From Tradition to HistoryAfter thinking further of the diverging cases of Lorraine and Provence, I feel that there is more that is revelatory than changing fates of two regions in the face of industrialization. Each represents a way of grasping the past: one based on tradition, in which the genre de vie becomes ossified; the other turns tradition into history, making it an object of a distant time--a remnant of the genre de vie that manifested itself in the built environment. The immediacy of tradition is less valuable than its historicization. Holding onto social capital, in the case of Lorraine, becomes a recipe for decline. More of the population must uproot itself (commute) in order to sustain industries that once made the region wealthy. The other, as in the case of Provence, turns social capital into cultural capital, sustaining the population. The cost is that the population is in a permanent relationship with the past that is representative rather than immediate, rarified and preserved rather than lived.
The survival of place becomes evermore dependent on the ability of communities to represent themselves as the products of history. It is as remnants of ways of living that they become attractive to tourists. And despite the alienation caused by tourism, the cultural goods that communities promote are not as easily delocalized (deracinated in the process of globalization) than social goods, such as industry.