Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Emanuela Guano - Chair

Second Advisor

Despina Margomenou

Third Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Abstract

Examining an Atlanta area Tibetan Buddhist center as a symbolic and imagined borderland space, I investigate the ways that meaning is created through competing narratives of spirituality and “culture.” Drawing from theories of borderlands, cross-cultural interaction, narratives, authenticity and material culture, I analyze the ways that non-Tibetan community members of the Drepung Loseling center navigate through the interplay of culture and spirituality and how this interaction plays into larger discussions of cultural adaptation, appropriation and representation. Although this particular Tibetan Buddhist center is only a small part of Buddhism’s existence in the United States today, discourses on authenticity, representation and mediated understanding at the Drepung Loseling center provide an example of how ethnic, social, and national boundaries may be negotiated through competing – and overlapping – narratives of culture.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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