices, particularly based on "tradition," as mechanisms for generating community interaction, retaining and communicating collective knowledge, and the implications of such practices on community and social well-being. As such, we present an integrated conceptual model to demonstrate what we see as significant connections and justifications in making the case for endogenous culture and traditions as beneficial to the emergence of "community.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-358
Number of pages19
JournalCommunity Development
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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