Home -> Browse
Abortion in Post-revolutionary Tunisia
Politics, Medicine and Morality
After the revolution of 2011, the electoral victory of the Islamist party ‘Ennahdha’ allowed previously silenced religious and conservative ideas about women’s right to abortion to be expressed. This also allowed healthcare providers in the public sector to refuse abortion and contraceptive care. This book explores the changes and continuity in the local discourses and practices related to the body, sexuality, reproduction and gender relationships. It also investigates how the bureaucratic apparatus of government healthcare facilities affects the complex moral world of clinicians and patients.
Childlessness and IVF in Turkey
Demircioğlu Göknar, M.
Managing social relationships for childless couples in pro-natalist societies can be a difficult art to master, and may even become an issue of belonging for both men and women. With ethnographic research gathered from two IVF clinics and in two villages in northwestern Turkey, this book explores infertility and assisted reproductive technologies within a secular Muslim population. Göknar investigates the experience of infertility through various perspectives, such as the importance of having a child for women, the mediating role of religion, the power dynamics in same-gender relationships, and the impact of manhood ideologies on the decision for — or against — having IVF.
Queer Activism in Italy and Anthropological Theory
Queer activism and anthropology are both fundamentally concerned with the concept of difference. Yet they are so in fundamentally different ways. The Italian queer activists in this book value difference as something that must be produced, in opposition to the identity politics they find around them. Conversely, anthropologists find difference in the world around them, and seek to produce an identity between anthropological theory and the ethnographic material it elucidates. This book describes problems faced by an activist "politics of difference," and issues concerning the identity of anthropological reflection itself—connecting two conceptions of difference whilst simultaneously holding them apart.
Area: Southern Europe
An American Icon in Puerto Rico
Barbie, Girlhood, and Colonialism at Play
Aguiló-Pérez, E. R.
Since her creation in 1959, Barbie has become an icon of femininity to girls all over the world. In this study, author Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez focuses on a group of multigenerational Puerto Rican women and girls, exploring how playing with Barbie dolls as children has impacted their lives. By documenting the often-complicated relationships girls have with Barbie dolls, Aguiló-Pérez highlights the ways through which women and girls construct their own identities in relation to femininity, body image, race, and nationalism through Barbie play.
The Anthropology of the Fetus
Biology, Culture, and Society
Han, S., Betsinger, T. K., & Scott, A. B. (eds)
As a biological, cultural, and social entity, the human fetus is a multifaceted subject which calls for equally diverse perspectives to fully understand. Anthropology of the Fetus seeks to achieve this by bringing together specialists in biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Contributors draw on research in prehistoric, historic, and contemporary sites in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America to explore the biological and cultural phenomenon of the fetus, raising methodological and theoretical concerns with the ultimate goal of developing a holistic anthropology of the fetus.
Being a Sperm Donor
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Biosociality in Denmark
What does it mean to be a man in our biomedical day and age? Through ethnographic explorations of the everyday lives of Danish sperm donors, Being a Sperm Donor explores how masculinity and sexuality are reconfigured in a time in which the norms and logics of (reproductive) biomedicine have become ordinary. It investigates men’s moral reasoning regarding donation, their handling of transgressive experiences at the sperm bank, and their negotiations of gender, sexuality, intimacy, and relatedness, showing how the socio-cultural and political dimensions of (reproductive) biomedicine become intertwined with men’s intimate sense of self.
Area: Northern Europe
Neighbourhood Youth and Urban Change in Kyrgyzstan’s Capital
In this pioneering ethnographic study of identity and integration, author Philipp Schröder explores urban change in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek from the vantage point of the male youth living in one neighbourhood. Touching on topics including authority, violence, social and imaginary geographies, interethnic relations, friendship, and competing notions of belonging to the city, Bishkek Boys offers unique insights into how post-Socialist economic liberalization, rural-urban migration and ethnic nationalism have reshaped social relations among young males who come of age in this Central Asian urban environment.
The Cultural Politics of Reproduction
Migration, Health and Family Making
Unnithan-Kumar, M. & Khanna, S. K. (eds)
Charting the experiences of internally or externally migrant communities, the volume examines social transformation through the dynamic relationship between movement, reproduction, and health. The chapters examine how healthcare experiences of migrants are not only embedded in their own unique health worldviews, but also influenced by the history, policy, and politics of the wider state systems. The research among migrant communities an understanding of how ideas of reproduction and “cultures of health” travel, how healing, birth and care practices become a result of movement, and how health-related perceptions and reproductive experiences can define migrant belonging and identity.
Masculinity and Spectacular Events among the Bugkalot
Mikkelsen, H. H.
For the first time in over 30 years, a new ethnographic study emerges on the Bugkalot tribe, more widely known as the Ilongot of the northern Philippines. Exploring the notion of masculinity among the Bugkalot, Cutting Cosmos is not only an experimental, anthropological study of the paradoxes around which Bugkalot society revolves, but also a reflection on anthropological theory and writing. Focusing on the transgressive acts through which masculinity is performed, this book explores the idea of the cosmic cut, the ritual act that enables the Bugkalot man to momentarily hold still the chaotic flows of his world.
The Dance of Nurture
Negotiating Infant Feeding
Van Esterik, P. & O'Connor, R. A.
Breastfeeding and child feeding at the center of nurturing practices, yet the work of nurture has escaped the scrutiny of medical and social scientists. Anthropology offers a powerful biocultural approach that examines how custom and culture interact to support nurturing practices. Our framework shows how the unique constitutions of mothers and infants regulate each other. The Dance of Nurture integrates ethnography, biology and the political economy of infant feeding into a holistic framework guided by the metaphor of dance. It includes a critique of efforts to improve infant feeding practices globally by UN agencies and advocacy groups concerned with solving global nutrition and health problems.
Neoliberal Paradoxes of Empowerment
With the spread of neoliberal projects, responsibility for the welfare of minority and poor citizens has shifted from states to local communities. Businesses, municipalities, grassroots activists, and state functionaries share in projects meant to help vulnerable populations become self-supportive. Ironically, such projects produce odd discursive blends of justice, solidarity, and wellbeing, and place the languages of feminist and minority rights side by side with the language of apolitical consumerism. Using theoretical concepts of economic citizenship and emotional capitalism, Economic Citizenship exposes the paradoxes that are deep within neoliberal interpretations of citizenship and analyzes the unexpected consequences of applying globally circulating notions to concrete local contexts.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel
Elite Malay Polygamy
Wives, Wealth and Woes in Malaysia
Zeitzen, M. K.
Elite Malay women’s polygamy narratives are multiple and varied, and their sentiments regarding the practice are conflicted, as they are often torn between personal and religious convictions. This volume explores the ways in which this increasingly prominent practice impacts Malay gender relations. As Muslims, elite Malay women may be forced to accept polygamy, but they mostly condemn it as women and wives, as it forces them to manage their lives and loves under the “threat” of polygamy from a husband able to marry another woman without their knowledge or consent; a husband that is married but available.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Gender Studies and Sexuality Political and Economic Anthropology
Ethical Practice in Participatory Visual Research with Girls
Moletsane, R., Wiebesiek, L.,Treffry-Goatley, A. & Mandrona, A. (eds)
Girls and young women, particularly those from rural and indigenous communities around the world, face some of the most adverse social issues in the world despite the existence of protective laws and international treaties. Ethical Practice in Participatory Visual Research with Girls explores the potential of participatory visual method (PVM) for girls and young women in these communities, presenting and critiquing the everyday ethical dilemmas visual researchers face and the strategies they implement to address them, reflecting on principles of autonomy, social justice, and beneficence in transnational, indigenous and rural contexts.
Subjects: Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology
Fertility, Conjuncture, Difference
Anthropological Approaches to the Heterogeneity of Modern Fertility Declines
Kreager, P. & Bochow, A. (eds)
In the last forty years anthropologists have made major contributions to understanding the heterogeneity of reproductive trends and processes underlying them. Fertility transition, rather than the story of the triumphant spread of Western birth control rationality, reveals a diversity of reproductive means and ends continuing before, during, and after transition. This collection brings together anthropological case studies, placing them in a comparative framework of compositional demography and conjunctural action. The volume addresses major issues of inequality and distribution which shape population and social structures, and in which fertility trends and the formation and size of families are not decided solely or primarily by reproduction.
Gender in Georgia
Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation, and History in the South Caucasus
Barkaia, M. & Waterston, A. (eds)
As Georgia seeks to reinvent itself as a nation-state in the post-Soviet period, Georgian women are maneuvering, adjusting, resisting and transforming the new economic, social and political order. In Gender in Georgia, editors Maia Barkaia and Alisse Waterston bring together an international group of feminist scholars to explore the socio-political and cultural conditions that have shaped gender dynamics in Georgia from the late 19th century to the present. In doing so, they provide the first-ever woman-centered collection of research on Georgia, offering a feminist critique of power in its many manifestations, and an assessment of women’s political agency in Georgia.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Gender, Power, and Non-Governance
Is Female to Male as NGO Is to State?
Timmer, A. D. & Wirtz, E. (eds)
Using Sherry Ortner’s analogy of Female/Nature, Male/Culture, this volume interrogates the gendered aspects of governance by exploring the NGO/State relationship. By examining how NGOs/States perform gendered roles and actions and the gendered divisions of labor involved in different types of institutional engagement, this volume attends to the ways in which gender and governance constitute flexible, relational, and contingent systems of power. The chapters in this volume present diverse analyses of the ways in which projects of governance both reproduce and challenge binaries.
Gender, Violence, Refugees
Buckley-Zistel, S. & Krause, U. (eds)
Providing nuanced accounts of how the social identities of men and women, the context of displacement and the experience or manifestation of violence interact, this collection offers conceptual analyses and in-depth case studies to illustrate how gender relations are affected by displacement, encampment and return. The essays show how these factors lead to various forms of direct, indirect and structural violence. This ranges from discussions of norms reflected in policy documents and practise, the relationship between relief structures and living conditions in camps, to forced military recruitment and forced return, and covers countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.
Girlhood and the Politics of Place
Mitchell, C. & Rentschler, C. (eds)
Examining context-specific conditions in which girls live, learn, work, play, and organize deepens the understanding of place-making practices of girls and young women worldwide. Focusing on place across health, literary and historical studies, art history, communications, media studies, sociology, and education allows for investigations of how girlhood is positioned in relation to interdisciplinary and transnational research methodologies, media environments, geographic locations, history, and social spaces. This book offers a comprehensive reading on how girlhood scholars construct and deploy research frameworks that directly engage girls in the research process.
The Cultural Politics of Reproductive Waste and Value
In the fertility and cosmetics industries, women’s body products – such as urine, eggs, and placentas – have moved from being seen as waste to becoming valuable ingredients. Taking a sociological and anthropological perspective, the author focuses in particular on the role that countries like Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan play in the reproductive products industry, and discusses the moral limits of the cultural and rhetorical trajectories that turn women’s body products into internationally mobile substances.
Inhorn, M. C., Chavkin, W. & Navarro, J.-A. (eds)
Using an entirely new conceptual vocabulary through which to understand men’s experiences and expectations at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this path-breaking volume focuses on fatherhood around the globe, including transformations in fathering, fatherhood, and family life. It includes new work by anthropologists, sociologists, and cultural geographers, working in settings from Peru to India to Vietnam. Each chapter suggests that men are responding to globalization as fathers in creative and unprecedented ways, not only in the West, but also in numerous global locations.
Good Enough Mothers
Practicing Nurture and Motherhood in Chiapas, Mexico
Motherhood in Mexico is profoundly shaped by the legacy of colonialism. This ethnography situates motherhood in a critical global health analysis of maternal health inequalities and interventions in the southeast state of Chiapas. Using a transitional life course framework, it demonstrates how the transition to motherhood is never complete. Once a good mother is defined, she becomes undefined, the goal posts moved, and the rules confronted.
Honour and Violence
Gender, Power and Law in Southern Pakistan
The practice of karo kari allows family, especially fathers, brothers and sons, to take the lives of their daughters, sisters and mothers if they are accused of adultery. This volume examines the central position of karo kari in the social, political and juridical structures in Upper Sindh, Pakistan. Drawing connections between local contests over marriage and resources, Nafisa Shah unearths deep historical processes and power relations. In particular, she explores how the state justice system and informal mediations inform each other in state responses to karo kari, and how modern law is implicated in this seemingly ancient cultural practice.
How is a Man Supposed to be a Man?
Male Childlessness – a Life Course Disrupted
Hadley, R. A.
The global trend of declining fertility rates and an increasingly ageing population has serious implications for individuals and institutions alike. Childless men are mostly excluded from ageing, social science and reproduction scholarship and almost completely absent from most national statistics. This unique book examines the lived experiences of a hidden and disenfranchised population: men who wanted to be fathers. It explores the complex intersections that influence childlessness over the life course.
Area: Northern Europe
Perspectives on Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity
From September 1990 to June 1991, the UK deployed 53,462 military personnel in the Gulf War. After the end of the conflict anecdotal reports of various disorders affecting troops who fought in the Gulf began to surface. This mysterious illness was given the name “Gulf War Syndrome” (GWS). This book is an investigation into this recently emergent illness, particularly relevant given ongoing UK deployments to Iraq, describing how the illness became a potent symbol for a plethora of issues, anxieties, and concerns. At present, the debate about GWS is polarized along two lines: there are those who think it is a unique, organic condition caused by Gulf War toxins and those who argue that it is probably a psychological condition that can be seen as part of a larger group of illnesses. Using the methods and perspective of anthropology, with its focus on nuances and subtleties, the author provides a new approach to understanding GWS, one that makes sense of the cultural circumstances, specific and general, which gave rise to the illness.
Area: Middle East & Israel
Sexual Economies, Marriage and Migration in a Disparate World
Groes, C. & Fernandez, N. T. (eds)
As globalization and transnational encounters intensify, people’s mobility is increasingly conditioned by intimacy, ranging from love, desire, and sexual liaisons to broader family, kinship, and conjugal matters. This book explores the entanglement of mobility and intimacy in various configurations throughout the world. It argues that rather than being distinct and unrelated phenomena, intimacy-related mobilities constitute variations of cross-border movements shaped by and deeply entwined with issues of gender, kinship, race, and sexuality, as well as local and global powers and border restrictions in a disparate world.
Living Before Dying
Imagining and Remembering Home
This in-depth description of life in a nursing/care home for 70 residents and 40 staff highlights the daily care of frail or ill residents between 80 and 100 years of age, including people suffering with dementia. How residents interact with care assistants is emphasised, as are the different behaviours of men and women observed during a year of daily conversations between the author, patients and staff, who share their stories of the pressures of the work. Living Before Dying shows a world where, in extreme old age, people have to learn how to cope with living communally.
Living Like a Girl
Agency, Social Vulnerability and Welfare Measures in Europe and Beyond
Vogel, M. & Arnell, L. (eds)
In recent decades, large-scale social changes have taken place in Europe. Ranging from neoliberal social policies to globalization and the growth of EU, these changes have significantly affected the conditions in which girls shape their lives. Living Like a Girl explores the relationship between changing social conditions and girls’ agency, with a particular focus on social services such as school programs and compulsory institutional care. The contributions in this collected volume seek to expand our understanding of contemporary European girlhood by demonstrating how social problems are managed in different cultural contexts, political and social systems.
Made In Egypt
Gendered Identity and Aspiration on the Globalised Shop Floor
Chakravarti, L. Z.
This ground-breaking ethnography of an export-orientated garment assembly factory in Egypt examines the dynamic relationships between its managers – emergent Mubarak-bizniz (business) elites who are caught in an intensely competitive globalized supply chain – and the local daily-life realities of their young, educated, and mixed-gender labour force. Constructions of power and resistance, as well as individual aspirations and identities, are explored through articulations of class, gender and religion in both management discourses and shop floor practices. Leila Chakravarti’s compelling study also moves beyond the confines of the factory, examining the interplay with the wider world around it.
Area: Middle East & Israel
Modernity and the Unmaking of Men
Responding to the renewed emphasis on the significance of village studies, this book focuses on aging bachelorhood as a site of intolerable angst when faced with rural depopulation and social precarity. Based on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in contemporary Macedonian society, the book explores the intersections between modernity, kinship and gender. It argues that as a critical consequence of demographic rupture, changing values and societal shifts, aging bachelorhood illuminates and challenges conceptualizations of performativity and social presence.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Gender, Religion and the Making of Place in Post-War Croatia
Mythologies and narratives of victimization pervade contemporary Croatia, set against the backdrop of militarized notions of masculinity and the political mobilization of religion and nationhood. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in rural Dalmatia in the Croatian-Bosnian border region, this book provides a unique account of the politics of ambiguous Europeanness from the perspective of those living at Europe’s margins. Examining phenomena such as Marian apparitions, a historic knights tournament, the symbolic re-signification of a massacre site, and the desolate social situation of Croatian war veterans, Narrating Victimhood traces the complex mechanisms of political radicalization in a post-war scenario. This book provides a new perspective for understanding the ongoing processes of transformation in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans.
Area: Southern Europe
Negotiating Identity in Scandinavia
Women, Migration, and the Diaspora
Akman, H. (ed)
Gender has a profound impact on the discourse on migration as well as various aspects of integration, social and political life, public debate, and art. This volume focuses on immigration and the concept of diaspora through the experiences of women living in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Through a variety of case studies, the authors approach the multifaceted nature of interactions between these women and their adopted countries, considering both the local and the global. The text examines the “making of the Scandinavian” and the novel ways in which diasporic communities create gendered forms of belonging that transcend the nation state.
Area: Northern Europe
An American Cultural Dilemma
Nighttime for many new parents in the United States is fraught with the intense challenges of learning to breastfeed and helping their babies sleep so they can get rest themselves. Through careful ethnographic study of the dilemmas raised by nighttime breastfeeding, and their examination in the context of anthropological, historical, and feminist studies, this volume unravels the cultural tensions that underlie these difficulties. As parents negotiate these dilemmas, they not only confront conflicting medical guidelines about breastfeeding and solitary infant sleep, but also larger questions about cultural and moral expectations for children and parents, and their relationship with one another.
Area: North America
The Precarity of Masculinity
Football, Pentecostalism, and Transnational Aspirations in Cameroon
Since the 1990s, an increasing number of young men in Cameroon have aspired to play football as a career and a strategy to migrate abroad. Migration through the sport promises fulfillment of masculine dreams of sports stardom, as well as opportunities to earn a living that have been hollowed out by the country’s long economic stalemate. The aspiring footballers are increasingly turning to Pentecostal Christianity, which allows them to challenge common tropes of young men as stubborn and promiscuous, while also offering a moral and bodily regime that promises success despite the odds. Yet the transnational sports market is tough and unpredictable: it demands disciplined young bodies and introduces new forms of uncertainty. This book unpacks young Cameroonians' football dreams, Pentecostal faith, obligations to provide, and desires to migrate to highlight the precarity of masculinity in structurally adjusted Africa and neoliberal capitalism.
Reconceiving Muslim Men
Love and Marriage, Family and Care in Precarious Times
Inhorn, M. C. & Naguib, N. (eds)
This volume provides intimate anthropological accounts of Muslim men’s everyday lives in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and diasporic communities in the West. Amid increasing political turmoil and economic precarity, Muslim men around the world are enacting nurturing roles as husbands, sons, fathers, and community members, thereby challenging broader systems of patriarchy and oppression. By focusing on the ways in which Muslim men care for those they love, this volume challenges stereotypes and showcases Muslim men’s humanity.
Selfishness and Selflessness
New Approaches to Understanding Morality
Layne, L. L. (ed)
We are said to be suffering a narcissism epidemic when the need for collective action seems more pressing than ever. The traits of Selfishness and selflessness address the ‘proper’ and ‘improper’ relationship between one’s self and others. The work they do during periods of social instability and cultural change is probed in this original, interdisciplinary collection. Contributions range from an examination of how these concepts animated the eighteenth-century anti-slavery campaigners to a dissection of the way middle-class mothers’ experiences illustrate gendered struggles over how much and to whom one is morally obliged to give.
Thai in Vitro
Gender, Culture and Assisted Reproduction
In Thailand, infertility remains a source of stigma for those couples that combine a range of religious, traditional and high-tech interventions in their quest for a child. This book explores this experience of infertility and the pursuit and use of assisted reproductive technologies by Thai couples. Though using assisted reproductive technologies is becoming more acceptable in Thai society, access to and choices about such technologies are mediated by differences in class position. These stories of women and men in private and public infertility clinics reveal how local social and moral sensitivities influence the practices and meanings of treatment.
To See a Moose
The History of Polish Sex Education
Guiding the reader through the development of sex education in Poland, Agnieszka Kościańska looks at how it has changed from the 19th century to the present day. The book compares how sex was described in school textbooks, including those scrapped by the communists for fear of offending religious sentiments, and explores how the Catholic church retained its power in Poland under various regimes. The book also identifies the women and men who changed the way sex was written about in the country, and how they established the field of Polish sex education.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
The Voice of Prophecy
And Other Essays
Edwin Ardener - a new expanded edition of the collected works of one of the most important social anthroplogists in Britian of his time. Ardener worked on social, economic, demographic and political problems, and was particularly influential in his sustained effort to bring together social anthropology and linguistics in a highly original attempt to reconcile scientific and humanistic approaches to the study of society. This volume offers a theoretically and conceptually coherent body of work by this innovative and profound thinker, which will continue to excite and stimulate new generations of students and researchers as it has in the past.
Gender, Education, and Global Delays in Marriage and Childbearing
Inhorn, M. C. & Smith-Hefner, N. J. (eds)
The concept of “Waithood” was developed by political scientist Diane Singerman to describe the expanding period of time between adolescence and full adulthood as young people wait to secure steady employment and marry. The contributors to this volume employ the waithood concept as a frame for richly detailed ethnographic studies of “youth in waiting” from a variety of world areas, including the Middle East Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S, revealing that whether voluntary or involuntary, the phenomenon of youth waithood necessitates a recognition of new gender and family roles.
Witchcraft, Witches, and Violence in Ghana
Witchcraft violence is a feature of many contemporary African societies. In Ghana, belief in witchcraft and the malignant activities of putative witches is prevalent. Purported witches are blamed for all manner of adversities including inexplicable illnesses and untimely deaths. As in other historical periods and other societies, in contemporary Ghana, alleged witches are typically female, elderly, poor, and marginalized. Childhood socialization in homes and schools, exposure to mass media, and other institutional mechanisms ensure that witchcraft beliefs are transmitted across generations and entrenched over time. This book provides a detailed account of Ghanaian witchcraft beliefs and practices and their role in fueling violent attacks on alleged witches by aggrieved individuals and vigilante groups.
Women and the City, Women in the City
A Gendered Perspective on Ottoman Urban History
Maksudyan, N. (ed)
An attempt to reveal, recover and reconsider the roles, positions, and actions of Ottoman women, this volume reconsiders the negotiations, alliances, and agency of women in asserting themselves in the public domain in late- and post-Ottoman cities. Drawing on diverse theoretical backgrounds and a variety of source materials, from court records to memoirs to interviews, the contributors to the volume reconstruct the lives of these women within the urban sphere. With a fairly wide geographical span, from Aleppo to Sofia, from Jeddah to Istanbul, the chapters offer a wide panorama of the Ottoman urban geography, with a specific concern for gender roles.
Area: Middle East & Israel