Home -> Browse
Anthropology and Public Service
The UK Experience
MacClancy, J. (ed)
These days an increasing number of social anthropologists do not find employment within academia. Rather, many find jobs with commercial organizations or in government, where they run research teams and create policy. These scholars provide a much-needed social dimension to government thinking and practice. Anthropology and Public Service shows how anthropologists can set new agendas, and revise old ones in the public sector. Written for scholars and students of various social sciences, these chapters include discussions of anthropologists’ work with the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence, the UK Border Agency, and the Cabinet Office, and their contributions to prison governance.
Subject: Applied Anthropology
Contestations, Circumventions, and the Blurring of Therapeutic Boundaries
Naraindas, H., Quack, J., & Sax, W. S. (eds)
Ideas about health are reinforced by institutions and their corresponding practices, such as donning a patient's gown in a hospital or prostrating before a healing shrine. Even though we are socialized into regarding such ideologies as "natural" and unproblematic, we sometimes seek to bypass, circumvent, or even transcend the dominant ideologies of our cultures as they are manifested in the institutions of health care. The contributors to this volume describe such contestations and circumventions of health ideologies, and the blurring of therapeutic boundaries, on the basis of case studies from India, the South Asian Diaspora, and Europe, focusing on relations between body, mind, and spirit in a variety of situations. The result is not always the "live and let live" medical pluralism that is described in the literature.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology Religion
Beyond the Lens of Conservation
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.
Subjects: General Anthropology Environmental Studies
'City of the Future'
Built Space, Modernity and Urban Change in Astana
Astana, the capital city of the post-Soviet Kazakhstan, has often been admired for the design and planning of its futuristic cityscape. This anthropological study of the development of the city focuses on every-day practices, official ideologies and representations alongside the memories and dreams of the city’s longstanding residents and recent migrants. Critically examining a range of approaches to place and space in anthropology, geography and other disciplines, the book argues for an understanding of space as inextricably material-and-imaginary, and unceasingly dynamic – allowing for a plurality of incompatible pasts and futures materialized in spatial form.
Contemporary Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Europe
Colonialist and Nationalist Impulses
Rountree, K. (ed)
Pagan and Native Faith movements have sprung up across Europe in recent decades, yet little has been published about them compared with their British and American counterparts. Though all such movements valorize human relationships with nature and embrace polytheistic cosmologies, practitioners’ beliefs, practices, goals, and agendas are diverse. Often side by side are groups trying to reconstruct ancient religions motivated by ethnonationalism—especially in post-Soviet societies—and others attracted by imported traditions, such as Wicca, Druidry, Goddess Spirituality, and Core Shamanism. Drawing on ethnographic cases, contributors explore the interplay of neo-nationalistic and neo-colonialist impulses in contemporary Paganism, showing how these impulses play out, intersect, collide, and transform.
Subjects: General Anthropology Religion
Death of the Public University?
Uncertain Futures for Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy
Wright, S. & Shore, C. (eds)
Universities have been subjected to continuous government reforms since the 1980s, to make them ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘efficient’ and aligned to the predicted needs and challenges of a global knowledge economy. Under increasing pressure to pursue ‘excellence’ and ‘innovation’, many universities are struggling to maintain their traditional mission to be inclusive, improve social mobility and equality and act as the ‘critic and conscience’ of society. Drawing on a multi-disciplinary research project, University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation (URGE), this collection analyses the new landscapes of public universities emerging across Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and the different ways that academics are engaging with them.
Subjects: Educational Studies General Anthropology
Areas: Europe Asia-Pacific
Death, Materiality and Mediation
An Ethnography of Remembrance in Ireland
In Death, Materiality and Mediation, Barbara Graham analyzes a diverse range of objects associated with remembrance in both the public and private arenas through ethnography of communities on both sides of the Irish border. In doing so, she explores the materially mediated interactions between the living and the dead, revealing the physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual roles of the dead in contemporary communities. Through this study, Graham expands the concept of materiality to include narrative, song, senses, emotions, ephemera and embodied experience. She also examines how modern practices are informed by older beliefs and folk religion.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Deportation, Punishment and Everyday Life
Focusing on the lived experience of immigration policy and processes, this volume provides fascinating insights into the deportation process as it is felt and understood by those subjected to it. The author presents a rich and innovative ethnography of deportation and deportability experienced by migrants convicted of criminal offenses in England and Wales. The unique perspectives developed here – on due process in immigration appeals, migrant surveillance and control, social relations and sense of self, and compliance and resistance – are important for broader understandings of border control policy and human rights.
Barrera-González, A., Heintz, M. & Horolets, A. (eds)
In what ways did Europeans interact with the diversity of people they encountered on other continents in the context of colonial expansion, and with the peasant or ethnic ‘Other’ at home? How did anthropologists and ethnologists make sense of the mosaic of people and societies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when their disciplines were progressively being established in academia? By assessing the diversity of European intellectual histories within sociocultural anthropology, this volume aims to sketch its intellectual and institutional portrait. It will be a useful reading for the students of anthropology, ethnology, history and philosophy of science, research and science policy makers.
Student Participation, Democracy and University Reform in a Global Knowledge Economy
Nielsen, G. B.
What role should students take in shaping their education, their university, and the wider society? These questions have assumed new importance in recent years as universities are reformed to become more competitive in the “global knowledge economy.” With Denmark as the prism, this book shows how negotiations over student participation — influenced by demands for efficiency, flexibility, and student-centered education — reflect broader concerns about democracy and citizen participation in increasingly neoliberalised states. Combining anthropological and historical research, Gritt B. Nielsen develops a novel approach to the study of policy processes and opens a timely discussion about the kinds of future citizens who will emerge from current reforms.
Subjects: Educational Studies General Anthropology
The Great Reimagining
Public Art, Urban Space, and the Symbolic Landscapes of a 'New' Northern Ireland
Hocking, B. T.
While sectarian violence has greatly diminished on the streets of Belfast and Derry, proxy battles over the right to define Northern Ireland’s identity through its new symbolic landscapes continue. Offering a detailed ethnographic account of Northern Ireland’s post-conflict visual transformation, this book examines the official effort to produce new civic images against a backdrop of ongoing political and social struggle. Interviews with politicians, policymakers, community leaders, cultural workers, and residents shed light on the deeply contested nature of seemingly harmonized urban landscapes in societies undergoing radical structural change. Here, the public art process serves as a vital means to understanding the wider politics of a transforming public sphere in an age of globalization and transnational connectivity.
Subjects: Urban Studies General Anthropology
Images from Paradise
The Visual Communication of the European Union's Federalist Utopia
Drawing upon the disciplines of politics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and cinema studies, Salgó presents a new way of looking at the “art of European unification.” The official visual narratives of the European Union constitute the main object of inquiry – the iconography of the new series of euro banknotes and the videos through which the supranational elite seek to generate “collective effervescence,” allow for a European carnival to take place, and prompt citizens to pledge allegiance to the sacred dogma of the “ever closer union,” thereby strengthening the mythical sources of the organization’s legitimacy. The author seeks to illustrate how and why the federalist utopia turned into a political soteriology after the outbreak of the 2008 crisis.
In Pursuit of Belonging
Forging an Ethical Life in European-Turkish Spaces
Rottmann, S, B.
Belonging is a not a state that we achieve, but a struggle that we wage. The struggle for belonging is more difficult if one is returning to a homeland after many years abroad. In Pursuit of Belonging is an ethnography of Turkish migrants’ struggle for understanding, intimacy and appreciation when they return from Germany to their Turkish homeland. Drawing on an established tradition of life story writing in anthropology, Rottmann conveys the struggle to forge an ethical life by relating the experiences of a second-generation German-Turkish woman named Leyla.
Areas: Europe Middle East & Israel
Language and Identity Politics
A Cross-Atlantic Perspective
Späti, C. (ed)
In an increasingly multicultural world, the relationship between language and identity remains a complicated and often fraught subject for most societies. The growing political salience of questions relating to language is evident not only in the expanded implementation of new policies and legislation, but also in heated public debates about national unity, collective identities, and the rights of linguistic minorities. By taking a comprehensive approach that considers both the inclusive and exclusive dimensions of linguistic identity across Europe and North America, the studies assembled here provide a sophisticated look at one of the global era’s defining political dynamics.
Subjects: Sociology General Anthropology
Areas: Europe North America
Crisis, Race, and Nation-State in a Postcolonial World
Loftsdóttir, K., Smith, A. L., & Hipfl, B. (eds)
Using the economic crisis as a starting point, Messy Europe offers a critical new look at the issues of race, gender, and national understandings of self and other in contemporary Europe. It highlights and challenges historical associations of Europe with whiteness and modern civilization, and asks how these associations are re-envisioned, re-inscribed, or contested in an era characterized by crises of different kinds. This important collection provides a nuanced exploration of how racialized identities in various European regions are played out in the crisis context, and asks what work “crisis talk” does, considering how it motivates public feelings and shapes bodies, boundaries and communities.
Parallel Lives Revisited
Mediterranean Guest Workers and their Families at Work and in the Neighbourhood, 1960-1980
Bock, J. De
Originally coined in 2001 in a report on racial tensions in the United Kingdom, the concept of “parallel lives” has become familiar in the European discourse on immigrant integration. There, it refers to what is perceived as the segregation of immigrant populations from the rest of society. However, the historical roots of this presumed segregation are rarely the focus of discussion. Combining quantitative analysis, archival research, and over one hundred oral history interviews, Parallel Lives Revisited explores the lives of immigrants from six Mediterranean countries in a postwar Belgian city to provide a fascinating account of how their experiences of integration have changed at work and in their neighborhoods across two decades.
Sharing Space in the Shadow of Conflict
Bryant, R. (ed)
In Southeast Europe, the Balkans, and Middle East, scholars often refer to the “peaceful coexistence” of various religious and ethnic groups under the Ottoman Empire before ethnonationalist conflicts dissolved that shared space and created legacies of division. Post-Ottoman Coexistence interrogates ways of living together and asks what practices enabled centuries of cooperation and sharing, as well as how and when such sharing was disrupted. Contributors discuss both historical and contemporary practices of coexistence within the context of ethno-national conflict and its aftermath.
Subjects: Peace & Conflict Studies Sociology
Areas: Europe Middle East & Israel
Reimagining Power and Knowledge
Beck, S. & Ivasiuc, A. (eds)
Exploring contemporary debates and developments in Roma-related research and forms of activism, this volume argues for taking up reflexivity as practice in these fields, and advocates a necessary renewal of research sites, methods, and epistemologies. The contributors gathered here – whose professional trajectories often lie at the confluence between activism, academia, and policy or development interventions – are exceptionally well placed to reflect on mainstream practices in all these fields, and, from their particular positions, envision a reimagining of these practices.
Subjects: General Anthropology Sociology Political Economy
Performance, Politics and Oral Poetry
Ní Shíocháin, T.
Considered by many to be the greatest Irish song poet of her generation, Máire Bhuí Ní Laeire (Yellow Mary O’Leary; 1774–1848) was an illiterate woman unconnected to elite literary and philosophical circles who powerfully engaged the politics of her own society through song. As an oral arts practitioner, Máire Bhuí composed songs whose ecstatic, radical vision stirred her community to revolt and helped to shape nineteenth-century Irish anti-colonial thought. This provocative and richly theorized study explores the re-creative, liminal aspect of song, treating it as a performative social process that cuts to the very root of identity and thought formation, thus re-imagining the history of ideas in society.
Staying at Home
Identities, Memories and Social Networks of Kazakhstani Germans
Despite economic growth in Kazakhstan, more than 80 per cent of Kazakhstan’s ethnic Germans have emigrated to Germany to date. Disappointing experiences of the migrants, along with other aspects of life in Germany, have been transmitted through transnational networks to ethnic Germans still living in Kazakhstan. Consequently, Germans in Kazakhstan today feel more alienated than ever from their ‘historic homeland’. This book explores the interplay of those memories, social networks and state policies, which play a role in the ‘construction’ of a Kazakhstani German identity.
The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland
If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the present moment, as Pierre Nora puts it: “Through the past, we venerate above all ourselves.” This book examines how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society. Using the memorialization of the Troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland as a case study, this book investigates how non-state, often proscribed, organizations have filled a societal vacuum in the creation of public memorials. In particular, these groups have sifted through the past to propose “official” collective narratives of national identification, historical legitimation, and moral justifications for violence.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Travelling with the Argonauts
Informal Networks Seen without a Vertical Lens
Drawing on rich ethnographic materials from longitudinal fieldwork on informal trading routes across Europe, Travelling with the Argonauts offers a new perspective in the research of the social space, reflecting on how best to investigate amorphous social phenomena, such as informal networks. Breaking with much current theory, the approach detailed here – the ‘Restricted Verticality Perspective’ – examines the horizontal dimension of social relations, and understands informality not as marginal or substandard, but as life itself, as the real experience of ordinary people.
Power, Knowledge, and the Invisible Wounds of Soldiers
Moss, P. & Prince, M. J.
As seen in military documents, medical journals, novels, films, television shows, and memoirs, soldiers’ invisible wounds are not innate cracks in individual psyches that break under the stress of war. Instead, the generation of weary warriors is caught up in wider social and political networks and institutions—families, activist groups, government bureaucracies, welfare state programs—mediated through a military hierarchy, psychiatry rooted in mind-body sciences, and various cultural constructs of masculinity. This book offers a history of military psychiatry from the American Civil War to the latest Afghanistan conflict. The authors trace the effects of power and knowledge in relation to the emotional and psychological trauma that shapes soldiers’ bodies, minds, and souls, developing an extensive account of the emergence, diagnosis, and treatment of soldiers’ invisible wounds.
Subjects: Sociology General History Peace & Conflict Studies
Areas: North America Europe
When Things Become Property
Land Reform, Authority and Value in Postsocialist Europe and Asia
Sikor, T., Dorondel, S., Stahl, J. & Xuan To, P.
Governments have conferred ownership titles to many citizens throughout the world in an effort to turn things into property. Almost all elements of nature have become the target of property laws, from the classic preoccupation with land to more ephemeral material, such as air and genetic resources. When Things Become Property interrogates the mixed outcomes of conferring ownership by examining postsocialist land and forest reforms in Albania, Romania and Vietnam, and finds that property reforms are no longer, if they ever were, miracle tools available to governments for refashioning economies, politics or environments.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Geography
Witches and Demons
A Comparative Perspective on Witchcraft and Satanism
La Fontaine, J.
Devil worship, black magic, and witchcraft have long captivated anthropologists as well as the general public. In this volume, Jean La Fontaine explores the intersection of expert and lay understandings of evil and the cultural forms that evil assumes. The chapters touch on public scares about devil-worship, misconceptions about human sacrifice and the use of body parts in healing practices, and mistaken accusations of children practicing witchcraft. Together, these cases demonstrate that comparison is a powerful method of cultural understanding, but warns of the dangers and mistaken conclusions that untrained ideas about other ways of life can lead to.
Subjects: General Anthropology Religion