A TRADITION is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or
society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in
the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but
socially meaningful clothes (like lawyers\' wigs or military officers'
spurs ), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as
greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of
years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the
One way tradition is used more simply, often in academic work but
elsewhere also, is to indicate the quality of a piece of information
being discussed. The phrase "according to tradition," or "by
tradition," usually means that whatever information follows is known
only by oral tradition, but is not supported, (and perhaps may be
refuted) by physical documentation, by a physical artifact, or other
quality evidence. For example, "According to tradition, Homer was born
on Chios, but many other locales have historically claimed him as
theirs." This tradition may never be proven or disproven. In another
Aside from this use in describing the quality of information, various scholarly fields define the term differently, as is needed. For example, anthropology and biology have each defined tradition it more precisely than in conventional, as described below, in order to facilitate scholarly discourse.
The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous
time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For
example, it is the basis of the political concept of traditionalism ,
and also strands of many world religions including traditional
Catholicism . In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the
correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of
traditional genres (such as traditional dance), adherence to
guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given
greater importance than the performer's own preferences. A number of
factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition , including
industrialization, globalization , and the assimilation or
marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this,
tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many
countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional
* 1 Definition * 2 Invention of tradition
* 3 In scholarly discourse
* 4 In political and religious discourse * 5 In artistic discourse * 6 Relationship to other concepts * 7 Preservation of tradition * 8 Traditional cultural expressions * 9 See also
* 10 References
* 10.1 Works cited
* 11 Further reading
Textual traditions of bound manuscripts of the Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) are passed down providing additional vowel points , pronunciation marks and stress accents in the authentic Masoretic Text of the Jewish Bible , often the basis for translations of the Christian Old Testament
The English word "tradition" comes from the
As with many other generic terms, there are many definitions of tradition. The concept includes a number of interrelated ideas; the unifying one is that tradition refers to beliefs, objects or customs performed or believed in the past, originating in it, transmitted through time by being taught by one generation to the next, and are performed or believed in the present.
There are various origins and fields of tradition; they can refer to:
* the forms of artistic heritage of a particular culture. * beliefs or customs instituted and maintained by societies and governments, such as national anthems and national holidays , such as Federal holidays in the United States . * beliefs or customs maintained by religious denominations and church bodies that share history, customs, culture, and, to some extent, body of teachings. For example, one can speak of Islam's tradition or Christianity's tradition.
Many objects, beliefs and customs can be traditional. Rituals of
social interaction can be traditional, with phrases and gestures such
as saying "thank you", sending birth announcements , greeting cards ,
INVENTION OF TRADITION
Main article: Invented tradition
The term "invention of tradition ", introduced by
E. J. Hobsbawm ,
refers to situations when a new practice or object is introduced in a
manner that implies a connection with the past that is not necessarily
present. A tradition may be deliberately created and promulgated for
personal, commercial, political, or national self-interest , as was
done in colonial Africa; or it may be adopted rapidly based on a
single highly publicized event, rather than developing and spreading
organically in a population, as in the case of the white wedding dress
, which only became popular after
An example of an invention of tradition is the rebuilding of the
Palace of Westminster
Invented traditions are a central component of modern national cultures, providing a commonality of experience and promoting the unified national identity espoused by nationalism . Common examples include public holidays (particularly those unique to a particular nation), the singing of national anthems, and traditional national cuisine (see national dish ). Expatriate and immigrant communities may continue to practice the national traditions of their home nation.
IN SCHOLARLY DISCOURSE
In science, tradition is often used in the literature in order to define the relationship of an author's thoughts to that of his or her field. In 1948, philosopher of science Karl Popper suggested that there should be a "rational theory of tradition" applied to science which was fundamentally sociological. For Popper, each scientist who embarks on a certain research trend inherits the tradition of the scientists before them as he or she inherits their studies and any conclusions that superseded it. Unlike myth , which is a means of explaining the natural world through means other than logical criticism, scientific tradition was inherited from Socrates, who proposed critical discussion, according to Popper. For Thomas Kuhn , who presented his thoughts in a paper presented in 1977, a sense of such a critical inheritance of tradition is, historically, what sets apart the best scientists who change their fields is an embrasure of tradition.
Traditions are a subject of study in several academic fields in social sciences —chiefly anthropology, archeology , and biology—with somewhat different meanings in different fields. It is also used in varying contexts in other fields, such as history, psychology and sociology . Social scientists and others have worked to refine the commonsense concept of tradition to make it into a useful concept for scholarly analysis. In the 1970s and 1980s, Edward Shils explored the concept in detail. Since then, a wide variety of social scientists have criticized traditional ideas about tradition; meanwhile, "tradition" has come into usage in biology as applied to nonhuman animals.
In archaeology , the term _tradition_ is a set of cultures or industries which appear to develop on from one another over a period of time. The term is especially common in the study of American archaeology .
Biologists, when examining groups of non-humans, have observed
repeated behaviors which are taught within communities from one
generation to the next.
Behavioral traditions have been observed in groups of fish, birds, and mammals. Groups of orangutans and chimpanzees, in particular, may display large numbers of behavioral traditions, and in chimpanzees, transfer of traditional behavior from one group to another (not just within a group) has been observed. Such behavioral traditions may have evolutionary significance, allowing adaptation at a faster rate than genetic change.
MUSICOLOGY AND ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
_ Amar Rabbi Elazar A traditional setting of the last passage of the first tractate, Berakhot of the Oral Torah , which describes how scholars of the Talmud create peace in the world. Performed by Cantor Meyer Kanewsky in 1919 for Edison Records . -------------------------
Problems playing this file? See media help ._
In the field of musicology and ethnomusicology tradition refers to
the belief systems, repertoire, techniques, style and culture that is
passed down through subsequent generations.
The concept of tradition, in early sociological research (around the
turn of the 19th and 20th century), referred to that of the
traditional society , as contrasted by the more modern industrial
society . This approach was most notably portrayed in
Traditional society is characterized by lack of distinction between family and business, division of labor influenced primarily by age, gender, and status, high position of custom in the system of values, self-sufficiency, preference to saving and accumulation of capital instead of productive investment, relative autarky . Early theories positing the simple, unilineal evolution of societies from traditional to industrial model are now seen as too simplistic.
In 1981 Edward Shils in his book _Tradition_ put forward a definition of tradition that became universally accepted. According to Shils, tradition is anything which is transmitted or handed down from the past to the present.
Another important sociological aspect of tradition is the one that relates to rationality. It is also related to the works of Max Weber (see theories of rationality ), and were popularized and redefined in 1992 by Raymond Boudon in his book _Action_. In this context tradition refers to the mode of thinking and action justified as "it has always been that way". This line of reasoning forms the basis of the logical flaw of the appeal to tradition (or _argumentum ad antiquitatem_), which takes the form "this is right because we've always done it this way." In most cases such an appeal can be refuted on the grounds that the "tradition" being advocated may no longer be desirable, or, indeed, may never have been despite its previous popularity.
The idea of tradition is important in philosophy. Twentieth century
philosophy is often divided between an 'analytic' tradition, dominant
in Anglophone and Scandinavian countries, and a 'continental'
tradition, dominant in German and Romance speaking Europe.
Increasingly central to continental philosophy is the project of
deconstructing what its proponents, following
Martin Heidegger , call
'the tradition', which began with
IN POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE
Holiday celebrations may be passed down as traditions, as is the case with this distinctly Polish Christmas meal, decor with Christmas tree , a tradition since the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Main articles: Traditional values and Traditionalist conservatism
The concepts of tradition and traditional values are frequently used in political and religious discourse to establish the legitimacy of a particular set of values. In the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the concept of tradition has been used to argue for the centrality and legitimacy of conservative religious values. Similarly, strands of orthodox theological thought from a number of world religions openly identify themselves as wanting a return to tradition. For example, the term "traditionalist Catholic " refers to those, such as Archbishop Lefebvre , who want the worship and practices of the church to be as they were before the Second Vatican Council of 1962–65. Likewise, Sunni Muslims are referred to as _Ahlus Sunnah wa Al-Jamā‘ah_ (Arabic : أهل السنة والجماعة), literally "people of the tradition and the community", emphasizing their attachment to religious and cultural tradition.
More generally, tradition has been used as a way of determining the political spectrum , with right-wing parties having a stronger affinity to the ways of the past than left-wing ones. Here, the concept of adherence tradition is embodied by the political philosophy of traditionalist conservatism (or simply _traditionalism_), which emphasizes the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, hierarchy and organic unity , agrarianism , classicism and high culture , and the intersecting spheres of loyalty. Traditionalists would therefore reject the notions of individualism , liberalism, modernity, and social progress , but promote cultural and educational renewal, and revive interest in the church, the family, the state and local community. This view has been criticised for including in its notion of tradition practices which are no longer considered to be desirable, for example, stereotypical views of the place of women in domestic affairs .
In other societies, especially ones experiencing rapid social change, the idea of what is "traditional" may be widely contested, with different groups striving to establish their own values as the legitimate traditional ones. Defining and enacting traditions in some cases can be a means of building unity between subgroups in a diverse society; in other cases, tradition is a means of othering and keeping groups distinct from one another.
IN ARTISTIC DISCOURSE
In artistic contexts, in the performance of traditional genres (such as traditional dance ), adherence to traditional guidelines is of greater importance than performer's preferences. It is often the unchanging form of certain arts that leads to their perception as traditional. For artistic endeavors, tradition has been used as a contrast to _creativity _, with traditional and folk art associated with unoriginal imitation or repetition, in contrast to fine art , which is valued for being original and unique. More recent philosophy of art, however, considers interaction with tradition as integral to the development of new artistic expression.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER CONCEPTS
In the social sciences, _tradition_ is often contrasted with _modernity_, particularly in terms of whole societies. This dichotomy is generally associated with a linear model of social change, in which societies progress from being traditional to being modern. Tradition-oriented societies have been characterized as valuing filial piety , harmony and group welfare, stability, and interdependence , while a society exhibiting modernity would value "individualism (with free will and choice), mobility, and progress." Another author discussing tradition in relationship to modernity, Anthony Giddens, sees tradition as something bound to ritual, where ritual guarantees the continuation of tradition. Gusfield and others, though, criticize this dichotomy as oversimplified, arguing that tradition is dynamic, heterogeneous, and coexists successfully with modernity even within individuals.
PRESERVATION OF TRADITION
Woman welcoming the Shabbat , a more than 3300 years old tradition.
In many countries, concerted attempts are being made to preserve
traditions that are at risk of being lost. A number of factors can
exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization,
globalization , and the assimilation or marginalization of specific
cultural groups. Customary celebrations and lifestyles are among the
traditions that are sought to be preserved. Likewise, the concept of
tradition has been used to defend the preservation and reintroduction
of minority languages such as Cornish under the auspices of the
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages . Specifically,
the charter holds that these languages "contribute to the maintenance
and development of Europe's cultural wealth and traditions". The
Charter goes on to call for "the use or adoption... of traditional and
correct forms of place-names in regional or minority languages".
For native peoples like the Māori in New Zealand, there is conflict between the fluid identity assumed as part of modern society and the traditional identity with the obligations that accompany it; the loss of language heightens the feeling of isolation and damages the ability to perpetuate tradition.
TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS
The phrase "traditional cultural expressions" is used by the World Intellectual Property Organization to refer to "any form of artistic and literary expression in which traditional culture and knowledge are embodied. They are transmitted from one generation to the next, and include handmade textiles, paintings, stories, legends, ceremonies, music, songs, rhythms and dance."
_ Look up TRADITION _ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Thomas A. Green (1997). _Folklore:
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pp. 800–. ISBN 978-0-87436-986-1 . Retrieved 5 February 2011.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Shils 12
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_
* ^ "Cultural Properties for Future Generations" (PDF).
_Administration of Cultural Affairs in
* Fragaszy, Dorothy Munkenbeck; Perry, Susan (2003). "Towards a biology of traditions". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81597-0 https://books.google.com/?id=kjcFqak6rSAC&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false. Missing or empty title= (help ) * Giddens, Anthony (1994). "Living in a Post-Traditional Society". _Reflexive modernization: politics, tradition and aesthetics in the modern social order_. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2472-2 . * Hobsbawm, E. J. , _Introduction: Inventing Traditions_, in E. J. (Eric J.) Hobsbawm ; T. O. (Terence O.) Ranger . _The Invention of tradition_. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43773-8 . Retrieved 4 February 2011. * Kurz-Milcke, Elke; Maritgnon, Laura (2002). "Modeling Practices and "Tradition"". _Model-based reasoning: science, technology, values_. Springer. pp. 127–144. ISBN 978-0-306-47244-2 . * Shils, Edward (1 August 2006). _Tradition_. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-75326-3 . Retrieved 5 February 2011.
* Sowell, T (1980) _Knowledge and Decisions_ Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03738-0 * Polanyi, M (1964) _Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy_ ISBN 0-226-67288-3 * Pelikan, Jaroslav (1984). _The Vindication of Tradition_. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03638-8 pbk. * Klein, Ernest, Dr., A comprehensive etymological dictionary of the English language: Dealing with the origin of words and their sense development thus illustrating the history and civilization of culture, Elsevier, Oxford, 7th ed., 2000
* GND : 4060560-7
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