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This issue of Ethnologia Europea revitalizes the study of the cultural processes of stability and change. The 25 essays invent new processes for a rapidly changing world. They illustrate how different perspectives enrich cultural analysis and add a bit of playfulness and experimentation to a longstanding academic issue.
Have you ever heard of the cream effect or witnessed the power of cultural backdraft? Have you watched the slow process of fossilization or used the tactics of cultural stealth? You might be waiting for just the right word to describe what you have seen and done.
The authors – from European ethnology, as well as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies - are peeking into blind spots and looking under the furniture in order to understand why and how some kinds of social life become visible, while so many others remain unseen.
Meant neither as normative description nor as a manual for the future, the book suggest alternative ways of looking at culture, as well as alternative aspects of culture to look at, thereby opening up a necessary and, som might argue, long overdue debate....this reviewer hopes very much that its contributors will join the panels and workshops at the 2008 conference of the Societé Internationale d´Ethnologie et de Folklore in their endeavour of 'liberating the ethnological imagination'.
Ullrich Kockel, Ethnologia Scandinavica, vol. 37, 2007