Listing to survive. Why the Dutch traveler community wanted to have its heritage officially recognized

F. P. Wagenaar, J. Rodenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In recent times, the Dutch Traveler community has successfully gained official recognition of its heritage. At first glance, one would consider that Tajfel’s ‘creativity’–in this case a desire to change a ‘negative social identity’ through the use of heritage–explains the aim of the community to gain official recognition. However, if ‘creativity’ were responsible for this aspiration, it would be an extreme and radical form of it. The aim of the Traveler community to preserve its way of life and its survival as an ‘ethnic group’ lies at the heart of its motivation to strive for official recognition of its heritage and use this recognition as a weapon against the local authorities. In this interesting case of legal ‘instrumentalization’ of cultural heritage, the actions of the Dutch Traveler community prompted changes in governmental policies. Prior to receiving official recognition of their heritage, policies were often aimed at abolishing their way of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Policy
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Cultural heritage
  • ethnogenesis
  • intangible heritage
  • policy-making
  • travelers

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