The CHIEF key concepts

The concept of culture is central to the CHIEF project. However, the concept has many and somewhat contradicting definitions. The closest to our understanding is culture as ‘beliefs and ideas materialised in action’, the definition provided by social anthropologist Katherine Verdery (1999: 34). Such reading of the term ‘culture’ informs the definitions of other concepts that are critical for our research into youth cultural practices and identities in Europe and beyond:

Cultural Interaction

All forms of interactions between individuals and groups who are represented as being different in terms of their cultural heritage, practices and identities.

Cultural References

Embodied and enacted knowledge of values, behavioural patterns and socially constructed meanings of what is considered as ‘heritage’ in its tangible and intangible forms.

Cultural Heritage

Whatever acquires significance as valuable for a group in providing it with an ‘authentic sense of past’ (Rowlands 2002) resulting from power relationships, and is transmitted, internalised and enacted by members of the group.

Cultural Identity

A way of representing existing individual and collective differences as being historically inherited and closely associated with established forms of cultural heritage.

Cultural Practices

Forms of engagement in production, reproduction and consumption of culture (e.g. cultural heritage) which can be seen as a manifestation of cultural identity.

Cultural Literacy

Competence in understanding cultural references, enabling active cultural participation in society.