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  • Author: Vassilis Lantzos x
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Cybernetic Approach of the “Κ’na” Dance: The Construction of Ethnic and National Identity in Nea Vyssa, Thrace , Greece

Abstract

The research field of this project is the area if Greek Thrace, which is a great geopolitical-cultural unity that was divided - due to political process - in three subareas that were distributed to three different countries: Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. A dance happening that took place before the lining of the boundaries to date in the Greek and Turkish Thrace is that of “K’na”. “K’na” is a female dance happening which is danced to date by the people of both areas in spite of their religious beliefs, social - economic and cultural development. The purpose of this project is to study the different expressions of this dance in Nea Vyssa and examine if these are related to matters of search and conformation of ethnic and national identity of this group under the terms of the social cybernetics. Data was gathered through the ethnographic method as this is applied to the study of dance and the interpretation of the data was based on the theoretical visuals of the social-cybernetic according to the inspection model of identity that Burke proposed. From the data analysis, we established that the dance of “K’na” in Nea Vyssa constructs and reconstructs not only the ethnic but the national identity of the groups who use them in order to react to the messages they receive via the communication with “the important others”.

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The Construction of National Identity through Cybernetic Process: The Example of “K’na” Dance Event in Greek and Turkish Thrace

Abstract

The research field of this paper is the area of Thrace, a large geopolitical-cultural unit that was divided – due to political reasons – in three subareas distributed among three different countries: Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. A dance event that used to take place before the border demarcation but is still performed in the Greek and Turkish Thrace is that of “K’na”, a wedding dance event danced by the people of both border areas, despite of the changes in their magical-religious beliefs and the changes brought by socio-economic and cultural development. In particular, the aim of this paper is the study of the “construction” of the national identity of inhabitants both of Greek and Turkish Thrace, as this is manifested through the dance practice within the wedding event of “K’na”, through the lens of sociocybernetics. Data was gathered through ethnographic method as this is applied to the study of dance, while its interpretation was based on sociocybernetics according to Burke’s identity control theory. From the data analysis, it is showed that the “K’na” dance in Greek and Turkish Thrace constructs and reconstructs the national identity of the people who use them as a response to the messages they receive via the communication with “the national others”. In conclusion, the “construction” of the identity results from a continuous procedure of self-regulation and self-control through a cybernetic sequence of steps.

Open access