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Editorial Introduction

The Cases of Pakistan and the United States

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

The two case studies of Part IV are based on interviews with poor, disadvantaged families in Lahore (Pakistan) and Cincinnati (United States). These analyses in the sociocultural and welfare dimension address the subjective experiences of how the lockdowns resulting from COVID-19 impacted the quality of the circumstances of their daily lives. The analyses of Part III primarily also were oriented around the sociocultural and welfare dimension. They, among others, regarded the impact of the pandemic on community resilience and agency in the United Kingdom and Germany to sustain supportive networks in their respective “civil societies.” By also exploring political “civic activism” and the impact on “democratic resilience,” the observations and discussions here though have become primarily focused on the sociopolitical and legal dimension.

Open access

The effectiveness of online teaching and learning tools

Students’ perceptions of usefulness in an upper-level accounting course

Heba Abdel-Rahim


This study investigates how students in a distance-learning upper-level accounting course perceive the effectiveness of different online teaching and learning (OTL) tools that are commonly used in business courses taught online. This topic is of critical importance, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more courses to be OTL. A mid-semester anonymous survey in an Accounting course at a public US university was conducted to measure students’ perceptions about different OTL course tools. Students were asked to provide their general assessment about how effective these tools were and how they believe these tools helped them learn. Analyses and discussions of the effectiveness of different tools and their link to earlier literature and how instructors can utilise the results of the OTL survey are presented.

Open access

La disputa por el agua residual en México como conflicto ecológico-distributivo paradójico

Edith Miriam García Salazar and Mario Enrique Fuente Carrasco


This article addresses the category of ecological-distributive conflict from The Global Environmental Justice Atlas project to explain the emergence of environmental justice movements as a response to a certain distribution of pollution burdens or access to environmental resources. The theoretical approach addresses environmentalism of the poor and adds a historical review to understand such an existing paradox. The empirical work was carried out in the Valle del Mezquital, where the discharge of wastewater generated in the Metropolitan Area of the Valle de Mexico presents a paradoxical situation: some farmers perceive the reception of contaminated water as positive. The analysis includes a reflection on the criteria for evaluating conflict since the emergence of COVID-19.


Este artículo retoma la categoría de conflicto ecológico-distributivo del proyecto The Global Environmental Justice Atlas para explicar la emergencia de movimientos de justicia ambiental como una respuesta ante determinada distribución de las cargas de la contaminación o en el acceso a los recursos ambientales. El planteamiento teórico aborda el ecologismo de los pobres, más una revisión histórica para comprender tal paradoja. El trabajo empírico se llevó a cabo en el Valle del Mezquital, cuyo vertimiento de aguas residuales generadas en la Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México presenta una situación paradójica a la categoría señalada: algunos campesinos perciben como positiva a la recepción de agua contaminada. El análisis incluye una reflexión de los criterios de valoración del conflicto a partir de la emergencia del COVID-19.


Depuis le projet The Global Environmental Justice Atlas, la catégorie de conflit écologique et distributif propose d'expliquer l'émergence de mouvements de justice environnementale comme une réponse à une certaine répartition des effets de la pollution ou à l'accès aux ressources environnementales. Dans la Vallée du Mezquital, le déversement des eaux usées de la Zone métropolitaine de la Vallée de Mexico présente une situation paradoxale par rapport à ce qui a été signalé dans le projet mentionné : certains paysans perçoivent comme positive la réception d'eau polluée. Les apports de l'écologisme des pauvres, ainsi qu'une révision de l'histoire permettent de comprendre ce paradoxe. La question de savoir si l'émergence du Covid-19 peut modifier les critères d'évaluation de ce conflit est également examinée.

Open access

Radio Tsinaka en pandemia

Comunicación contra el despojo y por la vida

Ana Laura Salgado Lázaro, Jéssica Malinalli Coyotecatl Contreras, and Yeyectzin Moreno Del Angel

Open access

Museums and the Pandemic, One Year On

Some Reflections on Academic Resilience

Joanna Cobley


Written as notes from the field, this article explores the overlaps between researcher development and the idea of academic resilience within the museum and heritage studies community. During a climate of uncertainty and rapid change, it argues that alongside the academic literature, positive psychology methods transfer well into the researcher development space. Methods involved informal email conversations with museum and heritage practitioners united by how COVID-19 and border lockdown presented new opportunities to connect, share ideas, and rethink. Presented as short narratives, these findings show how researchers and practitioners in northern Europe, the United Kingdom and Canada share similar concerns to those in the southern hemisphere about climate change, equity, well-being, resilience, and sustainability. These narratives highlight the importance of encouraging critical engagement, finding ways to traverse time zones that build international networks and provide leadership opportunities for researchers at any level.

Open access


Politics, Sociability and the Constitution of Collective Life

Will Rollason and Eric Hirsch


What kind of phenomenon is it when ordinary people in the United Kingdom unexpectedly abide by government advice on social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, even anticipating constraints on their activities? These happenings demand that we engage anthropologically with compliance – acts or activities that conform, submit or adapt to rules or to the demands of others. At present, there is no ‘anthropology of compliance’. Rather, the discipline has inherited traditions of thought about compliance – as a necessary aspect of sociability or a morally suspect complicity, demanding resistance. These assumptions remain unexamined, but profoundly shape anthropological scholarship. This introduction aims to show how and why compliance might be a useful heuristic for anthropology. We define compliance as that set of means by which actors strive to accommodate themselves to others in their collective life. We argue that this conception of compliance allows us to multiply the kinds of phenomena we can call ‘political’. It allows us to think about the political constitution of ‘radical’ difference, but to avoid making people identical with their cultural or conceptual worlds. By showing what compliance is and how it operates in and on social life, we ought therefore to be able to recover both specific forms of suffering and inequality and the ways in which social lives are constitutively different.

Open access

The Nuclear/Nuclear Family

Moralities of Intimacy under COVID-19

Petra Tjitske Kalshoven


During the COVID-19 lockdown, as households were kept separate in a bid to contain the coronavirus, morally underpinned dynamics of fission and fusion occurred, privileging the ‘nuclear family’, which is taken here in two senses: the conventional social unit of a couple and their children, on the one hand, and the togetherness promoted by the nuclear industry in North West England, on the other. Whilst Sellafield's Nuclear family fused with its host community in an outpouring of corporate kindness and volunteering, singles bereft of nuclear families were fissioned off from social life, which led to a corrective debate in the Netherlands. Drawing out analogies from a modest comparative perspective, I posit the nuclear family as a prism affording insights into the corporate, governmental and personal management of intimacy.

Open access

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Reconfigurations of Domestic Space in Favelas

Brief Reflections on Intimacies and Precariousness

Carolina Parreiras


This article aims to reflect on the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic changed how experiences of intimacy occur with a specific focus on the domestic relations of women living in favelas in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In contexts marked by precariousness and by the everyday difficulty of cohabitation in spaces that are characterised as small and with little infrastructure, the pandemic retraces the forms of co-existence, modifying the ways in which intimacies are built and experienced. The perspective adopted takes into account the ways in which the pandemic creates, recreates and intensifies relationships of vulnerability that not only include prevention of the virus, but changes to domestic space and women’ private lives.

Open access

Fieldwork through the Zoomiverse

Sensing Uganda in a Time of Immobility

Richard Vokes and Gertrude Atukunda


We have been conducting collaborative ethnographic research together for over 20 years. Over the past 12 months, this collaboration has included face-to-face encounters, both in Kampala, Uganda, and in Perth, Australia. However, since the advent of COVID-19-related ‘lockdowns’ in our respective countries, our engagements have been conducted exclusively over online platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook and – increasingly – Zoom. In this article, we reflect upon our shared experience of conducting ethnography through this platform as a tool for understanding the effects of the pandemic in Uganda. We argue that, despite all kinds of material constraints (at both ends), Zoom has much to offer the ethnographer particularly because it can generate an intimate understanding of experience and time. However, against this advantage, some aspects of social life remain beyond the range of its channels, for which an assemblage of additional methods are required. We finish by reflecting upon what these methods have contributed to our long-term study of emergent cultures of mobility in Uganda – a study which is now being conducted in an ostensible context of immobility.

Open access

‘It's Like Waking Up in the Library’

How an International Student Dorm in Copenhagen Became a Closed Circuit during COVID-19

Brian McGahey


This article examines how lockdown measures have affected international students living in an international student dorm in Copenhagen. During the COVID-19 lockdown in Denmark from March to June, the dorm, which was previously considered a domestic space only, emerged as a closed circuit that collapsed into a single space living, work and leisure activities. The article shows that due to the lack of physical, mental and temporal demarcations between spaces of work and leisure, the dorm as a closed circuit has altered social and intimate relations. Drawing on concepts of non-places, home, and hyper-places, it argues that the life of international students was particularly disrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown.