chapter  Chapter 20
4 Pages

Cultural constructs, community, and celebration

WithChristine Lomas

Tomany People art and therapy are mutually exclusive categories, but surely this is a distinction without a natural difference, just as the work/leisure distinction is a cultural construct. The function of art within the traditional aesthetic is to reconcile nature and culture; because it emphasizes content and form, it fails to embrace the authentic behavior of celebration. MacIver, in his major work on community written, offers sentiment as a starting point for the reinstatement of the concept of community. By “sentiment” he means an understanding and a recognition by others of the significance of the individual, which, in turn, affords a sense of community solidarity. As Simpson implies, communities do not empower communities; individuals empower communities. The building of residential homes is society’s recognition of and response to the “preliminal” in the aging process and offers a constructed communitas—the home for the elderly.