This introduction, coming out during the two hundredth anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, discusses the distinctiveness of Marxian anthropology and what it has to offer to our efforts at understanding, and confronting, the complexities of the social contradictions constituted by—and constitutive of—twenty-first century capitalism. The article points out common denominators of Marxian anthropology going back to Marx’s insights, but also offers a cursory social history of the diverse lineages of enquiry within Marxian anthropology, shaped by the relations and inequalities of the context in which they emerged. Finally, we discuss certain crucial fields of engagement in contemporary Marxian anthropology as reflected in this theme section’s contributions.
Marxian anthropology resurgent
Patrick Neveling and Luisa Steur
A Word of Welcome
Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
In creating a body within Migration and Society whose name comprises a noun (encounters) and an adjective (creative), it has been our aim not solely to place both of these constituents face to face. Rather, or in addition, we hope to situate the former in its never-complete state as a mode of infinite precincts and openness whereby dialogues between disciplines and subdisciplines are negotiated, reconfigured, and established whenever these creative encounters take place. In this sense, Creative Encounters is an invitation for the poetic, the narrative, and the visual to share the same space and cohabitate—certainly not as the same and/or according to predetermined conditions, but more precisely with an equal potential to assert their presence (their integral presence)—while maintaining a co-presence with other genres, fields, and subfields.
Postcolonial Intersections. Asia on the Move
Mayurakshi Chaudhuri and Viola Thimm
The past decade has witnessed an exponential growth in literature on the diverse forms, practices, and politics of mobility. Research on migration has been at the forefront of this field. Themes in this respect include heterogeneous practices that have developed out of traditions of resistance to a global historical trajectory of imperialism and colonialism. In response to such historical transformations of recent decades, the nature of postcolonial inquiry has evolved. Such changing postcolonial trajectories and power negotiations are more pronounced in specific parts of the world than in others. To that end, “Postcolonial Intersections: Asia on the Move” is a special section that engages, examines, and analyzes everyday power negotiations, focusing particularly on Asia. Such everyday negotiations explicitly point to pressure points and movements across multiple geosocial scales where gender, religion, age, social class, and caste, to name a few, are constantly negotiated and redefined via changing subjectivities.
Encountering Hospitality and Hostility
Mette Louise Berg and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
This introductory article to the inaugural issue of Migration and Society reflects on the complex and often contradictory nature of migration encounters by focusing on diverse dynamics of hospitality and hostility towards migrants around the world and in different historical contexts. Discourses, practices, and policies of hospitality and hostility towards migrants and refugees raise urgent moral, ethical, political, and social questions. Hospitality and hostility are interlinked, yet seemingly contradictory concepts and processes, as also acknowledged by earlier writers, including Derrida, who coined the term hostipitality. Drawing on Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s work and on feminist scholars of care, we argue for the need to trace alternative modes of thought and action that transcend and resist the fatalistic invocations of hostipitality. This requires an unpacking of the categories of host and guest, taking us from universalizing claims and the taxonomy of host-guest relations to the messiness of everyday life and its potential for care, generosity, and recognition in encounters.
Hospitality and Hostility between Local Faith Actors and International Humanitarian Organizations in Refugee Response
Olivia J. Wilkinson
Local faith actors are deeply involved in assisting refugees around the world. Their place in refugee response, however, can be in parallel with and, at times, in disagreement with the efforts of international humanitarian organizations. Focusing on the interactions between local faith actors and refugees and local faith actors and international organizations, the lenses of hospitality and hostility are used to analyze the tensions between these types of actors. Through a review of the literature and interviews with 21 key informants, I show that processes of marginalization occur to the extent that local faith actors lose their positions of host to the dominance of the international humanitarian system, and feelings of hostility ensue. This demonstrates to international actors why they might be ill received and how they can approach partnerships with local faith actors in more diplomatic ways.
From Dubs to Doubt
Rachel Rosen and Sarah Crafter
This article analyzes coverage of separated child migrants in three British tabloids between the introduction of the Dubs Amendment, which committed to relocating unaccompanied minors to the UK, and the demolition of the unofficial refugee camp in Calais. This camp has been a key symbol of Europe’s “migration crisis” and the subject of significant media attention in which unaccompanied children feature prominently. By considering the changes in tabloid coverage over this time period, this article highlights the increasing contestation of the authenticity of separated children as they began arriving in the UK under Dubs, concurrent with representations of “genuine” child migrants as innocent and vulnerable. We argue that attention to proximity can help account for changing discourses and that the media can simultaneously sustain contradictory views by preserving an essentialized view of “the child,” grounded in racialized, Eurocentric, and advanced capitalist norms. Together, these points raise questions about the political consequences of framing hospitality in the name of “the child.”
An Interview with Vice Mayor Lefteris Papagiannakis
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Nina Papachristou
In this interview with UCL’s Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, Lefteris Papagiannakis explains his role as Athens’ vice mayor for migrants and refugees. He discusses the city’s responses to the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants in the last few years. He reflects on the complex relationship of the municipality of Athens with non-government support networks, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, as well as autonomous local activists, in providing support services to migrants. Papagiannakis also addresses how Athens negotiates its support for these groups in the current European anti-immigrant climate, and the relationship between the Greek economic crisis and the so-called “refugee crisis.”
Mohamed Assaf and Kate Clanchy
Five poems written by Mohamed Assaf (a young Syrian boy who currently lives in Oxford with his family and studies at Oxford Spires Academy) under the mentorship of the poet Kate Clanchy. The introduction and poems themselves offer a reflection on Mohamed’s old and new place(s) in the world, and the significance of writing as a way of responding to, and resisting, “refugeedom.”
Climate Change and Long-term Stakeholder Engagement
Carrie Furman, Wendy-Lin Bartels and Jessica Bolson
As awareness of the potential threats posed by climate change increases, researchers and agricultural advisors are being called upon to determine the risks that different stakeholder groups will likely confront and to develop adaptive strategies. Yet, engaging with stakeholders takes time. It also requires a clear and detailed plan to ensure that research and outreach activities yield useful outputs. In this article, we focus on the role of anthropologists as researchers and conveners in stakeholder engagement and provide a generalised overview of a long-term engagement process proceeding in three stages: (1) fact-finding and relationship- building; (2) incubation and collaborative learning; and (3) informed engagement and broad dissemination. We conclude with a discussion of perspectives and challenges that were encountered during two engagement experiences in the south-eastern United States.
Arturo Hernández-Huerta, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo and Miguel Equihua Zamora
*Full article is in Spanish
At the RISC 2017 International Congress, we reflected on the possibility of achieving a “sustainable, integral and coherent development.” We primarily report here on the panel of Mexican experts who shared their experiences on issues such as the impact of the international agenda on the local policy priorities, the relevance of the participation of local stakeholders and the occurrence of inconsistencies throughout the process of design and implementation of development policies. In addition, other experiences were presented on these issues, some of which are included in this special issue. The general conclusion was that not only is it possible to articulate a sustainable, integral and coherent development but also that approaches and tools are already emerging that favor it through an evidence-based policy management and the use of the growing “environmental big data” that already exists.
En el Congreso internacional RISC 2017 se reflexionó sobre la posibilidad de lograr un “desarrollo sostenible, integral y coherente”. En este artículo nos referimos principalmente al panel de expertos mexicanos que compartieron sus experiencias con nosotros sobre asuntos como el impacto de la agenda internacional sobre la local, la relevancia de la participación de los actores locales y la ocurrencia de incoherencias a lo largo del proceso de diseño y aplicación de las políticas para el desarrollo. Además, se expusieron otras experiencias sobre estos asuntos, que han sido recogidas en este número especial. La conclusión general es que se estima que no sólo es posible articular un desarrollo sostenible, integral y coherente, sino que están emergiendo enfoques y herramientas que favorecen propiciarlo a través de la gestión basada en evidencia y el aprovechamiento del creciente “big data ambiental” que ya está existe.
Lors du congrès international Consortium pour la Recherche comparative sur l’intégration régionale et la cohésion sociale (RISC) 2017, organisé en coopération avec le programme d’innovation pour l’intégrité dans la gestion de l’environnement pour le développement et soutenu par des données massives (big data) et un apprentissage automatisé (i-Gamma), nous avons réfléchi à la possibilité de parvenir à un “développement durable, intégral et cohérent”. L’événement a ouvert de multiples opportunités de discussions sur le sujet, mais cette introduction est basée sur le panel d’experts mexicains qui ont partagé leurs expériences avec nous sur des questions telles que l’impact de l’agenda international à l’échelle locale, la pertinence de la participation des acteurs locaux et le surgissement d’incohérences tout au long du processus de conception et de mise en oeuvre des politiques de développement. Nous ferons également référence à d’autres expériences présentées autour de ces questions, en mettant l’accent sur les contributions de ce numéro spécial. En conclusion générale, nous pensons qu’il n’est pas seulement possible d’articuler un développement de manière durable, intégrale et cohérente, mais que des approches et des outils sont déjà en train d’émerger et favorisent une gestion fondée sur des données probantes et l’utilisation des « données environnementales à grande échelle » déjà existantes.