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The Axis Mundi : the role of community gatherings in cultural development

Cameron, Roger Neil Kennedy 2010 , 'The Axis Mundi : the role of community gatherings in cultural development', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Gatherings have always been vital to community development because they
bring about important social alignments within any group: festivals, rites of passage,
celebrations, rituals and ceremonies are essential parts of our development as human
beings. Homo sapiens sapiens survived by working together as cohesive groups and
the human animal has evolved various susceptibilities that lean towards these kinds
of community experiences. Billions of dollars are spent on these events around the
world; hundreds of thousands of people work to bring them about; and they can be
found in almost every community on Earth. Yet there is surprisingly little research
on their evolutionary relationships and common structures.
This thesis examines these community gatherings or 'tuning' processes with
the aim of producing a system of understandings that illuminates their inner
workings. It is hoped that such a system of analysis will aid cultural development
processes in communities and be of benefit to the designers of these vital events.
Community gatherings are examined through field studies in India, Australia,
the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as the author's own extensive practice of
organising such events for over forty years. This critical reflection on community
gatherings reveals certain commonalities of dynamics, forms and processes, and
these insights inform the development of a system of understanding, the Axis Mundi
Analytical System — AMAS. Contemporary, historical and pre-historical events are
investigated in the light of this analytical system and various international examples
are used to illustrate its application.
This study is significant because it provides a theoretically enriched, practice-informed
framework intended to be of real interest to designers of community
gatherings as a tool to understanding the social and cultural dynamics that they work
with and provide a mechanism to help them organise gatherings that enhance
community development to its fullest potential.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Cameron, Roger Neil Kennedy
Keywords: Religious gatherings, Community life, Manners and customs, Rites and ceremonies
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2010 the Author

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