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The Anthroposcene of Weather and Climate
Ethnographic Contributions to the Climate Change Debate
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
While it is widely acknowledged that climate change is among the greatest global challenges of our times, it has local implications too. This volume forefronts these local issues, giving anthropology a voice in this great debate, which is otherwise dominated by natural scientists and policy makers. It shows what an ethnographic focus can offer in furthering our understanding of the lived realities of climate debates. Contributors from communities around the world discuss local knowledge of, and responses to, environmental changes that need to feature in scientifically framed policies regarding mitigation and adaptation measures if they are to be effective.
Aspirations of Young Adults in Urban Asia
Values, Family, and Identity
Westendorp, M., Remmert, D. & Finis, K. (eds)
Comparing first-person ethnographic accounts of young people living, working, and creating relationships in cities across Asia, this volume explores their contemporary lives, pressures, ideals, and aspirations. Delving into topical issues such as education, social inequality, family pressures, changing values, precarious employment, and political discontent, the book explores how young people are pushing boundaries and imagining their future. In this way, they explore and create the identities of their local and global surroundings.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
Areas: Asia Asia-Pacific
Back to the Postindustrial Future
An Ethnography of Germany's Fastest-Shrinking City
How does an urban community come to terms with the loss of its future? The former socialist model city of Hoyerswerda is an extreme case of a declining postindustrial city. Built to serve the GDR coal industry, it lost over half its population to outmigration after German reunification and the coal industry crisis, leading to the large-scale deconstruction of its cityscape. This book tells the story of its inhabitants, now forced to reconsider their futures. Building on recent theoretical work, it advances a new anthropological approach to time, allowing us to investigate the postindustrial era and the futures it has supposedly lost.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
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.
Bloom and Bust
Urban Landscapes in the East since German Reunification
Cliver, G. & Smith-Prei, C. (eds)
More than two decades of deconstruction, renovation, and reconstruction have left the urban environments in the former German Democratic Republic completely transformed. This volume considers the changing urban landscapes in the former East — and how the filling of previous absences and the absence of previous presence — creates the cultural landscape of modern unified Germany. This broadens our understanding of this transformation by examining often-neglected cities, spaces, or structures, and historical narration and preservation.
Subjects: Urban Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Brazilian Steel Town
Machines, Land, Money and Commoning in the Making of the Working Class
Volta Redonda is a Brazilian steel town founded in the 1940s by dictator Getúlio Vargas on an ex-coffee valley as a powerful symbol of Brazilian modernization. The city’s economy, and consequently its citizen’s lives, revolves around the Companha Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), the biggest industrial complex in Latin America. Although the glory days of the CSN have long passed, the company still controls life in Volta Redonda today, creating as much dispossession as wealth for the community. Brazilian Steel Town tells the story of the people tied to this ailing giant – of their fears, hopes, and everyday struggles.
'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.
Subjects: Urban Studies Anthropology (General)
Building the Good Life in Urban Cohousing Communities
Understudied relative to other forms of intentional community, and under-recognized in policy-making circles, urban cohousing communities situate wellbeing as simultaneously social and subjective, while catering for groups of people so diverse in age. Collaborative Happiness looks at two such urban cohousing communities: Kankanmori, in Tokyo; and Quayside Village, in Vancouver. In expanding beyond mainstream approaches to happiness focused exclusively on the individual, Quayside Village and Kankanmori provide an alternative model for how to understand and practice the good life in an increasingly urbanized world marked by crisis of both social and environmental sustainability.
Subjects: Applied Anthropology Urban Studies Sociology
Local Responses to Global Climate Change
Hoffman, S. M., Eriksen, T. H., & Mendes, P. (eds)
Climate change is a slowly advancing crisis sweeping over the planet and affecting different habitats in strikingly diverse ways. While nations have signed treaties and implemented policies, most actual climate change assessments, adaptations, and countermeasures take place at the local level. People are responding by adjusting their practices, livelihoods, and cultures, protesting and migrating. This book portrays the diversity of explanations and remedies as expressed at the community level and its emphasis on the crucial importance of ethnographic detail in demonstrating how people in different parts of the world are scaling down the phenomenon of global warming.
Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space
Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland
Komarova, M. & Svašek, M. (eds)
Exploring the complex dynamics of twenty-first century spatial sociality, this volume provides a much-needed multi-dimensional perspective that undermines the dominant image of Northern Ireland as a conflict-ridden place. Despite touching on memories of “the Troubles” and continuing unionist-nationalist tensions, the volume refuses to consider people in the region as purely political beings, or to understand processes of placemaking solely through ethnic or national contestations and territoriality. Topics such as the significance of friendship, gender, and popular culture in spatial practices are considered, against the backdrop of the growing presence of migrants, refugees and diasporic groups.
Pious Muslims in a German City
In the southern German city of Stuttgart lives a pious Muslim population that has merged with the local population to create a meaningful shared existence. In this ethnographic account, the author introduces and examines the lives of ordinary residents, neighborhoods, and mosque communities to analyze moments and spaces where Muslims and non-Muslims engage with each other and accommodate their respective needs. These accounts show that even in the face of resentment and discrimination, this pious population has indeed become an integral part of the urban community.
Subjects: Urban Studies Anthropology of Religion
The France of the Little-Middles
A Suburban Housing Development in Greater Paris
Cartier, M., Coutant, I., Masclet, O., & Siblot, Y.
The Poplars housing development in suburban Paris is home to what one resident called the “Little-Middles” – a social group on the tenuous border between the working- and middle- classes. In the 1960s The Poplars was a site of upward social mobility, which fostered an egalitarian sense of community among residents. This feeling of collective flourishing was challenged when some residents moved away, selling their homes to a new generation of upwardly mobile neighbors from predominantly immigrant backgrounds. This volume explores the strained reception of these migrants, arguing that this is less a product of racism and xenophobia than of anxiety about social class and the loss of a sense of community that reigned before.
Subjects: Sociology Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
Views from Europe
Chabrol, M., Collet, A., Giroud, M., Launay, L., Rousseau, M., Minassian, H. ter
Offering an original discussion of the gentrification phenomenon in Europe, this book provides new theoretical insights into classical works on the subject. Using a thorough analysis of the diversity of the forms, places and actors of gentrification in an attempt to isolate its ‘DNA’, the book addresses the place of social groups in cities, their competition over the appropriation of space, the infrastructure unequally offered to them by economic and political actors and the stakes of everyday social relationships.
Subjects: Urban Studies Sociology Anthropology (General)
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 Anthropology (General)
Housing and Belonging in Latin America
Klaufus, C. & Ouweneel, A. (eds)
The intricacies of living in contemporary Latin American cities include cases of both empowerment and restriction. In Lima, residents built their own homes and formed community organizations, while in Rio de Janeiro inhabitants of the favelas needed to be “pacified” in anticipation of international sporting events. Aspirations to “get ahead in life” abound in the region, but so do multiple limitations to realizing the dream of upward mobility. This volume captures the paradoxical histories and experiences of urban life in Latin America, offering new empirical and theoretical insights to scholars.
Subjects: Urban Studies Sociology
In-Betweenness in Greater Khartoum
Spaces, Temporalities, and Identities from Separation to Revolution
Franck, A., Casciarri, B., & Salim El-Hassan, I. (eds)
Focusing on Greater Khartoum following South Sudanese independence in 2011, In-Betweenness in Greater Khartoum explores the impact on society of major political events in areas that are neither urban nor rural, public nor private. This volume uses these in-between spaces as a lens to analyze how these events, in combination with other processes, such as globalization and economic neo-liberalization, impact communities across the region. Drawing on original fieldwork and empirical data, the authors uncover the reshaping of new categories of people that reinforce old dichotomies and in doing so underscore a common Sudanese identity.
Subjects: Urban Studies Peace and Conflict Studies
Living on Thin Ice
The Gwich'in Natives of Alaska
Dinero, S. C.
The Gwich’in Natives of Arctic Village, Alaska, have experienced intense social and economic changes for more than a century. In the late 20th century, new transportation and communication technologies introduced radically new value systems; while some of these changes may be seen as socially beneficial, others suggest a weakening of what was once a strong and vibrant Native community. Using quantitative and qualitative data gathered since the turn of the millennium, this volume offers an interdisciplinary evaluation of the developments that have occurred in the community over the past several decades.
Areas: North America Circumpolar
Making Better Lives
Hope, Freedom and Home-Making among People Sleeping Rough in Paris
In this ethnographic study, Johannes Lenhard observes the daily practices, routines and techniques of people who are sleeping rough on the streets of Paris. The book focusses on their survival practises, their short-term desires and hopes, how they earn money through begging, how they choose the best place to sleep at night and what role drugs and alcohol play in their lives. The book also follows people through different institutional settings, including a homeless day centre, a needle exchange, a centre for people with alcohol problems and a homeless shelter.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Urban Studies
Somali Presence in Urban East Africa
Carrier, N. & Scharrer, T. (eds)
The increased presence of Somalis has brought much change to East African towns and cities in recent decades, change that has met with ambivalence and suspicion, especially within Kenya. This volume demystifies Somali residence and mobility in urban East Africa, showing its historical depth, and exploring the social, cultural and political underpinnings of Somali-led urban transformation. In so doing, it offers a vivid case study of the transformative power of (forced) migration on urban centres, and the intertwining of urbanity and mobility. The volume will be of interest for readers working in the broader field of migration, as well as anthropology and urban studies.
Narrating the City
Histories, Space and the Everyday
Fischer-Nebmaier, W., Berg, M. P., & Christou, A. (eds)
In recent decades, the insight that narration shapes our perception of reality has inspired and influenced the most innovative historical accounts. Focusing on new research, this volume explores the history of non-elite populations in cities from Caracas to Vienna, and Paris to Belgrade. Narration is central to the theme of each contribution, whether as a means of description, a methodological approach, or basic story telling. This book brings together research that both asks classical socio-historical questions and takes narration seriously, engaging with novels, films, local history accounts, petitions to municipal authorities, and interviews with alternative cinema activists.
Subjects: Urban Studies History (General) Sociology
Political Graffiti in Critical Times
The Aesthetics of Street Politics
Campos, R., Pavoni, A., & Zaimakis, Y. (eds)
Whether aesthetically or politically inspired, graffiti is among the oldest forms of expression in human history, one that becomes especially significant during periods of social and political upheaval. With a particular focus on the demographic, ecological, and economic crises of today, this volume provides a wide-ranging exploration of urban space and visual protest. Assembling case studies that cover topics such as gentrification in Cyprus, the convulsions of post-independence East Timor, and opposition to Donald Trump in the American capital, it reveals the diverse ways in which street artists challenge existing social orders and reimagine urban landscapes.
Politics of the Dunes
Poetry, Architecture, and Coloniality at the Open City
Founded in the late 1960s on Chile’s Pacific coast, the Open City (la Ciudad Abierta) has become an internationally recognized site of cutting-edge architectural experimentation. Yet with a global reputation as an apolitical collective, little has been discussed about the Open City’s relationship with Chilean history and politics. Politics of the Dunes explores the ways in which the Open City’s architectural and urban practice is devoted to keeping open the utopian possibility for multiplicity, pluralism, and democratization in the face of authoritarianism, a powerful mode of postcolonial environmental urbanism that can inform architectural practices today.
Subjects: Urban Studies Sociology History (General)
The Rite of Urban Passage
The Spatial Ritualization of Iranian Urban Transformation
The Iranian city experienced a major transformation when the Pahlavi Dynasty initiated a project of modernization in the 1920s. The Rite of Urban Passage investigates this process by focusing on the spatial dynamics of Muharram processions, a ritual that commemorates the tragic massacre of Hussein and his companions in 680 CE. In doing so, this volume offers not only an alternative approach to understanding the process of urban transformation, but also a spatial genealogy of Muharram rituals that provides a platform for developing a fresh spatial approach to ritual studies.
Area: Middle East & Israel
Searching for a Better Life
Growing Up in the Slums of Bangkok
Life in Bangkok for young people is marked by profound, interlocking changes and transitions. This book offers an ethnographic account of growing up in the city’s slums, struggling to get by in a rapidly developing and globalizing economy and trying to fulfil one’s dreams. At the same time, it reflects on the issue of agency, exploring its negative potential when exercised by young people living under severe structural constraint. It offers an antidote to neoliberal ideas around personal responsibility, and the assumed potential for individuals to break through structures of constraint in any sustained way.
Subject: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
Space, Place and Identity
Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century
Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. This book examines recent transformations in spatial patterns, notably in the context of urban migration and in processes of sedentarization in rural proto-villages. The book analyses the consequences that the recent change entails for social group formation and collective identification, and how this impacts integration into wider society amid the structures of the modern nation state.
Street Vending in the Neoliberal City
A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy
Graaff, K. & Ha, N. (eds)
Examining street vending as a global, urban, and informalized practice found both in the Global North and Global South, this volume presents contributions from international scholars working in cities as diverse as Berlin, Dhaka, New York City, Los Angeles, Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City. The aim of this global approach is to repudiate the assumption that street vending is usually carried out in the Southern hemisphere and to reveal how it also represents an essential—and constantly growing—economic practice in urban centers of the Global North. Although street vending activities vary due to local specificities, this anthology illustrates how these urban practices can also reveal global ties and developments.
Sustaining Russia's Arctic Cities
Resource Politics, Migration, and Climate Change
Orttung, R. (ed)
Urban areas in Arctic Russia are experiencing unprecedented social and ecological change. This collection outlines the key challenges that city managers will face in navigating this shifting political, economic, social, and environmental terrain. In particular, the volume examines how energy production drives a boom-bust cycle in the Arctic economy, explores how migrants from Muslim cultures are reshaping the social fabric of northern cities, and provides a detailed analysis of climate change and its impact on urban and industrial infrastructure.
Under the Sign of the Cross
The People’s Salvation Cathedral and the Church-Building Industry in Postsocialist Romania
Based on extensive ethnographic research, this book delves into the thriving industry of religious infrastructure in Romania, where 4,000 Orthodox churches and cathedrals have been built in three decades. Following the construction of the world’s highest Orthodox cathedral in Bucharest, the book brings together sociological and anthropological scholarship on eastern Christianity, secularization, urban change and nationalism. Reading postsocialism through the prism of religious change, the author argues that the emergence of political, entrepreneurial and intellectual figures after 1990 has happened ‘under the sign of the cross’.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Transformations of Family Life in Burkina Faso
de Jong, W., Perlik, M., Steuer, N., & Znoj, H. (eds)
Claudia Roth's work on Bobo-Dioulasso, a city of half a million residents in Burkina Faso, provides uniquely detailed insight into the evolving life-world of a West African urban population in one of the poorest countries in the world. Closely documenting the livelihood strategies of members of various neighbourhoods, Roth’s work calls into question established notions of “the African family” as a solidary network, documents changing marriage and kinship relations under the impact of a persistent economic crisis, and explores the increasingly precarious social status of young women and men.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Urban Studies
An Urban Future for Sápmi?
Indigenous Urbanization in the Nordic States and Russia
Berg-Nordlie, M., Dankertsen, A, & Winsvold, M. (eds)
Presenting the political and cultural processes that occur within the indigenous Sámi people of North Europe as they undergo urbanization, this book examines how they have retained their sense of history and culture in this new setting. The book presents data and analysis on subjects such as indigenous urbanization history, urban indigenous identity issues, urban indigenous youth, and the governance of urban “spaces” for indigenous culture and community. The book is written by a team of researchers, mostly Sámi, from all the countries covered in the book.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies Sociology
Urban Sustainability in the Arctic
Measuring Progress in Circumpolar Cities
Orttung, R. W.
Urban Sustainability in the Arctic advances our understanding of cities in the far north by applying elements of the international standard for urban sustainability (ISO 37120) to numerous Arctic cities. In delivering rich material about northern cities in Alaska, Canada, and Russia, the book examines how well the ISO 37120 measures sustainability and how well it applies in northern conditions. In doing so, it links the Arctic cities into a broader conversation about urban sustainability more generally.
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
Class Struggles and Urban Commoning
Kalb, D. & Mollona, M. (eds)
The past decades have seen significant urban insurrections worldwide, and this volume analyzes some of them from an anthropological perspective; it argues that transformations of urban class relationships must be approached in a way that is both globally informed and deeply embedded in local and popular histories, and contends that every case of urban mobilization should be understood against its precise context in the global capitalist transformation. The book examines cases of mobilization across the globe, and employs a Marxian class framework, open to the diverse and multi-scalar dynamics of urban politics, especially struggles for spatial justice.
Yearnings in the Meantime
'Normal Lives' and the State in a Sarajevo Apartment Complex
Shortly after the book’s protagonists moved into their apartment complex in Sarajevo, they, like many others, were overcome by the 1992-1995 war and the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia More than a decade later, in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, they felt they were collectively stuck in a time warp where nothing seemed to be as it should be. Starting from everyday concerns, this book paints a compassionate yet critical portrait of people’s sense that they were in limbo, trapped in a seemingly endless “Meantime.” Ethnographically investigating yearnings for “normal lives” in the European semi-periphery, it proposes fresh analytical tools to explore how the time and place in which we are caught shape our hopes and fears.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe