Theme: Culture & Work Worlds

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Anthropology, sociology, and history have a longstanding tradition of studying coastal and maritime cultures. Papers that address the theme of Culture & Work Worlds investigate topics such as the linkage between environment and occupation; symbolic worlds; and the use of cultural claims in the assertion of rights to coastal and maritime space and resources.


In his book Civilisations: Culture, Ambitions and the Transformation of Nature Fernández-Armesto (2001) argues that ‘nearness to the shore molds one’s outlook and affects the way one thinks’. It is clear that proximity to the sea has important cultural and social consequences. At the oncoming MARE conference, we wish to explore this theme further. Is there such a thing as a distinct maritime culture? Do coastal inhabitants share certain characteristics? Why is there such a divide between land-based studies and maritime studies?


Contributions to this stream may also include ethnographic and historical accounts of specific work worlds. Fishing communities have received a great deal of scholarly attention already. Much less, however, has been published about other occupational groups such as those employed on oil platforms, cruise ships, etc.

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Centre for Maritime Research
Plantage Muidergracht 14-16
NL-1018 TV Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 5254185
Fax: +31 20 5254051
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