Limits of Hybridity Versus Limits of Tradition?: A Semiotics of Cultural Reproduction, Creativity, and Ambivalence among Multicultural Youth in Rudenga, East Side Oslo

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Abstract

Abstract Although hybridization may be understood as processes through which cultural forms become separated from already existing practices and recombine into new expressions, identities, and practices, a more explicit and empirically informed exploration of the limits of this phenomenon on a microlevel—and the tension to its opposite, in the shape of tradition—is largely absent in the anthropological literature. On the basis of several periods of fieldwork in a youth club in a multicultural suburb, East Side Oslo, over a time span of 12 years, I explore the psychosocial processes whereby a single actor strengthens and questions central aspects of the tradition with which he originally associates while also orienting himself toward some features of a different cultural tradition. Using the phenomenological semiotics of Charles Peirce, I approach these processes as instances in which actors articulate and make meaningful relations to themselves, others, and the outside world. [hybridization, reproduction, semiotics, multicultural youth, emotion]

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