Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies

Simon J. Bronner, Ph.D.
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Children are taken on rite-of-passage hunting trips, where relationships are cemented and legacies are passed on from one generation to another. Meals are prepared from hunted game, often consisting of regionally specific dishes that reflect a community's heritage and character. Deer antlers and bear skins are hung on living room walls, decorations and relics of a hunter's most impressive kills. Only 5 percent of Americans are hunters, but that group has a substantial presence in the cultural consciousness.

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Hunting has spurred controversy in recent years, inciting protest from animal rights activists and lobbying from anti-cruelty demonstrators who denounce the custom. But hunters have responded to such criticisms and the resulting legislative censures with a significant argument in their defense -- the claim that their practices are inextricably connected to a cultural tradition. Further, they counter that they, as representatives of the rural lifestyle, pioneer heritage, and traditional American values, are the ones being victimized.

Simon J. Through extensive research and fieldwork, Bronner takes on the many questions raised by this problematic subject: Does hunting promote violence toward humans as well as animals? Is it an outdated activity, unnecessary in modern times? Is the heritage of hunting worth preserving?

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Killing Tradition looks at three case studies that are at the heart of today's hunting debate. Bronner first examines the allegedly barbaric rituals that take place at deer camps every late November in rural America. Grasping things : folk material culture and mass society in America by Simon J Bronner 15 editions published between and in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide America stocks its shelves with mass-produced goods but fills its imagination with handmade folk objects. In Pennsylvania, the ""back to the city"" housing movement causes a conflict of cultures.

In Indiana, an old tradition of butchering turtles for church picnics evokes both pride and loathing among residents. In New York, folk-art exhibits raise choruses of adoration and protest. These are a few of the examples Simon Bronner uses to illustrate the ways Americans physically and mentally grasp things. Bronner moves beyond the usual discussions of form and variety in America's folk material cu.

Crossing the line : violence, play, and drama in naval equator traditions by Simon J Bronner 12 editions published in in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide For centuries, new sailors from European and North American countries have embraced often brutal hazing in an elaborate ceremony at sea called 'crossing the line' British-American and 'Neptunusfeest' Dutch.

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Typically enacted upon crossing the equator, the beatings, dunks, sexual play, mock baptisms, mythological dramas, crude shavings and haircuts, and drinking and swallowing displays have attracted a number of protests and even bans as well as staunch defenses and fond reminiscences. The custom has especially drawn criticism since the late twentieth century with the integration of women into the military and the questioning of its hierarchical codes of manliness. In this study, the persistent ceremony's changing meaning into the twenty-first century is examined with considerations of development, structure, symbolism, performance, and function.

A timely study revising previous assumptions about the custom's origins, diffusion, and functions. Explaining traditions : folk behavior in modern culture by Simon J Bronner 13 editions published between and in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide "Why do people hold onto traditions? Many pundits predicted that modernization and the proliferation of mass culture would eliminate traditions, particularly in America. But modern cultural practices constantly invoke tradition for the development of identity, heritage, and community.

Bronner discusses the underlying reasons for the continuing popularity of traditions, delving into their social and psychological roles in everyday life. Traditions have weathered criticism and survived social upheaval across the globe; they have outlived empires and counter-culture revolts, despots and revolutionaries, but their lasting power is the ability to connect people. Traditions create and sustain communities while also providing a sense of self that helps individuals navigate the modern.

Explaining Traditions reveals how traditions connect the past and the present by honoring, engaging, and adapting practices as symbolic projections of anxieties, hopes, and aspirations. Explaining Traditions exposes the underlying logic of traditions in everyday life. For example, why does football have a special hold on Americans? Why are people captivated by do-it-yourself projects? Where do the scatological themes of German American storytelling come from?

How do Holocaust survivors removed from the places of their birth relate the meaning of their disturbing experiences in Europe? Concerned that conventional approaches in a variety of academic disciplines stop short of using traditions to explain our ideas and actions, Bronner proposes a methodology to account for the psychology of anxieties about mass culture and to explain why people create, maintain, adapt, and discard customs. This timely work uncovers the symbols, deep-seated values, and political and psychological implications of traditions in modern culture and confronts the complex attitudes scholars hold toward traditions as an analytical concept.

Challenging prevailing notions of tradition as a relic of the past, [this book] provides deep insight into the purposes of--and prejudices toward--living traditions in relation to modernity.

Bronner's work forces readers to examine their own traditions and imparts a better understanding of raging controversies over the sustainability and meaning of traditions in the modern world. The carver's art : crafting meaning from wood by Simon J Bronner 8 editions published between and in English and held by 1, WorldCat member libraries worldwide Chains carved from a single block of wood, cages whittled with wooden balls rattling inside -- all ""made with just a pocketknife""--Are among our most enduring folk designs.

Who makes them and why? Simon J. Bronner portrays four wood carvers in southern Indiana, men who had been transplanted from the rural landscapes of their youth to industrial towns.

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Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies

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