feb 15

Posted: February 15, 2012 by caponeam in Uncategorized


Within the Celtic Kitsch article the author describes the different areas in which souvenirs have become popularized. He starts off the article by outlining three different types of objects that represent souvenirs. It becomes quite apparent that the authenticity of an object that is so highly contests is no longer the main concern. Instead, these three descriptions of an object take over the lives and meaning of the object. His focus is on the Irish- American and the diasporic identification within the Kitsch context and consumer world.


To a fist generation immigrant, the objects that they hold to be most valuable will most likely be carried down to the next generations. Meanwhile in the homeland, these objects that they hold valuable may become obsolete and unimportant to their community and or culture. As such when the Irish American diapsora visits the homeland, the souvenirs that they choose to take with them are than seen as a commodity and embody somewhat of an “authentic” or “traditional” object. Given this, the object may be replicated and take on a whole new meaning due to the nature of diasporas value towards it.


In Rains article he outlines that this consumerization is now selling culture. The intentions of a diaspora bringing back a souvenirs was not suppose to be about the buying or selling of goods, but instead held more of a sentimental value to reflect the feelings attributed between said object, place and individual.


The over  and mass productions of an object can also serve to damage a culture with is noted with the shamrock example. “it is the over-performance of  ethnicity which is the catalyst for the censure received by the objects and their consumer, which is in fact necessary for the function of such material culture”  (Rain, 57) . a perfect example of this is saint Patrick’s day. InIrelandthis is not met with everyone wearing green, nor with images of leprechauns for the regular members of their society, but instead this image is reproduced annually for the consumers and tourists who spend endless amounts on this over popularized fabrication of their supposedly traditional culture.


Throughout the article ‘(N)Ostalgie’ for the present’ the author serves to describe the products withinGermany.  Similar to the aforementioned article, this idea of the past is placed in high regards thought the community by the diasporic members and serves as a purely commercialization and monetary advancement. The members within that community ofGermany, or the like, may feel that this “museumfication” is causing a rift in their society and potentially limiting them from any monetary advancement that they strive to achieve, for fear of being rejected by their large diasporic consumer group.  


It is therefore become evident within this article that the past for these diasporic groups is inseparable from their present because of their collective and out of date image of their homeland. This longing to go back to a place that they hold in their thoughts as home should physically reflect that. It is through this notion that the heavily over popularized antiques of a culture are seen as being authentic and emblematic of all that culture has to offer.


A question addressed to both articles, is what would happen shouldIreland,Germany, or other diasporic country change their souvenirs to reflect their more modern society? Would consumers be upset and or would production of the new items stop? Would the visiting diaspora feel like their homeland has become un-authentic or washed out even if the citizens of that land feel that these objects and souvenirs better describe their society now?  


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