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The Strength of Weak Heritages: Urbanity, Utopias and the Commitment to Intangible Heritage

  • Michel Rautenberg
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Abstract

Rautenberg casts his discussion in the current context of strong heritage policies and local passions and interests, which he calls ‘weak heritages’ because of their very low level of institutionalisation. He examines two ethnographies: Villeurbanne, a town near Lyon that has traditionally hosted refugee and migrant associations, and Villeneuve d’Ascq, in the north of France, where pioneers’ utopia of country town was established in the 1970s. In both cases, in opposition to official policies, ‘weak’ local heritage has succeeded in preserving local practices and parts of landscapes to which people are attached. Both cases involve what Rautenberg calls ‘social heritage’, whose strength, he argues, lies in their plasticity. They do not belong to anybody, can appeal to a range of new social arenas and make people feel that they are the inheritors of a history.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Rautenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Lyon, UJM St-EtienneSaint-EtienneFrance

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