Practicing Peace: The International Okinawan Martial Arts Community as a Community of Practice

Abstract

Economists to academics have noted the simultaneous tendency towards globalization and localization in recent decades. At times, the increasingly globalized economy and advances in communications technology seem to bring us together only closely enough to recognize our fundamental differences. Internal divides along cultural, linguistic, political and economic lines become as sharp and clear as geographic boundaries used to be. In such circumstances, "peace" is often thought of as merely the absence of conflict between divergent groups. At the same time, the emergence of worldwide media has also fueled a new ability to form globally connected communities of practice based on activities with local cultural roots. Using Wenger's (2014) community of practice theory, an examination of the domain, community, practice and lexicon of the international Okinawan martial arts community through participant observation, interview and survey data reveals the potential role of communities of practice in facilitating transnational cooperative structures. In this way, peace may be visualized not as a passive state of non-conflict, but as an active and creative practice based on voluntary membership in a worldwide community.



Author Information
Samantha May, University of the Ryukyus, Japan 

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2014
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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