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Living Kinship in the Pacific by Christina Toren (Editor); Simonne Pauwels (Editor)Unaisi Nabobo-Baba observed that for the various peoples of the Pacific, kinship is generally understood as "knowledge that counts." It is with this observation that this volume begins, and it continues with a straightforward objective to provide case studies of Pacific kinship. In doing so, contributors share an understanding of kinship as a lived and living dimension of contemporary human lives, in an area where deep historical links provide for close and useful comparison. The ethnographic focus is on transformation and continuity over time in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa with the addition of three instructive cases from Tokelau, Papua New Guinea, and Taiwan. The book ends with an account of how kinship is constituted in day-to-day ritual and ritualized behavior.
What Is Existential Anthropology? by Michael Jackson (Editor); Albert Piette (Editor)What is existential anthropology, and how would you define it? What has been gained by using existential perspectives in your fieldwork and writing? Editors Michael Jackson and Albert Piette each invited anthropologists on both sides of the Atlantic to address these questions and explore how various approaches to the human condition might be brought together on the levels of method and of theory. Both editors also bring their own perspective: while Jackson has drawn on phenomenology, deploying the concepts of intersubjectivity, lifeworld, experience, existential mobility, and event, Piette has drawn on Heidegger's Dasein-analysis, and developed a phenomenographical method for the observation and description of human beings in their singularity and ever-changing situations.
Polygyny by Debra Majeed"Captivating, provocative, and groundbreaking. Taking up the mandate that women's realities matter, Majeed writes with depth and analytical rigor about a topic we have scarcely begun to understand."--Amina Wadud, author of Inside The Gender Jihad "Tackles the contours and intimacies of a much practiced but seldom spoken about quasi-marriage that leaves women without legal support. A much-needed text on an extremely sensitive topic. Majeed excavates this terrain with finesse and a deft scholarly hand."--Aminah Beverly McCloud, coeditor of An Introduction to Islam in the 21st Century "Utilizes ethnographic research methods to imaginatively and constructively complexify the reality of polygyny in the lives of African American Muslim women."--Linda Elaine Thomas, author of Under the Canopy "Majeed's womanist approach is critical, yet balanced enough to include the concerns of women, men, and children, affording readers a broad and vital gaze into the lives of these unconventional households."--Zain Abdullah, author of Black Mecca "A powerful and long overdue study of polygyny in African American Muslim communities."--Shabana Mir, author of Muslim American Women on Campus Debra Majeed sheds light on families whose form and function conflict with U.S. civil law. Polygyny--multiple-wife marriage--has steadily emerged as an alternative to the low numbers of marriageable African American men and the high number of female-led households in black America. This book features the voices of women who welcome polygyny, oppose it, acquiesce to it, or even negotiate power in its practices. Majeed examines the choices available to African American Muslim women who are considering polygyny or who are living it. She calls attention to the ways in which interpretations of Islam's primary sources are authorized or legitimated to regulate the rights of Muslim women. Highlighting the legal, emotional, and communal implications of polygyny, Majeed encourages Muslim communities to develop formal measures that ensure the welfare of women and children who are otherwise not recognized by the state.
Intimate Grammars by Anthony K. WebsterOn April 24, 2013, Luci Tapahonso became the first poet laureate of the Navajo Nation, possibly the first Native American community to create such a post. The establishment of this position testifies to the importance of Navajo poets and poetry to the Navajo Nation. It also indicates the Navajo equivalence to the poetic traditions connected with the U.S. poet laureate and the poet laureate of the United Kingdom, author Anthony K. Webster asserts, as well as its separateness from those traditions. Intimate Grammars takes an ethnographic and ethnopoetic approach to language and culture in contemporary time, in which poetry and poets are increasingly important and visible in the Navajo Nation. Webster uses interviews and linguistic analysis to understand the kinds of social work that Navajo poets engage in through their poetry. Based on more than a decade of ethnographic and linguistic research, Webster's book explores a variety of topics: the emotional value assigned to various languages spoken on the Navajo Nation through poetry (Navajo English, Navlish, Navajo, and English), why Navajo poets write about the "ugliness" of the Navajo Nation, and the way contemporary Navajo poetry connects young Navajos to the Navajo language. Webster also discusses how contemporary Navajo poetry challenges the creeping standardization of written Navajo and how boarding school experiences influence how Navajo poets write poetry and how Navajo readers appreciate contemporary Navajo poetry. Through the work of poets such as Luci Tapahonso, Laura Tohe, Rex Lee Jim, Gloria Emerson, Blackhorse Mitchell, Esther Belin, Sherwin Bitsui, and many others, Webster provides new ways of thinking about contemporary Navajo poets and poetry. Intimate Grammars offers an exciting new ethnography of speaking, ethnopoetics, and discourse-centered examinations of language and culture.
The Fate of Rural HellIn 1975, when political scientist Benedict Anderson reached Wat Phai Rong Wua, a massive temple complex in rural Thailand conceived by Buddhist monk Luang Phor Khom, he felt he had wandered into a demented Disneyland. One of the world s most bizarre tourist attractions, Wat Phai Rong Wua was designed as a cautionary museum of sorts; its gruesome statues depict violent and torturous scenes that showcase what hell may be like. Over the next few decades, Anderson, who is best known for his work, "Imagined Communities," found himself transfixed by this unusual amalgamation of objects, returning several times to see attractions like the largest metal-cast Buddha figure in the world and the Palace of a Hundred Spires. The concrete statuaries and perverse art in Luang Phor s personal museum of hell included, side by side, an upright human skeleton in a glass cabinet and a life-size replica of Michelangelo s gigantic nude David, wearing fashionable red underpants from the top of which poked part of a swollen, un-Florentine penis, alongside dozens of statues of evildoers being ferociously punished in their afterlife.In "The Fate of Rural Hell," Anderson unravels the intrigue of this strange setting, endeavoring to discover what compels so many Thai visitors to travel to this popular spectacle and what order, if any, inspired its creation. At the same time, he notes in Wat Phai Rong Wua the unexpected effects of the gradual advance of capitalism into the far reaches of rural Asia.Both a one-of-a-kind travelogue and a penetrating look at the community that sustains it, "The Fate of Rural Hell" is sure to intrigue and inspire conversation as much as Wat Phai Rong Wua itself."
Publication Date: 2012-06-15
Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes by Denise Y. Arnold (Editor); Penny Dransart (Editor)This volume explores the production and use of Andean textiles from the weaver's perspective and follows recent intellectual developments on the productive chain of weaving. This book explores issues around the production of cloth in the Andean region and its use in Andean societies. Where possible, the book focuses on Andean textiles from a weaver's point of view, through the various tasks and processes in their making, and the manifold ways in which the ideas about a finished textile product refer back continually to these prior processes. Recent intellectual developments on the productive chain of weaving are taken into account, specifically on the human dimension of this in the operative chain (chaine operatoire) of the textile domain. By working from the productive chain backwards, it is possible to trace and define the processes which led to the material makeup of a certain piece. In this way it is possible to make more convincing links between the materials or colors used during the productive processes and the finished museum object."
Late Roman Glassware and Pottery from Amarna and Related Studies by Jane FaiersThis is the second volume on the monastic site of Kom el-Nana at Tell el-Amarna and brings up-to-date the excavations carried out there. The first volume contained mainly unstratified pottery and no glass, and included some of the Late Roman sites around Amarna. This volume brings together the stratified pottery and both stratified and unstratifued glass, and includes more Late Roman site around Amarna which were visited by Robert Miller in 1988 and Barry Kemp in 1995. Due to the incomplete nature of the excavations at present (only around a third of the monastery has so far been excavated) and the time elapsed since abandonment, the conclusions reached on the dating of the site may well have to be revised in future. In the meantime, the collections of pottery and glass will, hopefully, prove useful for those working in the Middle East and especially in Egypt.
New Books - August
The Invaders by Pat ShipmanWith their large brains, sturdy physique, sophisticated tools, and hunting skills, Neanderthals are the closest known relatives to humans. Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europeâe"descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct? The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthalsâe(tm) demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, which predicts that the species ecologically closest to the invasive predator will face the greatest competition, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthalsâe(tm) geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity. But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humansâe(tm) partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammalsâe"a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.
The Book of Yokai by Michael Dylan Foster; Shinonome Kijin (Illustrator)Monsters, ghosts, fantastic beings, and supernatural phenomena of all sorts haunt the folklore and popular culture of Japan. Broadly labeled yokai, these creatures come in infinite shapes and sizes, from tengu mountain goblins and kappa water spirits to shape-shifting foxes and long-tongued ceiling-lickers. Currently popular in anime, manga, film, and computer games, many yokai originated in local legends, folktales, and regional ghost stories. Drawing on years of research in Japan, Michael Dylan Foster unpacks the history and cultural context of yokai, tracing their roots, interpreting their meanings, and introducing people who have hunted them through the ages. In this delightful and accessible narrative, readers will explore the roles played by these mysterious beings within Japanese culture and will also learn of their abundance and variety through detailed entries, some with original illustrations, on more than fifty individual creatures. The Book of Yokai provides a lively excursion into Japanese folklore and its ever-expanding influence on global popular culture. It also invites readers to examine how people create, transmit, and collect folklore, and how they make sense of the mysteries in the world around them. By exploring yokai as a concept, we can better understand broader processes of tradition, innovation, storytelling, and individual and communal creativity.
The Unending Hunger by Megan A. CarneyBased on ethnographic fieldwork from Santa Barbara, California, this book sheds light on the ways that food insecurity prevails in women’s experiences of migration from Mexico and Central America to the United States. As women grapple with the pervasive conditions of poverty that hinder efforts at getting enough to eat, they find few options for alleviating the various forms of suffering that accompany food insecurity. Examining how constraints on eating and feeding translate to the uneven distribution of life chances across borders and how "food security” comes to dominate national policy in the United States, this book argues for understanding women’s relations to these processes as inherently biopolitical.
The Politics of Crowds by Christian BorchWhen sociology emerged as a discipline in the late nineteenth century, the problem of crowds constituted one of its key concerns. It was argued that crowds shook the foundations of society and led individuals into all sorts of irrational behaviour. Yet crowds were not just something to be fought in the street, they also formed a battleground over how sociology should be demarcated from related disciplines, most notably psychology. In The Politics of Crowds, Christian Borch traces sociological debates on crowds and masses from the birth of sociology until today, with a particular focus on the developments in France, Germany and the USA. The book is a refreshing alternative history of sociology and modern society, observed through society's other, the crowd. Borch shows that the problem of crowds is not just of historical interest: even today the politics of sociology is intertwined with the politics of crowds.
Abrazando el Espíritu by Ana Elizabeth RosasStructured to meet employers’ needs for low-wage farm workers, the well-known Bracero Program recruited thousands of Mexicans to perform physical labor in the United States between 1942 and 1964 in exchange for remittances sent back to Mexico. As partners and family members were dispersed across national borders, interpersonal relationships were transformed. The prolonged absences of Mexican workers, mostly men, forced women and children at home to inhabit new roles, create new identities, and cope with long-distance communication from fathers, brothers, and sons. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, Ana Elizabeth Rosas uncovers a previously hidden history of transnational family life. Intimate and personal experiences are revealed to show how Mexican immigrants and their families were not passive victims but instead found ways to embrace the spirit (abrazando el espíritu) of making and implementing difficult decisions concerning their family situations--creating new forms of affection, gender roles, and economic survival strategies with long-term consequences.
Language and Superdiversity by Zane GoebelScholars of language ideology have encouraged us to reflect on and explore where social categories come from, how they have been reproduced, and whether and to what extent they are relevant to everyday interactional practices. Taking up on these issues, this book focuses on how ethnicity hasbeen semiotically constructed, valued, and reproduced in Indonesia since Dutch colonial times, and how this category is drawn upon in everyday talk. In doing so, this book also seeks to engage with scholarship on superdiversity while highlighting some points of engagement with work on ideas aboutcommunity. The book draws upon a broad range of scholarship on Indonesia, recordings of Indonesian television from the mid-1990s onwards, and recordings of the talk of Indonesian students living in Japan. It is argued that some of the main mechanisms for the reproduction and revaluation of ethnicity and its links with linguistic form include waves of technological innovations that bring people into contact (e.g. changes in transportation infrastructure, introduction of print media, television, radio,the internet, etc.), and the increasing use of one-to-many participation frameworks such as school classrooms and the mass media. In examining the talk of sojourning Indonesians the book goes on to explore how ideologies about ethnicity are used to establish and maintain convivial social relationswhile in Japan. Maintaining such relationships is not a trivial thing and it is argued that the pursuit of conviviality is an important practice because of its relationship with broader concerns about eking out a living.
Anthropology and Development by Katy Gardner; David Lewis; Colin CreminWestern aid is in decline. Non-traditional development actors from the developing countries and elsewhere are in the ascendant. A new set of global economic and political processes are shaping the twenty-first century.Anthropology and Development is a completely rewritten new edition of the best-selling and critically acclaimed Anthropology, Development and the Post-Modern Challenge (1996). It will serve as both an innovative reformulation of the field, and as a textbook for many undergraduate and graduate courses at leading universities in Europe and North America.The authors Katy Gardner and David Lewis engage with nearly two decades of continuity and change in the development industry. In particular, they argue that while the world of international development has expanded since the 1990s, it has become more rigidly technocratic. Anthropology and Development therefore insists on a focus upon the core anthropological issues surrounding poverty and inequality, and thus redefines what are perceived as problems in the field.
Oikos and Market by Stephen Gudeman (Editor); Chris Hann (Editor)Self-sufficiency of the house is practiced in many parts of the world but ignored in economic theory, just as socialist collectivization is assumed to have brought household self-sufficiency to an end. The ideals of self-sufficiency, however, continue to shape economic activity in a wide range of postsocialist settings. This volume's six comparative studies of postsocialist villages in Eastern Europe and Asia illuminate the enduring importance of the house economy, which is based not on the market but on the order of the house. These formations show that economies depend not only on the macro institutions of markets and states but also on the micro institutions of families, communities, and house economies, often in an uneasy relationship.
New Books - August
Israeli-Palestinian Activism Shifting Paradigms by Alexander KoenslerWhen do words and actions empower? When do they betray? Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this volume tracks the repercussions of advocacy activism against house demolitions in 'unrecognised' Arab-Bedouin villages in Israel's southern 'internal frontier'. Koensler outlines an ethnographic approach for the study of social movements that follows multiple relations around mobilisations rather than studying activism in itself. This perspective thus becomes relevant for scholars and activists engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those interested in global rights discourses.
Advertising Diversity by Shalini ShankarIn Advertising Diversity Shalini Shankar explores how racial and ethnic differences are created and commodified through advertisements, marketing, and public relations. Drawing from periods of fieldwork she conducted over four years at Asian American ad agencies in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Shankar illustrates the day-to-day process of creating and producing broadcast and internet advertisements. She examines the adaptation of general market brand identities for Asian American audiences, the ways ad executives make Asian cultural and linguistic concepts accessible to their clients, and the differences between casting Asian Americans in ads for general and multicultural markets. Shankar argues that as a form of racialized communication, advertising shapes the political and social status of Asian Americans, transforming them from "model minorities" to "model consumers." Asian Americans became visible in the twenty-first century United States through a process Shankar calls "racial naturalization." Once seen as foreign, their framing as model consumers has legitimized their presence in the American popular culture landscape. By making the category of Asian American suitable for consumption, ad agencies shape and refine the population they aim to represent.
On the Lips of Others by Patrick Thomas HajovskyMoteuczoma, the last king who ruled the Aztec Empire, was rarely seen or heard by his subjects, yet his presence was felt throughout the capital city of Tenochtitlan, where his deeds were recorded in hieroglyphic inscriptions on monuments and his command was expressed in highly refined ritual performances. What did Moteuczoma's "fame" mean in the Aztec world? How was it created and maintained? In this innovative study, Patrick Hajovsky investigates the king's inscribed and spoken name, showing how it distinguished his aura from those of his constituencies, especially other Aztec nobles, warriors, and merchants, who also vied for their own grandeur and fame. While Tenochtitlan reached its greatest size and complexity under Moteuczoma, the "Great Speaker" innovated upon fame by tying his very name to the Aztec royal office. As Moteuczoma's fame transcends Aztec visual and oral culture, Hajovsky brings together a vast body of evidence, including Nahuatl language and poetry, indigenous pictorial manuscripts and written narratives, and archaeological and sculptural artifacts. The kaleidoscopic assortment of sources casts Moteuczoma as a divine king who, while inheriting the fame of past rulers, saw his own reputation become entwined with imperial politics, ideological narratives, and eternal gods. Hajovsky also reflects on posthumous narratives about Moteuczoma, which created a very different sense of his fame as a conquered subject. These contrasting aspects of fame offer important new insights into the politics of personhood and portraiture across Aztec and colonial-period sources.
Norm Diffusion and HIV/AIDS Governance in Putin's Russia and Mbeki's South Africa by Vlad KravtsovAlthough adopting global norms often improves domestic systems of governance, domestic obstacles to norm diffusion are frequent. States that decide to reinvent their political authority simultaneously evaluate which current global norms are desirable and to what extent. In this study, Vlad Kravtsov argues that recent debates about the nature of authority in Putin's Russia and Mbeki's South Africa have resulted in a set of unique ideas on the cardinal goals of the state. This is the first book to explore how these consensual ideas have shaped health governance and impinged on norm diffusion processes. Detailed comparisons of HIV/AIDS governance systems in Russia and South Africa illustrate the argument. The Kremlin's dislike of international recommendations stemmed from the rapidly maturing statism and great power syndrome. Pretoria's responses to global AIDS norms were consistent with the ideas of the African Renaissance, which highlighted indigenousness, market-based empowerment, and moral leadership in global affairs. This book explains how and why the governments under investigation framed the nature of the epidemic, provided evidence-based prevention services, increased universal access to proven lifesaving medicines, and interacted with other participants in social practice.
Moral Development in a Global World by Lene Arnett Jensen (Editor)Questions addressing people's moral lives, similarities and differences in the moral concepts of cultural groups, and how these concepts emerge in the course of development are of perennial interest. In a globalizing world, addressing what is universal and what is culturally distinctive about moral development is pressing. More than ever, well-substantiated knowledge of diverse peoples' moral compasses is needed. This book presents the cultural-developmental theory of moral psychology, findings from numerous countries, and four instruments for conducting cultural-developmental research. The central thesis is that humans are born with a shared moral heritage and that, as we develop from childhood into adulthood, we branch off in diverse directions shaped by culture - resulting in novelty and contention. An international group of eminent and cutting-edge scholars from anthropology, psychology, and linguistics addresses this timely topic and explores how gender, social class, and 'culture wars' between liberals and conservatives play into moral development across cultures.
The Knowledge Capital of Nations by Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger WoessmannIn this book Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann make a simple, central claim, developed with rigorous theoretical and empirical support: knowledge is the key to a country's development. Of course, every country acknowledges the importance of developing human capital, but Hanushek and Woessmann argue that message has become distorted, with politicians and researchers concentrating not on valued skills but on proxies for them. The common focus is on school attainment, although time in school provides a very misleading picture of how skills enter into development. Hanushek and Woessmann contend that the cognitive skills of the population -- which they term the "knowledge capital" of a nation -- are essential to long-run prosperity. Hanushek and Woessmann subject their hypotheses about the relationship between cognitive skills (as consistently measured by international student assessments) and economic growth to a series of tests, including alternate specifications, different subsets of countries, and econometric analysis of causal interpretations. They find that their main results are remarkably robust, and equally applicable to developing and developed countries. They demonstrate, for example, that the "Latin American growth puzzle" and the "East Asian miracle" can be explained by these regions' knowledge capital. Turning to the policy implications of their argument, they call for an education system that develops effective accountability, promotes choice and competition, and provides direct rewards for good performance.
Hunt the Devil by Robert L. Ivie; Oscar GinerHunt the Devil is a timely and illuminating exploration of demonic imagery in US war culture. In it, authors Robert L. Ivie and Oscar Giner examine the origins of the Devil figure in the national psyche and review numerous examples from US history of the demonization of America’s perceived opponents. Their analysis demonstrates that American military deployments are often part of a cycle of mythical projection wherein the Devil repeatedly appears anew and must be exorcised through redemptive acts of war, even at the cost of curtailing democratic values. Meticulously researched, documented, and argued, Hunt the Devil opens with contemporary images of the US’s global war on terror in the aftermath of 9/11. In five chapters devoted to the demonization of evildoers, witches, Indians, dictators, and Reds by American writers, in presidential rhetoric, and in popular culture, Ivie and Giner show how the use of demonization in the war on terror is only the most recent manifestation of a process that has recurred throughout American history. In a sixth chapter, the authors introduce the archetype of the Trickster. Though not opposed to the Devil per se, the Trickster’s democratic impulses have often provided a corrective antidote to the corrosive and distorting effects of demonization. Invoking the framework of Carl Jung’s shadow aspect, Hunt the Devil offers the Trickster as a figure who can break the cycle of demonization and war. The role of the mythic Devil in the American psyche has profound implications, not just for American diplomacy and the use of American arms in the world, but for the possibility of domestic peace within an increasingly diverse society. Hunt the Devil provides much of interest to readers and scholars in the fields of war, rhetorical studies, American Studies, US political culture, Jungian psychology, and mythography.