whole_CameronRogerNeilKennedy2010_thesis.pdf (35.24 MB)
The Axis Mundi : the role of community gatherings in cultural development
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 23:41 authored by Cameron, Roger Neil Kennedy
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 ‚ÄövÑvÆ 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.
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