The Heritage Machine

Fetishism and Domination in Maragateria, Spain

Pablo Alonso Gonzalez

The Heritage Machine

Pablo Alonso Gonzalez

Distributed for Pluto Press

272 pages | 15 halftones | 5 1/4 x 8 1/2 | © 2018
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9780745338071 Published February 2019 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Heritage research is often based on the assumption that heritage is something “given” to us in what is being handed down from the past, and that it is good and valuable in its own right. However, by looking at the historical and cultural roots of heritage and its development through the Enlightenment, modernity, and capitalism, Pablo Alonso Gonzalez shows that it is in fact a system deeply embedded in capitalist logic and pervaded by fetishistic social relationships.
            Focusing on a case study in the region of Maragatería, Spain, Gonzalez explores the ethnic and racial discrimination faced by the local population in the context of Spanish nationalism and shows how this hostile dynamic shaped what we recognize as the region’s heritage today. Challenging widespread notions about how and why we preserve traditional cultures, The Heritage Machine rethinks the relations between heritage studies and converging disciplines, from anthropology to cultural and memory studies.
 
Review Quotes
Dante Angelo, Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile
The Heritage Machine pushes us to question disciplinary boundaries through a well-crafted and critical analysis of ‘heritage’ that combines introspection with ethnographic approaches. Gonzalez’s provocation in this book is radical.”
Michael Herzfeld, Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
“Gonzalez identifies the varied and complex agency of a once despised and now exoticized population against the oppressive backdrop of Spanish nationalism and international neoliberalism. He thereby also throws down a provocative gauntlet to current assumptions in academic heritage discourse.”
Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Spanish National Research Council
“An engaging and theoretically grounded analysis of ‘heritage’ as a form of relation in fetishist societies. Alonso offers an insightful ethnographic exploration while deconstructing the Maragato myth, one of the ‘damned peoples’ of Spain.”
 
 
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