9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN07 Sociology of Culture

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Cultural Heritage Building II, C4.07

Portuguese Manifest Destiny: The immaterial cultural heritance in a global material dominant culture

In its sociological theory, Vilfredo Pareto identified the existence of opposed forces that assure the social balance. These forces: residues and derivations of persistence or maintenance and change or combinations, can be identified in the ?Portuguese enigma?, respectively, with the Manifest Destiny and its sub-myths (latent mythical structures) and with the dominant ascending myths of decay and progress, identified within the global risk contemporary society.
So using Pareto?s theory, Gilbert Durand?s mythanalysis model and the genetic method, one will demonstrate the unconscious persistence of historic mythical structures in Portuguese culture and mentality, and the ascending dominance of material Portuguese decay and technological progress associated with global culture.
The mythical structures that we call latent or dormant are visible in Portuguese culture, namely in:
1. Religious rituals and cults - such as the Holy Spirit Festivities and Marian Devotions;
2. Literary symbols ? such as Lusíadas (Camões); Mensagem (Fernando Pessoa); História do Futuro (Padre António Vieira);
3. Architectural monument and Manueline style (Geronimo?s Monastery ? Lisbon; Convent of Christ ? Tomar);
4. Paintings and so one.
And are configured by the myths of: Manifest Destiny associated with the Myth of Crusade, the Maritime Adventure, the Great Monarch (Sebastian) and the Fifth Empire, and the love superexperience related with women sublimation (Goddess Cult).
On the other hand, the dominant myths are identified in Portuguese economic and educational problems related with their decay after their Renascent overseas empire dismantle, loss of independence and historical political leaders inefficiency. Although, Portugal have never been left behind in European construction, neither in technological progress. Nevertheless, their material Golden Age is over and ones believe that the actual greatness of Portuguese essence is on their specific immaterial culture. How we preserve it? First of all, knowing it and understanding its importance!