Expertise and amateurism

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Important in establishing terminology within the field was M. D. Strauss’s pioneering work on the behavior and dress of American Civil War reenactors. Strauss combined techniques from visual anthropology and visual analysis with ethnographic studies of Confederate reenactors. Reenactors classified as “hardcores” by Strauss’s review panel were those whose imitation of the past was perceived to be nearly flawless. Historical accuracy is one of the primary concerns within reenactment communities and the negotiation of authenticity is a topic of regular debate. A key question for scholars of reenactment interested in quasi-professional gradations involves determining what is perceived as authentic within any given reenactment community. Reenactment expertise is such a hotly contested issue among reenactors in self-organized leisure reenactment activities, as there is no one else but the reenactors themselves to ensure and adjudicate the quality of their reenactment. Research has shown that ideas about authenticity are constructed and negotiated differently within different reenactment milieus.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Reenactment Studies : Key Terms in the Field
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9781138333994
ISBN (Electronic)9780429445637
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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