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The MountainA Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present$
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Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226031118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031255.001.0001

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The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer

The Other in the Heart of the Nation, or Its Emblematic Figure?

(p.72) Three The Mountaineer
The Mountain

Bernard Debarbieux

Gilles Rudaz

, Jane Marie Todd

Martin F. Price

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 focuses on the people inhabitant the mountains as defined according to the modern, scientific way. It focuses on the making of a social and political stereotype – the mountaineer – in the context of the making of modern societies and nations. In many cases such as Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, and Scotland, the images of mountaineers has been a major political issue in the construction of a national imaginary from the nineteenth century.This chapter explains how the category “mountaineer” happened to point at, first populations living in the mountains, second mountain climbers using the reference to mountains as a mode of social distinction. Regarding the first group, it details the stereotypes at work in discourses on the nation : the brutal, thieving, bellicose mountaineer; the proud, hard-working, obstinate, and courageous mountaineer; backward communities; etc.

Keywords:   mountaineer, social stereotypes, nation, identity, Highlander (Scotland), Alpini (Italy), Switzerland, Balkans

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