IJSSH 2013 Vol.3(6): 499-502 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2013.V3.291

Cultural Capital and Leisure Performances as Aids to Disaster Recovery: Niigata Bull Pushing and New Orleans’ Carnival

Jon Griffin Donlon
Abstract—There is little question that leisure performances such as the Carnival of New Orleans [Mardi Gras], and the bull fight or bull-pushing festival in Niigata prefecture, Japan, often contribute to knitting together local community, reflect group identity and values, and act to enforce continuity of culture. At the same time these leisure performances foster so-called “hybridity.” They are, in effect, engines of continuity and change. As a result, these festive settings may be seen as liminal zones offering both insulation from change and mechanisms through which cultural change may be absorbed, altered, negotiated and otherwise “handled.” This paper focuses on discussing how cultural performances such as these festive settings often function to create social capital (good will) and, especially in times of disaster, “discharge” much of this capital both to sustain a continuity of tradition and to negotiate with the “new,” or emerging circumstances. It chiefly mentions research on two regions, explaining the role of the relevant leisure performances and establishing a little of each community’s cultural past. I will discuss how, in both regions, there was strong controversy (involving the bull pushing festival in Niigata and Mardi Gras in New Orleans) circulating about the disposition of scarce resources.

Index Terms—Bull fighting, carnival, cultural, capital, Japan, leisure, performance, mardi gras.

Jon Griffin Donlon is with the Sport and Leisure Management, Tokai University, 1117 Kitakaname, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, 259-1292 Japan (e-mail: jhdonlon@hotmail.com).

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Cite:Jon Griffin Donlon, "Cultural Capital and Leisure Performances as Aids to Disaster Recovery: Niigata Bull Pushing and New Orleans’ Carnival," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 499-502, 2013.

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