5 February 2017
Pype, Katrien. 2014. “Funerary Comedies in Contemporary Kinshasa: Social Difference, Urban Communities and the Emergence of a Cultural Form.” Africa 85(3) 457–477.
The article situates a new type of stand-up comedy, performed in Kinshasa's mourning spaces (matanga), within the city's social universe. This type of funerary joking, enacted by comedians unrelated to the bereaved, represents a clear departure from the customary funerary humour in which accepted jokers occupy particular social positions vis-à-vis the deceased. Following recent changes in the organization of mourning rituals within the circles of Kinshasa's wealthy, these rather intimate events are ever more open to ‘strangers’, who anticipate the spending capacities of the gathered crowd. Comedians constitute one among a wide range of outsider groups who approach the bereaved community as a space of opportunity. It is argued that this emergent cultural form is utterly urban, and could only appear within urban life worlds where conviviality with others, and in particular an understanding of people's need to make a living in precarious circumstances, transforms the mourning community into an audience that pays for a cultural performance. Humour is not only derived from a symbolic difference between the poor and the rich, but also through the performance of exaggerated flattery, producing the illusion of patronage and situating the comedian within a feigned patron–client relationship for the duration of that performance.
L’article situe un nouveau type de stand-up comique qui se pratique dans les lieux de deuil (matanga) de Kinshasa, au sein de l’univers social de la ville. Ce type de plaisanterie funéraire, pratiqué par des comiques sans lien de parenté avec les proches du défunt, représente une nette rupture avec l’humour funéraire coutumier dans lequel des plaisantins acceptés occupent des positions sociales particulières vis-à-vis du défunt. Suite à une évolution récente de l’organisation des cérémonies de deuil dans les milieux aisés de Kinshasa, ces événements plutôt intimes sont de plus en plus ouverts aux « étrangers », qui anticipent le pouvoir d’achat des personnes rassemblées. Les comiques forment un des nombreux groupes extérieurs qui abordent la communauté en deuil comme un espace d’opportunité. L’auteur soutient que cette forme culturelle émergente est strictement urbaine et qu’elle ne pourrait apparaître que dans des univers de vie urbains où la convivialité avec autrui, et en particulier une compréhension du besoin des personnes en situation précaire de gagner leur vie, transforme la communauté endeuillée en public qui paye pour voir un spectacle culturel. L’humour vient non seulement de la différence symbolique entre les pauvres et les riches, mais aussi de l’interprétation d’une flatterie exagérée qui donne l’illusion d’un patronage et situe le comique, le temps du spectacle, dans une relation patron-client feinte.
Tobón, Marco. 2015. “Los sueños como instrumentos etnográficos.” AIBR Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 10(3):331–353.
Keywords: Ethnography, dreams, method, anthropological research
Palabras clave: Etnografía, sueños, método, investigación antropológica
This article defends the idea that dreams experienced by ethnographers and their interlocutors can be used as a tool to access knowledge and ideas about the reality studied. To prove this, the author offers a number of specific ethnographic cases in which dreams are involved in the processes of communication, learning and understanding the questions raised by each anthropological approach. At the same time facts of the author’s own research among muina and muinana indigenous peoples from the Colombian Amazon are presented. The author’s own dreams and some indigenous’ dreams opened discussion routes and uncovered concepts and discourses which were helpful in understanding reality and action upon it. Finally the author discusses how some life experiences in the research process, like dreams in this case, constitute a relevant contribution to the debates on contemporary challenges of the ethnographic work.
Este artículo defiende la idea de que los sueños experimentados por el etnógrafo y sus interlocutores pueden ser incorporados como herramienta de acceso a conocimientos sobre la realidad estudiada. Para demostrarlo, el autor ofrece una serie de casos etnográficos concretos en los que los sueños participan en los procesos de comunicación, aprendizaje y comprensión de los interrogantes formulados en cada abordaje antropológico. A su vez, se exponen hechos de la investigación del propio autor entre los indígenas muina (uitoto) y muinane de la Amazonia colombiana, en los que algunos sueños propios y de algunos indígenas abrieron rutas de discusión que pusieron al descubierto conceptos y discursos que auxiliaron la comprensión de la realidad y las actuaciones sobre ella. Finalmente, el autor discute cómo algunas experiencias vitales vividas en el proceso de investigación, como los sueños en este caso, constituyen una pertinente contribución a los debates sobre los desafíos contemporáneos del quehacer etnográfico.
Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Nicolas. 2015. “Food after Fukushima: Risk and Scientific Citizenship in Japan.” American Anthropologist 117(3):455–467.
Keywords: Ethnography, dreams, method, anthropological research
Palabras clave: Etnografía, sueños, método, investigación antropológica
In this article, I explore questions of food safety after the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In the aftermath of the disaster, people concerned about food safety were sometimes suspicious about the ability of the Japanese state to adequately monitor the food supply and introduce safety standards that they considered strict enough. I use the concept of scientific citizenship to explore the dynamics whereby people’s relationship to state expertise was transformed as they learned about the science of radiation. Scientific citizenship was expressed in a desire to circumvent the state to protect the health and life of current and future generations. I focus on the language used to describe food safety to show the work of affective networks of trust in constituting a sense of safety in the postdisaster environment. Ethnographically, I focus on the work of mothers and food activists who banded together to share and disseminate knowledge about radiation so they could protect their own and each other’s children.
本稿では、福島第 1 原発事故によって生じた食品の安全に関する問題を検討する。災害後、食品の安全性を懸念した人々からは、日本政府が導入した食品供給工程の監視や安全性評価の基準制定の信頼性を問う声があがった。『科学的市民権』(Scientific Citizenship)という概念は、放射能に関する知識を習得していく過程で、人々が国家の専門性とどう向き合ったかを示す。『科学的市民権』は、現在と未来の世代の健康と命を守るために、国家の政策を退けねばならない使命感として浮上した。食品の安全性を指す言語を基に、人々は信頼関係を基盤としたネットワーク作りを通じて災害後の 安全観をいかに納得していったのか調査をした。フィールドワークでは、 我が子を、そして互いの子を守るろうと、放射能に関する情報を共有し、広める運動に共同で取り組んだ母親達と食品研究活動家に着目した。
En este artículo, exploro cuestiones sobre la seguridad de alimentos después de la fusión de un reactor en la planta nuclear de Fukushima Daiichi. Como consecuencias del desastre, individuos preocupados por las seguridad de los alimentos algunas veces desconfiaron de la habilidad del estado japonés para monitorear adecuadamente la oferta de alimentos e introducir estándares de seguridad que ellos consideraban suficientemente estrictos. Uso el concepto de ciudadanía científica para explorar las dinámicas por las cuales las relaciones de los individuos con el conocimiento técnico del estado fueron transformadas en la medida en que ellos aprendieron acerca de la ciencia de la radiación. La ciudadanía científica fue expresada en un deseo de eludir al estado para proteger la salud y la vida de las generaciones actuales y futuras. Me enfoco en el lenguaje usado para describir la seguridad de los alimentos a fin de mostrar el trabajo de las redes afectivas de confianza en la constitución de un sentido de seguridad en el ambiente de postdesastre. Etnográficamente, me enfoco en el trabajo de madres y activistas de alimentos quienes se unieron para compartir y diseminar conocimiento sobre la radiación de manera que ellas podrían proteger a sus propios hijos y los de los otros.
Gudeman, Stephen. 2015. “Review Article: Piketty and Anthropology.” Anthropological Forum 25(1):66–83.
Keywords: Piketty; Economy; Inequality; Capitalism; Mutuality
In his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty demonstrates that capitalism produces income inequality. He shows that over several hundred years and across many nations the rate of return on capital exceeds the growth rate of market economies. Returns to most forms of labour do not keep up with economic growth. Piketty explains as well that when economic growth slows, the gap between capital’s increase and the economy’s growth expands. When this happens, inheritors of capital benefit relative to others. Piketty’s study makes use of income tax and other records that have been systematically collected since the French Revolution and especially in the early part of the twentieth-century. His empirical and historical study covers much of Europe and the United States, as well as Japan and other countries. The cross-cultural and historical similarities in the rates of capital and economic growth are striking. They change only with major disruptions such as wars. Piketty’s results contradict many theories of economic growth and development. For anthropologists, Piketty’s coupling of inheritance with capital accumulation has implications for the role of kinship and marriage arrangements in relation to status.
Given his view, however, that economy only means markets, Piketty has difficulty justifying ways to counter capitalism’s inherent inequality. Anthropologists who hold a broader vision of material life as composed of both impersonal exchange and mutuality, may usefully enter this discussion to explain and justify ways to counteract market economy’s inherent inequality and instability.
Scicluna, Rachael M. 2015. “Exploring Meaningfully and Creatively the Tensions Arising out of Collaborations: An Anthropological Perspective.” Anthropology Matters 16(1):72–104.
The issue of working with a set agenda, designed by a larger collaborative project, is core to this article. By using my own experience, I will consider the ways in which established project themes can influence and shape the open-ended method of anthropological research and the final outcome. Additionally, this article will contemplate upon dilemmas of being a young anthropologist while seeking to gain ethnographic authority within a collaborative scenario outside the discipline of anthropology.
Walker, Anthony R. 2015. “From Spirits of the Wilderness to Lords of the Place and Guardians of the Village and Farmlands: Mountains and Their Spirits in Traditional Lahu Cosmography, Belief, and Ritual Practice.” ANTHROPOS 110:27–42.
Keywords: Thailand, Lahu, indigenous religion, cosmography, ritual
Quintessentially, a mountain-dwelling folk with an all-pervading sense of animism, spirit-inhabited natural phenomena, not surprisingly Lahu accord special importance to the spirits of the mountains and dales, where they live and farm. This may be untamed “wilderness”; alternatively, it may be the location of Lahu villages and farming lands. In either situation, Lahu regard the spirits believed to own these mountains as powerful supernatural entities. In the first situation, they are essentially undifferentiated “spirits of the wild,” fearsome powers to be treated with respect and circumspection. In the second, after appropriate demonstration of reverence through ritual propitiation, they may be persuaded to become the specific guardian spirits, the “lords of the place” of the Lahu’s settlements and swiddens.
Pimenta, José. 2015. ““Alteridade contextualizada”: variações ashaninkas sobre o branco.” Anuário Antropológico 40(1):279–306.
Keywords: Huave Narrative, Meteorology, Authority, Social Values, Mexico
Like other Amazonian indigenous peoples, the Ashaninka have given the Whiteman a very specific meaning stressed in their discourses as the most radical of alterities. Based on field research among the Ashaninka of the Amonia River (Upper Juruá in the state of Acre), this article brings together their cosmological conceptions and the history of their contact with the Western world in order to unveil some facets of the category Whiteman. Beginning with the native cosmology and the origin myth of the Whiteman, and their close connection with evil spirits, I show how contact has been expressed in this people’s recent history in the form of extremely negative images associated to “gringos” and “communists.” These are two types of the Whiteman deemed to be exceedingly violent. I end by presenting some Ashaninka attempts to pacify the Whiteman. Although not completely successful, they describe an amiable Other and reveal the complexity and ambiguity of this category nowadays.
Como outros povos indígenas da Amazônia, os Ashaninka têm atribuído um significado muito peculiar ao branco, que eles destacam em seus discursos como a alteridade mais radical. Com base em uma pesquisa realizada com os Ashaninka do Rio Amônia (Alto Juruá, no Acre), este artigo articula as concepções cosmológicas desse povo indígena com sua história de contato com o mundo ocidental para desvendar algumas faces da categoria “branco”. Partindo da cosmologia nativa e do mito de origem do branco, que revelam sua estreita conexão com os espíritos maléficos, mostro como o contato tem se expressado na história recente desse povo em imagens extremamente negativas associadas aos “gringos” e “comunistas”, dois tipos de branco caracterizados por um comportamento violento. Termino apresentando algumas tentativas dos Ashaninka de pacificar o branco. Embora nunca sejam totalmente sucedidas, elas relatam um outro amigável e testemunham a complexidade e a ambiguidade dessa categoria nos dias atuais.
Lan, Shanshan. 2015. “Transnational business and family strategies among Chinese/Nigerian couples in Guangzhou and Lagos.” Asian Anthropology 14(2):133–149.
Keywords: transnational business and family strategies, Chinese/Nigerian couples, interracial romance/marriage, internal migration, international migration, China
Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Guangzhou and Lagos, this paper explores transnational trade activities and family strategies among Chinese/Nigerian interracial couples in the context of growing China/Africa trade relations and the recent tightening of China's immigration control. It examines how restrictive immigration policy at the state level and anti-black racism at the personal level impact romantic and marriage relations between undocumented Nigerian men and Chinese migrant women from less developed regions in China. I argue that the transnational business and family strategies envisioned and practiced by these couples reflect both the structural constraints in their incorporation into local Chinese society, and their active quest for economic prosperity and upward mobility in the global economy.
Mitrović, Marta Stojić and Ela Meh. 2015. “The Reproduction of Borders and the Contagiousness of Illegalisation: A Case of a Belgrade Youth Hostel.” Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnography SASA 63(3):623–639.
Keywords: migrants, illegalisation, contagiousness of illegality, criminalisation, crimigration, reproduction of borders, Serbia, Belgrade, youth hostel
Ključne reči:: migrant, ilegalizacija, zaraznost ilegalnosti, kriminalizacija, reprodukovanje granica
For the past couple of years, Serbia has become a transit country for the ever increasing number of migrants from Africa and Asia, travelling towards the EU. As part of the process of approaching the EU – first achieving the liberalisation of the visa regime for entry into the Schengen area in 2009 and then getting the official status of a candidate member in 2012 – Serbia needed to harmonise its policies with those of the EU, especially in the areas of border control and migration management. As a result, Serbia adopted a series of laws and policies which effectively illegalise migrants. In this paper, we first look into how migrant “illegality” is produced by Serbian migration legislation and policy, and second, we look at the consequences of this illegalisation. The first set of consequences are those that are felt by migrants themselves, as they are its principle target. The second set of consequences affects those persons that come into contact with the illegalised migrants. We speak of contagiousness of illegalisation, which affects those people who are providing professional services to illegalized persons. Under the treat of possible criminalisation, pressure is put on them to conduct “legality” checks and thus reproduce borders far away from the actual state border. We look particularly at reproduction of borders in the area of accommodation of migrants, taking as a case study a Belgrade youth hostel.
Tokom poslednjih nekoliko godina Srbija je postala tranzitna zemlja za sve veći broj migranata koji iz Afrike i Azije putuju ka EU. U okviru procesa približavanja EU – najpre putem postizanja liberalizacije viznog režima za ulazak u zonu važenja Šengenskog sporazuma 2009. godine, a onda i zadobijanjem statusa zemlje – kandidata za članstvo u 2012. godini – Srbija je trebalo da usaglasi svoje politike sa onima koje postoje u EU, naročito u oblasti kontrole granica i upravljanja migracijama. Kao rezultat ovoga, Srbija je usvojila niz zakona i praktičnih politika koje efektivno ilegalizuju migrante. U prvom delu rada posmatramo kako se „ilegalnost“ migranata proizvodi zakonodavstvom i praktičnim politikama u Srbiji, a zatim pratimo posledice ove ilegalizacije. Prvi niz posledica predstavljaju one koje osećaju sami migranti, kao njihova primarna meta. Drugi niz posledica su one koje utiču na osobe koje stupaju u kontakt sa ilegalizovanim migrantima. U tom smislu govorimo o zaraznosti ilegalizacije, budući da ona utiče na ljude koji u skladu sa svojom poslovnom delatnošću pružaju usluge ilegalizovanim osobama. Pod pretnjom moguće kriminalizacije, na njih se stavlja pritisak da sprovode kontrolu „legalnosti“ i tako reprodukuju granice daleko od stvarnih državnih granica. Na primeru jednog beogradskog hostela posebno se fikusiramo na reprodukovanje granica u oblasti obezbeđivanja smeštaja migrantima.
Jasarevic, Larisa. 2015. “The Thing in a Jar: Mushrooms and Ontological Speculations in Post-Yugoslavia.” Cultural Anthropology 30(1):36–64.
Keywords: ontologies; mushrooms; politics of things; popular medicine; efficacy; exchange
This essay thinks with things that ferment medical remedies in recycled jars and issue exuberant surpluses across kitchens in Bosnia and ex-Yugoslavia. While the jars are handled under the preferred sign of the mushroom and brewing recipes include instructions on non-commercial exchange, the nature of the things in the jar remains vague. Brewing in the kitchens and circling as gifts are buoyant life-forms that alter their hosts, inspire zones of unexpected connection and relational innovation, and direct home trials and ontological speculations around some burning, practical questions: How best to relate to the mushroom? With whom should one relate via the mushroom, and how? The texts explores the fungal materialities and pluripotencies with an ear for popular experiments, teasing out the banal as well as charmed interplay between imagination and association, knowledge and experience. I join the conversation on new materialisms and step into spaces of being and relating across formal differences, but do so in the idiom of kitchen fermentations rather than multispecies or multiethnic relations to attend to the kinds of things that act and inspire wonder outside ready-made rubrics and analytics.
Hannerz, Ulf. 2015. “Writing Futures: An Anthropologist's View of Global Scenarios.” Current Anthropology 56(6):797–818.
Toward the end of the twentieth century, the Cold War ended, and “globalization” became a key word in public discourse. In the new situation people could ask, with relief or anxiety, what might happen next. So a small but lively intellectual industry rose to the challenge, creating scenarios for a born-again world. As the world turned, there would be more of them. With 9/11 there was another wave of global commentary. There were hot wars in Central Asia and the Middle East, and then, with economic upheavals spreading rather unevenly over the world, there were shifts in the global centers of gravity. This again generated more scenarios for the world. Often, the future visions could be encapsulated in striking catchphrases: “the end of history,” “the clash of civilizations,” “jihad versus McWorld,” “soft power,” and others. The Eric Wolf Lecture of 2014 scrutinizes world scenarios as a genre of creative writing but also considers their role as a set of representations of the world that are now circulated, received, and debated in a worldwide web of social relationships. As a contemporary sociocultural phenomenon, the scenarios come out of a zone of knowledge production where academia, media, and politics meet. The authors are “global public intellectuals.” While anthropology has contributed little to them directly, these writings deserve attention for the way they offer the “Big Picture” of the world and, at times, for their use of cultural understandings
Alexandra Schwell. 2015. #Muslimrage. When Western Fears meet Political Humor. In: Bendix, Regina F. (ed.): Rage, Anger and other Don'ts: Cultural Expression and Suppression of the Undesirable and Unbearable in Everyday Life. Special Issue of Ethnologia Europaea – Journal of European Ethnology, 45:2, pp. 85-101. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, www.mtp.hum.ku.dk/details.asp?eln=300368.
Keywords: political humor, irony, emotions, social media, Muslims
In September 2012, Newsweek magazine used the headline “Muslim Rage” accompanied by an image of angry bearded men as its front cover page. After harsh critique, it invited its readers to discuss the front cover via Twitter under the hashtag #MuslimRage. Unexpectedly for Newsweek, this request triggered an ironic subversion of the notion of “Muslim rage”: social media became tools in a subversive discourse where users did not only play with the notion itself, but ridiculed Western fears of “raging” Muslims. Drawing upon the reactions on Twitter and other social media the article scrutinizes how humor and irony as political and networked social practices provide a means for marginalized groups to establish a counter-discourse.
Murray, Marjorie, Sofia Bowen, Nicole Segura, and Marisol Verdugo. 2015. “Apprehending Volition in Early Socialization: Raising "Little Persons" among Rural Mapuche Families.” ETHOS 43(4):376–401.
Keywords: Early socialization, volition, Mapuche, parenting
Palabras clave: socializaci´on temprana, volici´on, Mapuche, parentalidad
On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork with rural Mapuche families in the Araucan´ıa region of Chile, this article analyzes ways in which Mapuche parenting practices and the process of socialization during early childhood involve and transmit a sense of volition that is intrinsic to Mapuche notions of personhood and autonomy. Recounting concrete daily events, we describe how children make use of their own initiative and intentionality when exploring, acting, learning, and creating social relationships. At the same time, Mapuche parents avoid constant visual supervision and direct intervention, rarely oppressing children’s volition while respecting and valuing children’s personal and direct experiences of the world. By considering volition as an important cultural feature of parenting and socialization, and by reflecting upon how different ideologies of childhood and parenting relate to children’s volition, we aim to contribute to current developments on early socialization and parenting cultures.
Basado en trabajo de campo etnográfico con familias mapuche en la región de la Araucanía en Chile, este artículo analiza prácticas de parentalidad y el proceso de socialización durante la primera infancia en tanto transmiten un sentido de la volición que es intrínseco a la noción mapuche de persona y autonomía. A partir de eventos cotidianos describimos como los niños hacen uso de su iniciativa e intencionalidad para explorar, actuar, aprender y crear relaciones sociales. Sus padres evitan la supervisión visual constante y la intervención directa, raramente oprimiendo la volición de los niños, respetando y valorando la experiencia directa del niño con el mundo. Considerando a la volición como una característica cultural importante de la parentalidad y la socialización, y reflexionando sobre cómo distintas ideologías de la niñez y parentalidad se relacionan con la volición de los niños, esperamos aportar a debates contemporáneos sobre socialización temprana y culturas de parentalidad.
Mancini, Inés. 2015. “Contenidos de género en una política de prevención del delito (Some gender issues in a crime prevention policy).” Etnografías Contemporáneas 1(1): 92–115.
Palabras clave: roles de género, políticas sociales, jóvenes.
Keywords: gender roles, social policies, youth.
Palavras-chave: papéis de gênero, política social, jovem
Some gender issues in a crime prevention policy” This paper ethnographically analyzes a policy on social crime prevention. The main objective is to study the appropriateness of incorporating gender issues in the context of this policy. Our results show that public policy agents identify that gender roles may have a significant influence on the production and acceptance of criminal practices, but in spite of this they do not achieve mechanism to dismantle them. In fact, the exchanges regarding gender roles between state agents and beneficiaries produce a disadvantaged situation for women in the program instead of modifying gender roles.
Conteúdos de gênero numa politica de prevenção do delito” Este artigo analisa etnograficamente uma política de prevenção social do crime. O objetivo central é estudar a pertinência de incorporar as questões de gênero no contexto desta política. Nossos resultados mostram que agentes de políticas públicas detectaram que papéis de gênero podem ter uma influência na produção e aceitação de práticas criminosas, mas que, no entanto, não alcançou implementar mecanismos apropriados para desmantelá-los. Na verdade, as trocas relativas aos papéis de gênero entre agentes do estado e os beneficiários produzem uma posição desfavorável das mulheres no programa, ao invés de alcançar a mudança de papéis de gênero.
Este trabajo analiza etnográficamente una política de prevención social del delito. El objetivo central es estudiar la pertinencia de incorporar aspectos de género en el marco de esta política. Nuestros resultados muestran que los agentes de la política pública detectan que los roles de género pueden tener una influencia destacada en la producción y aceptación de prácticas delictivas, pero que pese a ello no se logran implementar mecanismos apropiados para desarticularlos. En efecto, los intercambios relativos a los roles de género entre agentes estatales y beneficiarios producen un posicionamiento desventajoso de las mujeres en el programa en lugar de modificar roles de género.
Monroy, Silvia. 2015. “De cara com a violência: um exercício de escrita etnográfica (Facing violence: an exercise of ethnographic writing).” Etnográfica 19(1):5–27.
Palavras-chave: Urabá, Colômbia, escrita etnográfica, violência.
Keywords: Urabá, Colombia, ethnographic writing, violence.
This article is a writing experiment on the effects of violence, starting from the way I presented myself to three local women during my fieldwork in Urabá (Colombia) between 2009 and 2010. By describing my experiences with them I identify four possible types of narratives: unfinished stories, testimonial or biographical ones, prose, and distanced testimonial account. The three main sections of the paper are bound to the fieldwork interactions and to certain aspects of intersubjective encounters which link some effects of violent experience to the prevailing conception of time in the region, i. e., the precedence of the present.
O presente artigo é um experimento de escrita sobre os efeitos da violência a partir do contato que mantive com três mulheres durante a pesquisa de campo realizada entre 2009 e 2010 em Urabá, Colômbia. Ao explicitar minhas experiências com elas, identifico quatro tipos de relatos: inacabado, testemunhal ou biográfico, prosa e testemunhal distanciado. As três seções do artigo estão vinculadas às interações no campo e a certos aspectos dos encontros intersubjetivos que ligam efeitos da experiência violenta com a forma dominante de conceber o tempo na região, isto é, a precedência do presente.
Trémon, Anne-Christine. 2015. “Local capitalism and neoliberalization in a Shenzhen former lineage village.” Focaal—Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology71:71–85.
Keywords: capitalism, China, collectives, enterprise, lineage, neoliberalism, Shenzhen, shareholding companies
This article examines the process of neoliberalization in the Shenzhen special economic zone in Guangdong Province, China. Building on the case study of a former peasant and almost single-lineage village that has become a part of the city of Shenzhen, I show how neoliberal principles aimed at advancing the transition to capitalism are combined with and countered by other ethical traditions. Owing to the long-standing conception of the lineage as an enterprise, the maintenance of the lineage structure in the transformation of the rural collectives has offered fertile ground for the emergence of a local capitalist coalition. Yet the current discourses on the necessity of obliterating the remains of the collective economy and introducing individual ownership run counter to the collectivist values of the lineage village community and the embeddedness of its economy in kinship and territorial ties. I further illustrate this discordance by the way in which the villagers managed to save their founding ancestor’s grave site following government requests to clear the land by removing tombs. These policies form a complex blend of state interventions in the economy, neoliberal governance, and Confucian principles.
Zeitlyn, David. 2015. “Looking Forward, Looking Back.” History and Anthropology 26(4):381–407.
Keywords: Past; Future; Present; Futurology; Historiography
This paper surveys the disparate literatures on time, and the relative paucity of metaphors available (based on spatial analogues or mirroring past and future onto one another). Parallels between approaches to the past and future are considered and different intellectual traditions surveyed in futurology, memory, history (chronotopes), archaeology and philosophy. Causation across time, how the past affects the present, how the future may affect present and the past are considered as ways of better understanding how tensed statements in time and of time are essential elements of history and of anthropology. Pluralizing is suggested as a positive step: we should be talking of pasts, futures and even of presents. This has consequences, for example, the Thin Red Line of actuality must be broadened to be perhaps the Thick Reddish Braid. As introduction to a special issue of History and Anthropology I consider the papers that follow and how they contribute to the theme.
Hunt, Carter A., William H. Durham, and Claire M. Menke. 2015. “Social Capital in Development: Bonds, Bridges, and Links in Osa and Golfito, Costa Rica.” Human Organization 74(3):217–229.
Keywords: social capital, sustainable development, collective action, conservation, Costa Rica
Limited social capital poses a critical bottleneck for sustainable rural development. Despite vast investment, development interventions focused on preserving the biodiversity of the Osa and Golfito region of Costa Rica have done little to address poverty or improve the well-being of local residents. The authors of the current study draw upon field research and data gathered from semi-structured interviews with 310 community leaders and rural residents to investigate the bottlenecks to development and how they are related to forms of social capital in the Osa and Golfito cantons in Costa Rica. Specifically, we draw upon the distinction of bonding, bridging, and linking forms of social capital to characterize the nature of benefits from collective action in communities in Osa and Golfito. The data suggest that the lack of bridging and linking forms of social capital may explain the region’s persistent development challenges and may thus indicate where development-related investments are most likely to bear fruit.
Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio, Ester Muñiz, Cristina Campos, Eduardo Gomez-Casado, Sandra Tomasi, Narcisa Martínez-Quiles, Manuel Martín-Villa, and Jose Palacio-Gruber. 2015. “Origin of Ancient Canary Islanders (Guanches): presence of Atlantic/Iberian HLA and Y chromosome genes and Ancient Iberian language,” International Journal of Modern Anthropology 1(8):67–91.
Keywords: Canary Islands, El Hierro, Fuerteventura, genes, genetic markers, Guanche, HLA, Iberian, Language, Lanzarote, Latin Inscriptions, Naviform lines, R1b, R1b1b, Rock scripts, Y chromosome
First Canary Islands (Spain) Inhabitants (“Guanches”) origin has been much debated. Lately, it has come popular the simplistic theory that they came from North Africa. In the present paper, we conclude that not only North Africans but also Iberian/Atlantic Europeans (and possibly others) must have been first Canarians. Debate whether North Africans or Iberians were the first “Guanches” is artificial since Iberian Peninsula-North African genes flow in ancient times was abundant and Iberians share a great part of genetic profile with North Africans. New genetic (HLA) and linguistic data shown in the present paper is conjointly analyzed with early anthropological data; at least two “Guanches” anthropological types existed. In addition, a correct interpretation of R1b Y chromosome high frequency in Atlantic Europe (Ireland, British Isles, North Spain and Portugal), which is also found in Canary Islands (13.3%) supports that Atlantic/Europeans are among Canary Islands First Inhabitants. Present paper HLA genes partial data and presence of abundant old Iberian language scripts (which show an easy translation proposal by using Basque language) suggest that a present day dogma of a hypothetically North African single origin should be changed. Both Atlantic/Europeans and North Africans must have been in the origin of Canary Islands First Inhabitants.
Bisol, Giovanni Destro and Maria Enrica Danubio. 2015. “Our diversity and the Italian Constitution: do we really need human races?” Journal of Anthropological Sciences 93:3– 6.
This short piece describes the state of the art of the current debate on the presence of the term "race" in the Italian Constitution. The Italian Institute of Anthropology proposal is not simply to eliminate the word, but also to make explicit its scientific fallacy, with a suggestion of the terms by which avoid any sort of discrimination. We are also aware of the need to integrate this “formal” proposal with cultural initiatives which can help students and the public understand the deep value of human similarity and diversity.
Questo breve lavoro fa il punto sul dibattito attualmente in corso sulla presenza del termine “razza” nella Costituzione italiana. La proposta dell’Istituto Italiano di Antropologia non è semplicemente di eliminare la parola, ma anche di specificarne la mancanza di valore scientifico e di trovare altri termini tramite i quali evitare ogni sorta di discriminazione. Siamo consapevoli della necessità di accompagnare questa proposta formale con iniziative culturali che permettano di comprendere il valore della somiglianza e della diversità umana agli studenti e al grande pubblico.
Karm, Svetlana and Art Leete. 2015. “The Ethics of Ethnographic Attraction: Reflections on the Production of the Finno-Ugric Exhibitions at the Estonian National Museum.” Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 9(1):99–121.
Keywords: Finno-Ugric; permanent exhibition; museum; ethnography; ethics
We intend to explore the production of the Finno-Ugric exhibitions at the Estonian National Museum. Our particular aim is to reveal methodological changes of ethnographic reproduction and to contextualise the museum’s current efforts in ideologically positioning of the permanent exhibition. Through historical–hermeneutical analysis we plan to establish particular museological trends at the Estonian National Museum that have led curators to the current ideological position. The history of the Finno-Ugric displays at the Estonian National Museum and comparative analysis of international museological practices enable us to reveal and interpret different approaches to ethnographic reconstructions. When exhibiting indigenous cultures, one needs to balance ethnographic charisma with the ethics of display. In order to employ the approach of ethical attraction, curators must comprehend indigenous cultural logic while building up ethnographic representations.
Clark, Imogen and Andrea Grant. 2015. “Sexuality and Danger in the Field: Starting an Uncomfortable Conversation.” Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford Online VII(1):1–14.
Keywords: Finno-Ugric; permanent exhibition; museum; ethnography; ethics
This special issue on ‘Sexuality and Danger in the Field’ is intended to start an uncomfortable conversation. It attempts to discuss, in a frank and honest manner, how fieldwork can involve a number of unexpected dangers and risks for the inexperienced fieldworker, especially if that fieldworker is female. As first-year anthropology undergraduates quickly learn, fieldwork involves immersing oneself in an unfamiliar social, cultural and political environment. What often goes unacknowledged, however, is how fieldwork equally involves entering into a new gender and sexual economy in which different understandings of reciprocity and exchange may be at play. It is to highlight this latter aspect that this special issue of JASO emphasizes fieldwork as a gendered experience. We ask: How does one’s gender and/or sexuality influence fieldwork? Where exactly are ‘danger’ and ‘risk’ located? And, most importantly, how can we better prepare (female) fieldworkers to cope with and negotiate these realities?
Guha, Abhijit. 2015. “Listening to Waterman of Rajasthan and the Leftists of West Bengal: Narratives of Rainwater Harvesting.” Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society 50:5–14.
Keywords: Finno-Ugric; permanent exhibition; museum; ethnography; ethics
Among all the components of environment water has now become the most important for the local communities, policymakers, politicians, international funding agencies, multinational corporations, NGO activists, lawyers, governments and academicians. Never in the history of water the number of stakeholders were so numerous as of today who are equally vociferous and each one of them has constructed their own narrative on the management of nature’s one of the most vital life support systems. In this paper a modest and preliminary attempt has been made to compare and contrast some contemporary narratives in the context of rainwater harvesting in India. Broadly, one narrative comes from the Alwar district of Rajasthan which has now become an international event, particularly after the winning of global awards by Rajendra Singh for the amazing grass root level works done by him. The Rajasthan narrative also contains sub-narratives of scientists and a citizen’s group. The other narrative is derived from the texts which were constructed by the leftist intellectuals, activists and policymakers of the West Bengal state in India. The materials for these narratives around rainwater harvesting have been collected from various documentary sources like newspapers, journals, books and the author’s anthropological fieldworks in some villages of Paschim(West) Medinipur district The juxtaposition of these narratives and the final ethnographic encounter revealed the wide divergence between government action and grass root activism, because these narratives are not only constructed by their authors in the form of written texts and/or oral deliberations but they also reflected the material world managed by human beings and their ideologies.
Boffelli, Clara. 2015. “Espiritismo y sociedad. Talleres de formación en un centro espiritista del sur de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.” KULA. Antropólogos del Atlántico Sur 12:41–51.
Palabras clave: Espiritismo, Centro espiritista, Talleres, Mediumnidad.
Keywords: Spiritism, Spiritist center, Workshops, Mediumship.
In this article I do an approach on the manner in which participants of a spiritist center in Buenos Aires city are integrated into spiritist training workshops. I seek to understand how people, based on the study and debate of certain themes of doctrine, actively resignificate cate both their own lives and the social world that surrounds them, identifying which discourses and practices come into play in this construction. To that end I did my field research in this center, participating in training workshops and conducting interviews with the workshop participants and directors, as well as researching on specialized references which allowed me to problematize and analyze the social dynamics which were originated in these contexts.
En este artículo hago un acercamiento sobre el modo en que los participantes de un centro espiritista situado en la ciudad de Buenos Aires se integran a talleres de formación espiritista. Busco comprender cómo a partir del estudio y del debate sobre ciertos ejes temáticos de la doctrina los sujetos resigni$ can activamente tanto sus propias vidas como el mundo social que los rodea, identi$ cando qué discursos y qué prácticas entran en juego en esta construcción. Para ello realicé mi trabajo de campo en este centro, participando de los talleres de formación y realizando entrevistas a los talleristas y directivos del mismo, así como indagando en diferentes fuentes bibliográ$ cas que me permitieron problematizar y analizar conceptualmente las dinámicas generadas en estos espacios.
Klekot, Ewa. 2015. “Icons by zograf painters, monasteries of Fruška Gora and the Serbian national imaginary.” LUD 99:139–159.
Keywords: icons, heritage, identity, Orthodox Christianity, Serbia, Vojvodina
Late in the twentieth century anthropological research on heritage, which in earlier years had focused on objects (historic monuments) and space (lieux de mémoire), started changing its perspective, concentrating mainly on heritagization, understood as a process, and on social actors (states, associations, individuals) involved. The research presented in the article is part of this current; it is aimed at grasping characteristics of heritagization of things related to religious cults in the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the article, I focus on a particular group of historic objects defined both in Serbian expert discourse of art history and by museum practices as “zograf icons”. I present the process of grounding their meanings constructed in heritagization in Serbian national imaginarium. Heritagization practices such as musealization of icons and their conservation form the starting point for reflection on their religious setting, as well as the relationships between two sets of practices focused on them, and subsequently two value sets in which they are called “heritage”. Because of their specific geographic provenance, some questions of heritagization of churches and monasteries on Fruška Gora in Serbian Vojvodina have also been discussed.
Bjerkli, Bjørn. 2015. “«Tradisjonell kunnskap» i rettssalen (‘Traditional knowledge’ in the courtroom).” Norsk antropologisk tidsskrift 26(2):129–146.
Keywords: Traditional knowledge, Legal anthropology, Customary law, Indigenous rights
This article describes the Svartskog case, which was processed in two courts, the Uncultivated Land Commission for Nordland and Troms counties (ruling 1998) and the Supreme Court (ruling 2001). The case concerned property rights and the right to utilisation of uncultivated land. The two courts reached different conclusions. The lower court granted the local population limited right of use, while the Supreme Court granted the local population collective property rights. This article analyses the development of the legal philosophy that can be traced in a comparison of the two processes. This is also seen in a perspective of a more general anthropological debate on dualism and monism and how we should understand traditional usage or traditional knowledge. In anthropology, arguments in favour of a monistic approach have been given increasing emphasis. Many also claim that Western thinking is strongly characterised by dualism. The article shows that the legal argumentation shifts from a more dualistic to a more monistic perspective when moving from the lower to the higher court. One conclusion is that we cannot immediately take for granted that a Western institution such as a court of law will be guided by dualistic thinking when it comes to an understanding of the relationship between people and nature.
*Translated from Norwegian by Erik Hansen, Akasie språktjenester
Denne artikkelen tar utgangspunkt i Svartskogsaken, som ble behandlet i to rettsinstanser, Utmarkskommisjonen for Nordland og Troms (dom 1998) og Høyesterett (dom 2001). Saken handlet om bruks- og eiendomsrett til utmark. Utfallet i rettsinstansene var forskjellige. Den lavere instansen tilkjente lokalbefolkningen noen begrensede bruksrettigheter, mens Høyesterett tilkjente lokalbefolkningen kollektiv eiendomsrett. Artikkelen analyserer utviklingen i den juridiske tenkningen som kan spores når en sammenligner sakene. Dette er også vinklet opp mot en mer generell antropologisk debatt om dualisme og monisme og hvordan vi skal forstå tradisjonell bruk eller tradisjonell kunnskap. I antropologien har argumenter om en monistisk tilnærming blitt stadig mer vektlagt. Det hevdes også av mange at vestlig tenkning er sterkt preget av dualisme. Artikkelen viser at det er en dreining i den juridiske argumentasjon fra et mer dualistisk perspektiv til et mer monistisk perspektiv fra den lavere til den høyere rettsinstansen. En konklusjon er at vi ikke uten videre kan ta for gitt at en vestlig institusjon som rettsapparatet styres av dualistisk tenkning når det kommer til forståelse av menneske-natur relasjoner.
Münzel, Mark. 2015. “Hinter jedem Bergrücken ein weiterer. Zwei Reisen.” Paideuma 61:27– 46.
In reflecting on what he has learned after many years, the author looks back to his two first field research experiences. The primary lesson he learned is the importance of happily resigning oneself to the fact that research never reaches a definite end, but always continues in a dialogue between the facts found in the field and one’s reflections on them. The field researches were carried out in Brazil in 1967–68. The first was to the Alto Xingu region, where the indigenous culture seemed to have been preserved in a very traditional way, though a reflection on the facts showed that it had been deeply influenced by modern administration. The second one, to the Nadëb in the Rio Negro region, appeared to involve a group that had lost its culture, though it turns out that it had not.
Balbi, Fernando Alberto. 2015. “Creatividad Social y Procesos de Producción Social: Hacia Una Perspectiva Etnográfica.” PUBLICAR 18:9–29.
Palabras clave: creatividad social, antropología social, etnografía, teoría antropológica
Keywords: social creativity, social anthropology, ethnography, anthropological theory
The notion of social creativity tends to be associated either with supposedly universal capacities abstractly attributed to human beings, or with conditions that are postulated as inherent in all social action. In opposition to both trends, in this article I attempt to establish the basis for a proper use of the concept from an ethnographic point of view. As a starting point, I opt for strictly treating human beings and their action as socially situated. In order to accomplish my end, I suggest that we should consider social creativity as an aspect of the processes of social production, restrict the scope of the concept to the socially efficacious introduction of innovations in social life, and determine the relative novelty of social facts by appealing to ethnographic criteria.
La noción de creatividad social tiende a ser asociada a capacidades presuntamente universales atribuidas abstractamente a los seres humanos o a condiciones que se suponen inherentes a la acción social. Oponiéndome a ambas tendencias, en este artículo intento sentar las bases para un uso adecuado del concepto desde un punto de vista etnográfico, optando por tratar estrictamente a los seres humanos y a su acción como socialmente situados. A tal fin, propongo considerar la creatividad social como un aspecto de los procesos producción social, restringir los alcances del concepto a la introducción socialmente eficaz de novedades en la vida social, y determinar la novedad relativa de los hechos sociales apelando a criterios de carácter etnográfico.
Koury, Mauro Guilherme Pinheiro. 2015. “Gilberto Velho e a antropologia das emoções no Brasil (Gilberto Velho and the Anthropology of Emotions in Brazil).” RBSE – Revista Brasileira de Sociologia da Emoção 14(41):22–37.
Palavras-chave: Gilberto Velho, antropologia das emoções, indivíduo psi, projeto, campo de possibilidades
Keywords: Gilberto Velho, anthropology of emotions, individual psi, design, field of possibilities
In the 1990s it can be said the emergence of an anthropology of emotions as a research interest in Brazil, and the struggle within the academic field, for its consolidation. Gilberto Velho can be considered an important precursor of this new analytical field that deals with the relationship between emotions, culture and society in the country. This article discusses the work of Gilberto Velho and its importance for the development of anthropology of emotions in Brazil, as well as the anthropology of complex and urban societies in the country. Addresses the methodological and theoretical modes openings moved and gave meaning to research, as the whole of Gilberto Velho's work.
Nos anos 1990 se pode afirmar o surgimento de uma antropologia das emoções como interesse de pesquisa no Brasil, e da luta, no interior da academia, por sua consolida-ção. Gilberto Velho pode ser considerado um precursor importante deste novo campo ana-lítico que lida com as relações entre as emoções, cultura e sociedade no país. Este artigo discute a obra de Gilberto Velho e sua importância para o desenvolvimento da antropologia das emoções no Brasil, bem como para a antropologia das sociedades complexas e urbana no país. Aborda os modos metodológicos e as aberturas teóricas que movimentaram e de-ram sentido às pesquisas e ao conjunto da obra de Velho.
Mansilla López, José A. 2015. “EL TRIUNFO DE LAS CLASES MEDIAS. Dialéctica entre cambio social y urbanismo en Poblenou, Barcelona.” Revista de Antropología Experimental 15(10):121– 139.
Palabras clave: Transformación; Barcelona; Plusvalías; Gentrificación; Turismo
Keywords: Transformation; Barcelona; Surplus value; Gentrification; Tourism
The debate about gentrification started after the coining of such a concept almost 50 years ago. From then on, several theoretical frameworks have been studying the issue from different points of view. Some of classical approaches could fall into rigid analysis that would hide the general dynamics of capitalist appropriation produced under neoliberalism. Hence, gentrification would be another way of extracting monopolistic rents from urban land. On the other hand, most of the researches about gentrification frequently forget the relevance of the class question. The case of Poblenou is no stranger to it. Object of urban intervention since years ago, the neighborhood lives nowadays a deep transformation of its social and economic fabric. A new neighborhood, or new neighborhoods, are being created and changed through this dialectic relationship.
El debate en torno a la gentrificación comenzó con la acuñación del término hace ahora 50 años. Desde entonces han surgido distintas corrientes teóricas que abordan la cuestión desde diferentes perspectivas. Algunas de las aproximaciones clásicas abundan en análisis rígidos que ocultarían las dinámicas generales de apropiación capitalista que se producen bajo el neoliberalismo. De este modo, la gentrificación se mostraría como una forma más de extracción de rentas monopolísticas del suelo urbano. Por otro lado, los análisis de las dinámicas de gentrificación olvidan, a menudo, la importancia de la cuestión de clase. El caso del Poblenou no es ajeno a ello. Objeto de intervención urbanística desde hace años, el barrio vive, hoy en día, una profunda transformación de su tejido económico y social. Un nuevo barrio, o nuevos barrios, que se crean y cambian en función de esta relación dialéctica.
Águila, Álvaro Del. 2015. ““El que no se la banca, mejor que se dedique a otra cosa”: riesgo, masculinidad y clase social entre trabajadores paraguayos en la industria de la construcción del Área Metropolitana de Buenos Aires.” Runa 36(1):51–72.
Palabras clave: Industria de la construcción, Masculinidad, Clase social, Accidentes de trabajo, Paraguay
Keywords: Construction industry, Masculinity, Social class, Work accidents, Paraguay
This paper analyzes the relationship between the representations of occupational hazard that prevail among Paraguayans workers in the construction industry of the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires and the process of exploitation of their labor force. It begins by considering that the notions of risk emanating from institutions and public health agencies report an “expert knowledge” that contrasts markedly with the representations that workers built through their everyday experience. Furthermore, it is postulated that the discourses and practices that sustain workers about the risks involved in work are linked to broader representations of masculinity and class, resulting in schemes that are functional to the production process. From ethnographic data, we will argue that this situation is a central dimension to explaining the high accident rates and informality that characterize the sector
Este trabajo analiza la relación existente entre las representaciones del riesgo laboral que priman entre trabajadores paraguayos en la industria de la construcción del Área Metropolitana de Buenos Aires y el proceso de explotación de su fuerza de trabajo. Parte de considerar que las nociones de riesgo emanadas de instituciones y organismos de salud pública dan cuenta de un “saber experto” que contrasta con las representaciones que los obreros construyen en su experiencia cotidiana. Asimismo, se postula que los discursos y prácticas que los trabajadores sostienen respecto a los riesgos que entraña el trabajo en las obras se encuentran anclados en representaciones más amplias sobre la masculinidad y la clase, dando por resultado construcciones que resultan funcionales al proceso productivo. A partir de datos etnográficos, sostendremos que esta situación constituye una dimensión insoslayable a la hora de explicar los elevados índices de siniestralidad e informalidad que caracterizan al sector.
Lawn, Jennifer and Chris Prentice. 2015. “Neoliberal Culture / The Cultures of Neoliberalism.” Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies 12(1):1–29.
Keywords: Neoliberalism, culture, market relations, postmodernity, globalisation, consumerism
This introductory essay situates the contributors’ articles in relation to the over-arching questions for this special issue: how has neoliberalism impacted on culture, and how is neoliberalism thought from cultural perspectives; or, what happens to the idea of culture under neoliberalism? We acknowledge extensive disagreement among commentators as to what neoliberalism is, its coherence as a concept, and its duration. We trace the different values attributed to neoliberalism, from social democratic inflections that decry growing disparities in wealth distribution, to those perspectives that emphasise its promise of self-determination and the individual, social and ethical potentials of self-determination and consumer choice in market relations. Noting that neoliberalism is a term used to explain a wide range of contemporary cultural phenomena, we argue that it maintains enough coherence as a project to act as an influential force on material life, even if it operates in some spheres more as a ‘structure of feeling’ than an explicit platform. We trace its reorientation of the key principles of classical liberalism, and its relationship to, and ascendancy over, postmodernity and globalisation as terms that have been used to designate the current cultural conjuncture. Neoliberalism emerges out of the same moment and conditions, but more directly names a particular mode of political economy and governance that is inextricable from cultural life, from intra-subjective through to collective levels. The remainder of this introduction groups the contributing articles under three headings, indicating the three spheres of cultural life that our contributors debate in particular. The complex interplay of neoliberal policies and Indigenous cultural rights, ranging from enthusiastic participation in the market economy to resistance, is discussed in the context of Aboriginal language policy by Sue Stanton, Chie Adachi and Henk Huijser. The articles by Juan Sanin and Eileen Oak are related by an interest in the contemporary ‘remoralisation’ of the market form, even though they address opposite ends of the consumption scale: Sanin analyses appeals to ethical consumption and patriotic values in Australian supermarket branding, while Oak’s study of neoliberal social policy in New Zealand observes the systematic demoralisation of those who are unable to participate in the formal economy. The issue concludes with two articles on the neoliberal university by Andrew Whelan and Edwin Ng. Although they draw on distinct intellectual traditions of (respectively) critical sociology and deconstruction, both authors raise concerns that the academic critique of the corporatised university threatens to further erode intellectual hospitality and community.
Denes, Alexandra. 2015. “Folklorizing Northern Khmer Identity in Thailand: Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Production of “Good Culture”.” Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 30(1):1–34.
Keywords: kantruem, intangible cultural heritage, folklorization, ethnic identity, Northern Khmer, Northeastern Thailand
Growing recognition of the contested nature of heritage has prompted critical reassessments of official heritage discourses and the demand for more inclusive heritage processes. Field research in Surin, Thailand, reveals the challenges of implementing participatory approaches in a context in which the concept of cultural heritage is employed to domesticate the nation’s ethnic Others. The history of state-sponsored, folklorized performances of the ethnic Khmer genre of kantruem demonstrates the ways in which the recent listing of kantruem on Thailand’s national registry of “intangible culture” elides histories of cross-border linkage with Cambodia and meanings of kantruem as a site of memory and affect.
Berglund, Eeva. 2015. “Time for Design Anthropology: Reflections from The Point of View of Environmental Change.” Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society40(4):29–36.
The essay draws on two recent meetings of scholars and practitioners at the meeting point of anthropology and design to sketch out the emerging field of design anthropology. It suggests that this new field offers a practical philosophy through which to engage with the multiple crises of global society. The text connects the rise of design anthropological work with the growing socioeconomic significance of design, but also with the concept of the Anthropocene and the question of how human design shapes planet Earth. If the interchange between designers and anthropologists currently underway is forceful, it is in the conceptual features of design as a human activity that its appeal seems to lie, whether one is seeking to understand social change today or seeking to renew scholarship.
Chi, Chang-hui. 2015. “Governance and the Politics of Exchange in Militarized Jinmen, 1949-1992.” Taiwan Journal of Anthropology 13(2):1–20.
Keywords: sorghum, rice, gift economy, governance, Jinmen
When the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party, KMT), dominated by Chiang Kai-shek, lost the civil war to the Chinese Communist Party and retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the island of Jinmen was assigned the role of shielding Taiwan from Communist attacks. The commander of the Jinmen Defense Headquarters (JDH), Hu Lian, received locally produced sorghum liquor as a gift. He was surprised by its quality and the aroma of the liquor pleased him. In 1952 JDH established a sorghum distillery. The military authorities in the 1950s began trading rice for sorghum—required in large quantities to make this type of liquor—in order to encourage the farmers to shift production. Rice and sorghum functioned more like gifts than commodities between the military and Jinmen’s farmers. The practice of gift exchange between the military and the dominated civilians helped naturalize the militarization of Jinmen’s society.
Herriman, Nicholas. 2015. “The Morbid Nexus: Reciprocity and Sorcery in Rural East Java.” The Australian Journal of Anthropology 26(2):255–275.
Keywords: Capitalism, reciprocity, magic, sorcery, witchcraft
For the past few decades, the idea that witchcraft and sorcery are closely linked with the experience of capitalism has proven captivating. Leading international anthropologists, such as the Comaroffs, Geschiere, Ong and Taussig have argued for the modernity of the supernatural. They have demonstrated that, instead of declining in the modern period, beliefs and practices associated with evil spirits and magic are regularly invoked to explain the experience of capitalism. As useful as this approach is, focusing on capitalism’s connection with evil spirits and magic does not necessarily imply a break from the classical anthropological accounts of reciprocity. In Banyuwangi, a district of Java, Indonesia, harmful magic is deeply embedded in reciprocity and local relationships as much as in relationships of capitalism. In other words, these classical accounts of intimate ties between harmful magic and reciprocity can be usefully married with the ideas of the modernity of the supernatural.
Rahman, Elizabeth. 2015. “Hydrocentric Infants and Their Alchemic Sedimentation: Artfully Binding the Bodily Soul among Xié River Dwellers of Northwestern Amazonia.” Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America 13(2):44–59.
Keywords: Capitalism, reciprocity, magic, sorcery, witchcraft
This article explores alchemic processes at work in the human infant self. It discusses how the acquisition of bodily firmness, as well as the firm, lucid capacities of the mind, can be understood as the crystallisation of the various components of a person (the body, the spiritual body, or body-soul and the soul) into one solid, and fully equilibrated, self. River water is a key substance manipulated in order to instil and sediment the otherwise freeflowing states of infancy. The attentional state of mindfulness is identified as part of the alchemical elixir that binds these aspects together. It promotes and is promoted by the special type of quiescent agency required to transform infants into proper, fully human, persons; and it is that which allows Warekena “to sit”. The paper then explores other forms of transformation achieved thanks to a different type of concerted, and contemplative, volitionally projective agency mobilised via the body-soul, which makes more radical types of shape-shifting possible in later life.
Maio, Marcos Chor and Ricardo Ventura Santos. 2015. “Antiracism and the uses of science in the post World War II: An analysis of UNESCO’s first statements on race (1950 and 1951).” Vibrant 12(2):1–26.
Keywords: race; racism; Unesco; anthropology; history of science; Statement on race
Palavras-chaves: raça; racismo; Unesco; Antropologia; História da Ciência; Declaração sobre Raça.
As part of its antiracist agenda under the impact of the World War II, UNESCO tried to negate the scientific value of the race concept based on meetings and statements engaging natural and social scientists. It is our interpretation that, contrary to what UNESCO had expected, the Nazi Genocide had not led scientists to a meeting of the minds about a scientific corpus that radically questioned the concept of race. A range of positions could be heard in the discussions by the panel of experts (1949) who produced the First Statement on Race (1950). Our argument is that UNESCO was influenced by a perspective centered on the assumption that amassing scientific data would be the best way to sustain a political agenda that sought to negate the concept of race as well as to fight racism. Reactions to the First Statement were quick in coming and UNESCO called another meeting to debate race in 1951.
Como parte de sua agenda antirracista e sob o impacto da Segunda Guerra Mundial, a UNESCO buscou negar o valor científico do conceito de raça a partir de reuniões e declarações envolvendo cientistas sociais e naturais. Consideramos que, ao contrário da expectativa da UNESCO, o genocídio nazista não levou os cientistas a um consenso sobre um conhecimento científico que questionasse radicalmente o conceito de raça. Um leque de posições foi observado nas discussões do painel de especialistas (1949) produzindo a primeira Declaração sobre Raça (1950). Nosso argumento é que a UNESCO foi influenciada por uma perspectiva centrada no pressuposto de que a acumulação de dados científicos seria o melhor caminho para sustentar uma agenda política que procurasse negar o conceito de raça bem como combater o racismo. Reações à Primeira Declaração surgiram de imediato levando a UNESCO a convocar uma nova reunião para debater o conceito de raça em 1951.
Palavras-chaves: raça; racismo; Unesco; Antropologia; História da Ciência; Declaração sobre Raça.
Widlok, Thomas. 2015. “Making persons accountable: The impact of identification technology and of legal incorporation on notions of the person.” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 140:191–205.
Keywords: Personhood, accountability, biometrism, corporatism, Namibia, Australia
Fingerprints, iris-scans, DNA-tests and ocher biometric technologies are used for making individuals accountable through fixing personal identity to the body. Virtual identities and corporate organizations are used for regulating personal accountability through allowing identities to be independent of the body of individuals. Both sets of technologies are being spread globally across a diversity of settings. The result is that the accountability of persons has become a critical problem in the everyday life of human beings across the globe and for the social theory of agency and of personal responsibility. This contribution assesses the impact that these technologies have on the way in which we see ourselves as moral beings. The practices of biometrically identifying persons and of organizing them into corporate bodies, I argue, are not just expressions of dominant tropes of personhood but they play a major role in generating and in sustaining the ways in which persons are recognized, especially by state agencies. Both forms of scare practice foster a third-person perspective on personal responsibility as individual accountability and they de-emphasize that humans in their social interaction usually assess responsibility in terms of a first-person perspective (being able to put themselves into the place of others) and in terms of a second-person perspective (defining their own place in their relation to others). Since the practices and technologies in question are universalized and implemented in societies across the globe the perspective taken here is comparative, seeking to document and investigate the ways in which the implementation of technologies that fuel biometric and virtual identities redefine personal responsibility as accountability and form the basis for generating new moral agents.
Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2016. “The cross-publics of ethnography: The case of “the Muslimwoman”” American Ethnologist 43(4):595–608.
Keywords: engaged anthropology, public ethnography, rights, ethics, feminism, Islamophobia, Muslim women
Engaged anthropology, public anthropology, and public ethnography are names for a long tradition of trying to make a difference beyond the academy. The passionate and polarized responses of both nonacademic publics and engaged scholars in adjacent fields to my attempt to intervene in public debates about Muslim women’s rights raise questions about the ethics, politics, and potentials of ethnography’s travels across fractured global publics. They illuminate the geopolitical terrain of current debates about feminism and Islamophobia and reveal that ethnography may be most effective in interrupting or unsettling hegemonic representations and political formations when it makes available alternative accounts of lives and communities that can then authorize and give substance to critics’ arguments. Does this instrumentalization of ethnography benefit those whose lives anthropologists share through fieldwork?
Sato, Wakana (佐藤若菜). 2014. “Sympathetic Relationships between Miao Mothers and Daughters as Mediated by Ethnic Costumes: Case Studies from Guizhou Province, China. (衣装が つ な ぐ母娘の 「共感的」関係––中国貴州省 の ミ ャ オ 族 に おけ る 実家 ・婚 家 間の 移 動 とその 変容).” Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology (文化人類学) 79(3):305–327.
Keywords: race; racism; Unesco; anthropology; history of science; Statement on race
キーワード:母娘関係， 「共感的」関係， 民族衣装， ミャオ族， 中国
In this paper, I propose that mother-daughter relationships in the patrilineal kinship system among the Miao, especially after the daughter’s separation from her natal family, are constituted through material objects. The case study presented in this paper deals with Miao women in southwest China and their ethnic costumes, and focuses on changes that have taken place since the 1990s regarding the bride’s move from the natal to marital home. This paper also considers women’s changing affiliations from natal to marital families in marriages with patrilocal residence.
Until the 1980s, the Miao maintained a custom known as zuo jia, whereby a bride would continue to live in her natal home even after her wedding until becoming pregnant or reaching childbearing age. During the zuo jia period, the status of the bride was liminal, and her affiliation was ambiguous. After living in the natal home for a few years, a bride would move to her marital home along with her costumes, typically indicating the start of her affiliation with her marital family. Among the Miao in L village, my field site, Zuo jia had no longer been practiced since the 1990s. Nowadays, the bride’s residence in her husband’s house and her pregnancy begin immediately after her wedding. The major change among Miao since the 1990s is that a married woman now leaves her costumes with her mother in her natal home until her mothers’ death or her own second childbirth.
As a result, both mothers and daughters—each with their own perspectives and logic—support and create a situation in which the daughters’ affiliation with natal and marital families and the costumes’ possession between the mother and daughter remain ambiguous until the daughters finally take their costumes to the marital home. Furthermore, the ambiguous possession of costumes between mothers and daughters, which has emerged since the 1990s, in part replaces the ambiguous status of brides during the zuo jia period before the 1990s, which allows the separation of mothers and daughters to occur gradually over a long period.
In conclusion, I suggest that material objects such as the costumes handcrafted by mothers also constitute a “sympathetic” relationship between mothers and daughters which can be understood as a relationship based on “sympathetic magic” [Shimizu 1989]. That relationship is based on the mothers’ continuing involvement in their daughters’ lives through the daughters’ costumes, even after the daughters move to their marital homes. The daughters also continue to show their consideration for their mothers by leaving their costumes in their natal homes. The costumes mediate the mother-daughter relationship through the physical acts of wearing and handcrafting and through their value as prestige goods. Such a relationship has emerged in association with socioeconomic changes that have occurred since the 1990s. Here, the mother-daughter relationship is maintained and reinforced through continuing mutual consideration and attention manifested in the physical location and transference of the costumes. I suggest that such continued mother-daughter relationships cannot be taken for granted, especially when the women move from their natal families to their marital families. Such connections are created and reinforced by people’s practices, which can be accomplished through the mediation of such material objects as costumes handcrafted by mothers.
本稿は父系親族組織を特徴とする中国貴州省のミャオ族を事例に、その民族衣装を介して形成 される母娘関係について検討する。特に衣装の製作・所有・譲渡の様態と、婚礼後に見られる実家・ 婚家間での女性の移動パターンが、1990年頃を境に大きく変化した点に着目する。清水昭俊は、 親子の身体的・霊的要素の連続性からかつての接触や融合を想起することで繋がれる両者の関係 を、呪術的な性格をもつ「共感的な」関係と表現した。これに対し本稿では、現地の社会経済的 な変化とともに生起した母と娘との関係を明らかにすることで、この関係もまた衣装を介して「共 感的」に築かれたことを指摘する。
1980年代までミャオ族の女性は婚礼を挙げると 一 旦実家に戻り、数年滞在してから婚家での生 活を始めていた。新婦は実家での滞在を終え、婚家へと移動する際に衣装を持参していたのであ る。しかし1990年代以降、この実家での滞在期問は数日問に縮小され、新婦は早々と婚家での生 活を始めるか、夫とともに出稼ぎに出るようになった。その一方で、衣装を婚家へ持参する時期 は、その後の第2 子出産か実母の死去まで延期されるようになったのである。これにより娘が実 家を離れてもなお、衣装を介した母娘関係は持続するようになった。
以上の事例から、衣装がつなぐ母娘間の「共感的」関係は、身体的・霊的要素によって内在的 に親子の間に存在したのではなく、むしろ現地の社会経済的な動態を背景に築かれたことを示す。 すなわち、衣装の価値の高まりと、実母が娘の衣装を製作するというサイクルの普及、および婚 姻の変化によって、衣装は既婚女性の（実家ないし婚家への）帰属に働きかけるものとなった。 これにより、母親が娘のために製作した衣装をめぐって母娘間に新たな所有の関係が生まれ、そ こに娘の婚家への移動過程の変化を反映した意味づけがなされたことにより、1990年代以降、衣 装を介した母娘の「共感的」関係が動態的に生起したことを指摘する。