As with the preceding companion issue (Social Analysis 56, no. 1), this special
issue is concerned with the ways in which fortune, luck, and chance are conceived
in a range of different societies and how these concepts are employed to
negotiate the contingencies and uncertainties of everyday life. Taken together,
the articles gathered in this second collection deal with human attempts to
project their desire for mastering uncertainties about the future while solving
the moral predicaments of fortune’s proportions and their management in
everyday life. Ranging from Melanesian and Greek gamblers to online gamers
and Siberian hunters, from lay Chinese mathematicians of fate to young Mongolians,
the ethnographies in this special issue reveal the creative potentials of
practical matrixes for calculating luck and mobilizing diverse ‘technologies of
anticipation’ of the future. A few of the articles present rites to invoke fortune,
gambling, or games as practices to master contingency and as generative fields
of agentive creativity and subjectivity.
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