Diverse world-views in an English village by Professor Nigel Rapport

By Professor Nigel Rapport

This is often an account of the variety of person notion and the anomaly of social interplay in an English village - Wanet. It examines the advance and upkeep of social kin among 3 participants: Doris, a farmer; Sid, a builder; and Nigel, the anthropologist and newcomer. concentrating on the multiplicity of global perspectives which people use to make social lifestyles significant to themselves, it exhibits how those 3 converse their meanings to others in day-by-day dialog. It argues that social existence is farcical, chaotic, a number of and contradictory and shouldn't be represented by way of neat mechanical versions or singular, authoritative, overarching structures.

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You can see those drovers must have disliked the crowds the way their roads keep walkers up here. They knew what they were doing all right. The Romans and those others on these roads wouldn't have liked the tourists in Wanet Town any more than Arthur does. In fact, it is prob­ ably the Vikings that Arthur is descended from. After all, they were self-reliant farmers working quietly and busily alone, on their isolated plots high on the steep fells, and even nowadays, walking the allot­ ments, one can sense that Viking spirit is still present.

But never again. Even when he's late for his banking job in Kirkby Stephen, Kevin avoids the Riggdale road - those farm gates across it, keeping stock in, are such a headache - and he races his finely tuned Escort over the longer route up Wanet Wold. The only concession he will make to his farming heritage is occasionally to mow his mum's lawn. Sid also usually avoids the dale's side roads, but for another reason ­ they get too congested with tourists. The intruders faff about, meander­ ing down the middle of the roads like they own the place and keep real working folk from their jobs.

As with the folk concept of the rural idyll, then, the anthropological 36 Diverse World-Views in an English Village equivalent in the notion of the traditional rural community is seen as becoming an endangered species: a nook increasingly distant and hard to find. Threatened by the introduction of what are claimed to be the universalistic structures of the modern nation-state, the face-to-face, 'total' community splinters. As Rees put it, the spread of urban stand­ ards, commercial and business relations, and class solidarities spell the end for traditional 'tribal' reciprocities (1951, pp 1 66-7); in fifty years, Williams wrote in 1 956, community will have completely died (1 956, p.

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