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Transforming Home

The Religious Heritage of Indigenous Society in the Age of Environmental Problems

Maryam Pirdehghan


This study investigates Indigenous society and the environment from a religious perspective, concentrating on the Earth's deteriorating physical condition. This issue has caused substantial cultural confusion since it directly affects Indigenous society's active modes of being, which are profoundly based on nature as their home. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the following inquiry: What is the meaning of transforming home in indigenous society as a result of new environmental issues? The present analysis suggests that environmental pollution, which is both objective and subjective, disrupts indigenous society's social order by turning nature's inherent role as a life-giving entity into a source of hazardous substances. Consequently, the erosion of the concept of home has led to the emergence of an indigenous risk society.

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Wells and Women

The Infrastructural and Gendered Geographies of Water Conservation

Brock Ternes and Hannah Lohr


The feminization of environmental responsibility holds that women more actively engage in pro-environmental behaviors compared to men. We highlight the gendered patterns of water conservation in a drought-prone region above the High Plains aquifer (HPA). Using qualitative and quantitative data from well owners and non-well owners across Kansas (n = 864), we investigate how gender moderates the relationship between several demographic variables and watering practices. Our multigroup regression results suggest that, among men, being a well owner, politically conservative, and living above the HPA are negatively associated with drought-time water conservation. Qualitatively, women in our study point out the gendered nature of water conservation, while men did not; moreover, we find evidence that male-dominated irrigation reinforces unsustainable groundwater extractions.

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The 2023 Judicial Reform That Wasn't

From Non-decision Constitution-Making to Decision and Back

Joshua Segev


This article offers two interpretations of the constitutional confrontation that ensued over the proposed 2023 judicial overhaul legislation. It places the debate in the context of a broader culture war over Israel's conditions of legitimacy and as a continuum. At one end of the spectrum, the judicial overhaul legislation can be seen as pursuing a ‘decision to decide’ tactic, countered by the opposition using the same constitutional tactic in the opposite direction. On the other end of the spectrum, the judicial overhaul program could be viewed as an opening position in constitutional negotiations, with reform advocates seeking only the nomination of a few committed conservative justices and the maintenance of the constitutional status quo of deciding not decide. To this end, the nationalists’ move was again countered by the opposition using the same constitutional tactic but in the opposite direction to prevent this outcome.

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About the Cover Image

João Florêncio

This issue's cover image: As part of the same AHRC-funded research project about gay male “pig” masculinities that led to the conference behind this special issue, I had the pleasure of working with an incredible film crew to produce a short experimental documentary titled Oink!. Having originally planned to shoot a feature-length documentary, the first COVID-19 lockdown was eventually announced to come into force one week after we had planned to start filming in Berlin. Adding to all the anxieties associated with a new, not fully-known, pandemic, we had to change our filming schedule and concept in order to respond to the virus. As such, a film that we had planned to film over a whole month and across a variety of locations, private and public, to document a gay male sex culture in which exchanges of bodily fluids have a core role, we were forced to condense filming into the last week before lockdown and to cut out all the plans to film in sex clubs and dark rooms. The film thus gained an unexpected layer of nostalgia for a very recent time when bodies had been able to touch and exchange fluids (once again) without fear. For the most part, the bodies in the film are alone in their private spaces, and intimacy and the intensity of sex becomes something that is only talked about, visually alluded to, but never shown. In that context, the photo in the cover of this issue, a production photo I took during filming, is somewhat charged with that very longing. It no longer just depicts a man looking for a hookup on a mobile phone app, but it also signals the painful desire for human contact—for touch, sex, and intimacy—at a time when public health measures were about to be put in place that would restrict the satisfaction of that important human need. I would like to thank Liz Rosenfeld, Rob Eagle, Rufai Ajala, and Liam Byrne for having gone through that journey with me. And special thanks to Giovanni, depicted in the cover image, for his hospitality and candor.

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Achieving good science

The integrity of scientific institutions

Jeannette Pols, Amade M'charek, Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent, and Jonna Brenninkmeijer


There are worries about the quality of scientific research, the validity of the knowledge it produces and the integrity of academics. What is lacking in the debate is what scientists have to say and what they do to create and safeguard what they see as ‘good science’. Using Dutch academia as a case, we show that the academics’ understandings of scientific practice differ in vital ways from those of policy makers. Policy maker's understanding of academia as a competitive marketplace to foster innovative research disturbs the everyday ethics and creativity of scientific work according to the scientists, who see academia as a collective practice aimed at understanding the world in which tradition and innovation have to find a balance. We conclude that this misunderstanding and its consequences do more to damage research integrity than fraudulent activities of individual researchers.

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Acid Fascism

Nostalgia, Psychedelia, and Radical Right Masculinity

Jac Lewis


What comes after the New Man? An urgent dilemma for twenty-first-century anti-fascism is the global resurgence of a radical right masculinist consciousness that is at once nostalgic for strictly codified and hierarchical symbols of manhood while culturally immersed in accelerative, amorphous, and acentric digital networks. I trace this precarious and unsettled ultra-masculinity back to the material context of fascist psychedelic experimentation with consciousness in the sixties counterculture, through the example of the Lyman Family, to contend that Acid Fascism provides a new and important way to think about an emerging desire for an experimental—rather than utopian—reactionary manhood. Alt-right subjectivity requires a theoretical approach toward technological acceleration that is at ease with morphing affective complexions of nostalgic and paranoid masculine sensibility.

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Affective relatedness, temporalities, and the politics of care in a medical South-South partnership

The Cuban mission in Brazil

Maria Lidola


For more than 50 years, Cuba has been one of the most important players in the field of international medical care in the Global South. Between 2013 and 2018, Cuba sent nearly 18,000 Cuban health professionals to Brazil within the framework of the More Doctors Program to assist during the Brazilian public health care system's state of emergency. This article focuses on local encounters and emergent socialities between Cuban physicians and Brazilian patients and medical staff. Their sensitive moments of interaction—with their embodied, emplaced, and political dimensions of past and present—hold the possibility of a fragile intersubjectivity that creates its own temporal and affective dynamics, undermining, for a moment, the prevalent care regimes.

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After the boom

Petro-politics and the fate of revolution in Venezuela

Aaron Kappeler

Matthew Wilde, A blessing and a curse: Oil, politics, and morality in Venezuela. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2023.

Mariya Ivancheva, The alternative university: Lessons from Bolivarian Venezuela. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2023.

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Afterword: From Number Politics to Infrastructure Politics

Notes on Context and Methods

Stefania Milan


Data infrastructures are the scaffolding of the present. This afterword centres on this claim by broadening the question that animates the special issue – what does lived data politics look like? – to the question of ‘where’ it is taking place today. It extends the gaze to the systemic transformation subtending contemporary data production, which I term ‘governance by data infrastructure.’ This pervasive form of number politics represents the most recent rearrangement in matters of governance of the social. It centers regulatory data infrastructures as the preferred mode of managing complexity, bringing the industry to the kernel of the state. Furthermore, the article asks what it means to think from an anthropological vantage point considering these developments, and what fruitful methodological avenues for research this may open.

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Along the twilights of care

Continuities of technomoral politics in São Paulo's pro-migrant activism

Heike Drotbohm


This article explores central dimensions of different forms of asymmetric care that fall between the competences of overlapping civil society organizations. Based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in São Paulo, Brazil, the article follows migrants arriving and integrating across different nodes of reception, including church-based NGOs, humanitarian organizations, and activist housing projects. Overlaps between these different forms of reception, care, and control do not arise only when migrants refer to different organizational structures. Instead, numerous formal and organizational similarities complicate a clear separation of these domains of asymmetric care. By concentrating on incidents when the encounters between migrant activists and Brazilian activists are disturbed, this article traces the mutual irritation of differently positioned actors, who calibrate their moral claims and produce new understandings of “worthiness.”