Cutting the Face

Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan

in Journal of Legal Anthropology
Author: Geoffrey Hughes
View More View Less
Restricted access

Abstract

The local uptake of new media in the Middle East is shaped by deep histories of imperialism, state building, resistance and accommodation. In contemporary Jordan, social media is simultaneously encouraging identification with tribes and undermining their gerontocratic power structures. Senior men stress their own importance as guarantors (‘faces’), who restore order following conflicts, promising to pay their rivals a large surety if their kin break the truce. Yet, ‘cutting the face’ (breaking truces) remains an alternative, one often facilitated by new technologies that allow people to challenge pre-existing structures of communication and authority. However, the experiences of journalists and other social media mavens suggest that the liberatory promise of the new technology may not be enough to prevent its reintegration into older patterns of social control.

  • Abbadi, A. O. al- (2006), Bedouin Justice: The Customary Legal System of the Tribes and Its Integration into the Framework of State Polity from 19211982 (Amman, Jordan: Dar Jareer).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Abu Lughod, L. (2004), Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

  • Abu Lughod, L. (2012), ‘Living the “Revolution” in an Egyptian Village: Moral Action in a National Space’, American Ethnologist 39, no. 1: 2125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alexander, M. (2012), The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press).

  • Azzeh, L. (2016), ‘Muslim Scholar Detained “Over Comments on Jordan’s Role in Anti-Daesh War”’, Jordan Times, 15 June. http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/muslim-scholar-detained-over-comments-jordans-role-anti-daesh-war.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bateson, G. (1935), ‘199: Culture Contact and Schismogenesis’, Man 35: 178183.

  • Boelstorff, T. (2008). Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boehm, C. (1984), Blood Revenge: The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulos, N. (2016), ‘Jordanian Journalist Shot to Death on Courthouse Steps after Posting Controversial Cartoon to Facebook’, Los Angeles Times, 25 September. http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-jordan-journalist-killed-cartoon-20160925-snap-story.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carey, M. (2012), ‘“The Rules” in Morocco? Pragmatic Approaches to Flirtation and Lying’, Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2, no. 2: 188204.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dean, M. (1999), ‘Advanced Liberalism’, in Powers of Freedom: Reframing Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 137166.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fabian, J. (1983), Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object (New York: Columbia University Press).

  • Gershon, I. (2010), The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).

  • Ghannam, F. (2012), ‘Meanings and Feelings: Local Interpretations of the Use of Violence in the Egyptian Revolution’, American Ethnologist 39, no. 1: 3236.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ginsburg, F. (1991), ‘Indigenous Media: Faustian Contract or Global Village?Cultural Anthropology 6, no. 1: 92112.

  • Habermas, J. (1962), The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger (Cambridge: MIT Press).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hasso, F. (2011), Consuming Desires: Family Crisis and the State in the Middle East (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).

  • Hughes, G. (2015) ‘Infrastructures of Legitimacy: The Political Lives of Marriage Contracts in Jordan’, American Ethnologist 42, no. 2: 279294.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hughes, G. (2016), ‘The Proliferation of Men: Markets, Property and Seizure in Jordan’, Anthropological Quarterly 89, no. 4: 10811108.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huwayt̅at Tribe (2018), Facebook page [in Arabic], accessed 8 June, https://www.facebook.com/alhowaitat1.

  • Juris, J. (2012), ‘Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere: Social Media, Public Space, and Emerging Logics of Aggregation’, American Ethnologist 39, no. 2: 259279.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jusionyte, I. (2016), ‘Crimecraft: Journalists, Police, and News Publics in an Argentine Town’, American Ethnologist 43, no. 3: 451464.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khalidi, S. al- (2011), ‘Tribal Feuds Threaten Jordan’s Stability’, Reuters, 13 January. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-jordan-tribes/tribal-feuds-threaten-jordans-stability-idUSTRE70C2XT20110113.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kurzweil, R. (2005), The Singularity Is Near (New York: Viking).

  • Massad, J. (2001), Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan (New York: Columbia University Press).

  • McLaughlin, E., R. Fergusson and G. Hughes (eds) (2003), Restorative Justice: Critical Issues (London: Sage).

  • McLuhan, M. (1964), Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: Routledge).

  • Miller, D. (2011), Tales from Facebook (Cambridge: Polity).

  • Munn, N. (1986), The Fame of Gawa: A Symbolic Study of Value Transformation in a Massim (Papua New Guinea) Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nader, L. (1993), ‘Controlling Processes in the Practice of Law: Hierarchy and Pacification in the Movement to Re-form Dispute Ideology’, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 9, no. 1: 126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peters, J. (1999), Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

  • Postman, N. (1985), Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin).

  • Sakhr News Agency (2018), Facebook page [in Arabic], accessed 8 June, https://www.facebook.com/sa5arnews.

  • Schneider, D. (1984), A Critique of the Study of Kinship (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).

  • Shryock, A. (1997), Nationalism and the Genealogical Imagination: Oral History and Textual Authority in Tribal Jordan (Berkeley: University of California Press).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shryock, A. (2004), ‘The New Jordanian Hospitality: House, Host, and Guest in the Culture of Public Display’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 46, no. 1: 3562.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Southall, A. (1970), ‘The Illusion of Tribe’, Journal of Asian and African Studies 5, no 1–2: 2850.

  • Sneath, D. (2009), ‘Tribe, Ethnos, Nation: Rethinking Evolutionist Social Theory and Representations of Nomadic Inner Asia’, Ab Imperio 2009, no. 4: 80109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strathern, M. (1996), ‘Cutting the Network’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2, no. 3: 517535.

  • Sweis, R. (2013), ‘Tribal Clashes at Universities Add to Tensions in Jordan’, New York Times, 25 April. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/world/middleeast/tribal-clashes-at-universities-add-to-tensions-in-jordan.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sweis, R. (2015), ‘Jordan Gives Prison Term for Criticism on Facebook’, New York Times, 16 February. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/world/middleeast/jordan-sentences-muslim-brotherhood-leader-for-facebook-post.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tufekci, Z. (2017), Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).

  • Turkle, S. (2011), Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books).

  • Turner, T. (1991), ‘The Social Dynamics of Video Media in an Indigenous Society: The Cultural Meaning and the Personal Politics of Video-Making in Kayapo Communities’, Visual Anthropology Review 7, no. 2: 6876.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Warner, M. (2002), ‘Publics and Counterpublics’, Public Culture 14, no. 1: 4990.

  • Watkins, J. (2014), ‘Seeking Justice: Tribal Dispute Resolution and Societal Transformation in Jordan’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 46, no. 1: 3149.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yom, S. (2014), ‘Tribal Politics in Contemporary Jordan: The Case of the Hirak Movement’, Middle East Journal 68, no. 1: 229247.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 57 57 14
Full Text Views 12 12 0
PDF Downloads 6 6 0