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Open access

Peeking Behind the Curtains

Exploring Death and the Body through Patchwork Ethnography

Annamaria Fratini, Susan R. Hemer, and Anna Chur-Hansen


Patchwork ethnography is a viable methodological and theoretical approach. Fieldwork can be accessible, achievable and accommodating of both personal and professional circumstances and responsibilities of the researcher, and external factors such as living within a COVID-19 world. In this article, we explain patchwork ethnography and showcase how the methodology was implemented during the first author's PhD fieldwork conducted in 2020–2021 relating to peeking behind the physical and metaphorical curtains of the death industry to understand the handling, management and conceptualisation of the dead human body in Adelaide, South Australia. We demonstrate how field sites were constructed and discuss the methodological tools utilised to produce an ethnographic experience. We also question the ongoing viability of notions of ‘traditional’ fieldwork practices.

Open access

Peripheries within the higher education centres

Internationalisation experiences in Finland and UK

Sonja Trifuljesko and On Hee Choi


To investigate how the process of peripheralisation usurps internationalisation experiences within the global higher education centres, this article draws on two separate case studies, one conducted in Finland and the other in the UK. In both contexts, Anglophone hegemony plays an important role, but in different manners. In the Finnish case, conflating internationalisation with Englishisation results in both domestic and international students and staff having to continuously grapple with language use in their daily lives. In the UK context, international students in English-speaking universities encounter asymmetric power relations with the locals, which they try to overcome through identity negotiation over digital and physical spaces. Both cases show that creating a liveable international university necessitates structural changes that would build on already existing agentic engagements of international students and staff.

Open access

Playing the edge ball

The politics of transgression in land development in southern China

Lan Wei and Minh T.N. Nguyen


This article analyzes a particular form of everyday politics through the case of land development in a Chinese village. Commonly referred to as edge ball politics (cabianqiu), it implies the act of transgressing certain rules or laws and testing the limits of what is socially and legally possible. We found that the state, the village leadership, private developers, and villagers all vie to influence the outcomes of land development in the village by engaging in this practice. We suggest that edge ball politics plays into the Chinese state's governing strategies, which allow for a manageable space of negotiation to ward off a collective sense of injustice in the face of rampant dispossession of the weak and accumulation by the powerful.

Open access

Juan Carlos Cayo, Ingol Gentes, Pablo Policzer, and Ana Watson

Durante las últimas cuatro décadas, buena parte del desarrollo económico en América Latina ha girado en torno a la industria extractiva bajo un marco regulatorio neoliberal. Este modelo ha provocado protestas e incluso, en algunos casos, procesos constituyentes emergentes. En este contexto, reflexionamos por qué el marco neoliberal para el ordenamiento territorial sigue ocasionando resistencia a pesar de sus cambios y promesas. El neoliberalismo originalmente surgió a mediados del siglo anterior como una manera menos conflictiva, más tecnocrática, de tomar decisiones fundamentales en la economía y la política ambiental. En este artículo nos enfocamos en dos casos emblemáticos de oposición en Perú y Chile donde las poblaciones locales lograron imponer su mirada ante la del Estado.

Open access

The Problem with Children in Politics

The Documentary Evidence of Youth Climate Activism

Naveeda Khan and Charles Nuermberger


Inspired by the forceful emergence of youth activism around climate change in 2019 and the body of scholarship on youth political involvement, we evaluate youths’ claims to being political in the international climate governance process. To do this, we survey documentation of youth activity around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), so we can gauge the extent of youth participation. We produce analyses of four sets of records: mainstream newspapers, UNFCCC programming, independent media outlets and youth NGO websites. We find that, while youth are participating more, existing forms of documentation are inadequate. We suggest that genre writing can capture lost voices in politics, and that standard documentation remains critically important to recording youth political participation.

Open access

Protest and the Democratic Order

A Research Perspective

Danniel Gobbi, Laura Gorriahn, Daniel Staemmler, and Christian Volk


The introduction of this special issue elaborates a research perspective on the meaning and function of political protest in the context of democratic orders. Starting from the consideration that protest and democratic orders form a close interrelationship, we ask how and to what extent democracy is imagined, negotiated, and problematized within protest, and how democratic orders and politics shape the formation of protest. To this end, we argue for a combination of Democratic Theory and Social Movement Studies. Interweaving these two traditions allows for empirically saturated and theoretically sound interpretations of recent episodes of contention. With this research perspective, we not only gain a deeper understanding of protest dynamics, but also of contemporary social and political transformations within modern democratic societies.

Open access

Stepanida N. Savvinova, Iya I. Sadovnikova, and Elena V. Nesterova


The aim of this research is to identify and describe synonyms and antonyms in Even, aspects of the language that have been previously unexplored. This work aims to illustrate the semantic development of word synonymy in the Even language, covering individual words, morphological categories, and semantic divisions. Previously, only a few articles and superficial investigations in a number of textbooks have been dedicated to this topic. Various methodologies are used in this study, including traditional linguistic methods (language description through observation) and comparative and statistical research methods. Research into synonyms and antonyms in Even can provide valuable material for understanding the lexical-semantic and structural development of the language. Furthermore, this study can contribute to a wider investigation into the development of the stylistic resources of this language.

Open access

Re-considering internationalisation from the periphery

Introduction to the two linked articles

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu, Mei Qu, Zulfa Sakhiyya, Sonja Trifuljesko, and On Hee Choi

While there is little agreement about the definitions, theories and practices of internationalisation, they have one thing in common. They tend to originate from Europe and North America and primarily serve the interests of Anglo-American academia (Ivancheva and Syndicus 2019; Marginson 2016; Rhoades et al. 2019). These two articles take a different perspective. They look at internationalisation from two kinds of peripheries and consider the strategies that peripheralised countries and people are using to try and create a more balanced or equal relationship between local or national interests and those of universities in Europe and North America. The first article considers internationalisation from peripheral countries in sub-Saharan Africa, China and Indonesia and explores the strategies of regional cooperation, ‘balanced internationalisation’ and marketisation (respectively) that they are adopting to resist marginalisation and dependency. The second article is written from the perspective of international students who are peripheralised within their host university and country in Europe. It explores the dilemmas students encounter when trying to negotiate language politics and the use of social media in order to participate more fully in the university and society.

Open access

Reality, Realism and the Future

Year 2021 in European Social Anthropology Journals

Anna Kruglova

Abstract: The world’s ethos in 2021 grew increasingly realistic, focusing on constraints and practicalities, accounting for ‘bitter necessities’, and choosing defensiveness, preservation and stability over creation and exploration. The rise of realism in the world’s public and private spheres presents a challenge to anthropology’s ability to integrate a moral compass, empirical embeddedness and epistemological value in the discipline. This review of research published in some major peer-reviewed Anglophone European journals in 2021 seeks to vindicate the optimistic kind of moral realism by showing its inescapable entanglement in two of the most powerful items on anthropologists’ agendas today, the ontological and the future-oriented.

Résumé : En 2021 l’éthos mondial est devenu de plus en plus orienté vers le réalisme avec le souci d’identifier des contraints, nécessités et aspects pratiques. La défensive, la préservation et la stabilité ont été privilégiées. La création et l’exploration ont été mises à l’écart. La montée du réalisme à travers le monde a marqué la vie publique ainsi que les relations privées. Il est clair que cela représente un défi pour beaucoup d’anthropologues dans la mesure où cela bouscule les traditions. Le réalisme nécessite une prise de position quant à la nature de la discipline anthropologique. Il faut s’interroger sur sa capacité d’incorporer le sens moral dans le processus de recherches empiriques et les fondements épistémologiques. Cet article examine des recherches évaluées par les pairs dont les résultats ont été publiés dans les principales revues scientifiques en langue anglaise de l’année 2021. Il vise à exprimer le bienfondé d’un réalisme optimiste à la croisée de deux priorités majeures pour des anthropologues d’aujourd’hui : l’ontologie et les études prospectives.

Free access

Claudia Mitchell

A dream, dating back to 2001 when the late Jackie Kirk, Jacqui Reid-Wash, and I passed through a section labelled Girls Studies in Foyles Books on Charing Cross Rd., London, UK, was that someday there would not only be a journal devoted to girlhood studies but also a whole interdisciplinary teaching area. We talked about how students of youth studies, or childhood studies, or what was then called women's studies might consider girlhood studies as an option in their programs or as a whole area of specialization. The dream of the journal was realized seven years later with the first issue of Girlhood Studies in 2008. Since then, as the guest editors of this Special Issue on Teaching Girlhood Studies highlight, there have been many initiatives including the development of courses on Girlhood Studies, and community/university activist projects. And now, finally, we have a whole issue devoted to teaching, curricula, and pedagogies of Girlhood Studies.