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Vintila Mihailescu

Identity as specificity. A case study in "originalist ideology" and its legacy in Romanian

Post-colonialist debates in anthropology and cultural studies investigated in depth the "construction of the Other" and the discourse about differences, but much less was done concerning "self-construction" and the discourse about specificity of domestic ethnologies in small countries such as the Balkan ones. On the other hand, turning common heritage into exclusivist cultural spaces can be considered a "Balkan" case. In this respect, the project aims to study the way a "diffuse ethnology" contributed to the production of "national specificity" and finally of the nation-state as a Kulturkreiss in the case of Romania. The main hypothesis is that a kind of "originalist ideology" was the background of all this discourses, producing an "originalist complex" functioning as "mentality" till our days and interfering in a specific way with modernity challenges.

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