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Sonia Mlayah Hamzaoui

Abstract

This study focuses on the analysis of eating practices rituals during the different phases of the Tunisian funeral rite. It is based on direct surveys, collected from resource people from different regions of Tunisia as well as on participant observation established on mourning families and relatives. The objective of this study is to highlight the diverse nature of these eating practices compared to Tunisian everyday life, to understand their meaning and the symbolism that they underlie and to appreciate the extent of the changes they have undergone. Field surveys have allowed us to analyse these eating practices rituals according to the objectives that the community seeks to achieve through their observation.

Résumé

Cet article porte sur l'analyse des pratiques alimentaires rituelles au cours des différentes phases du rite funéraire tunisien. Elle est basée sur des enquêtes directes auprès de personnes ressources de différentes régions de Tunisie ainsi que sur l'observation participante à des deuils familiaux et de proches. L'objectif de cette étude est de faire ressortir le caractère exceptionnel de ces pratiques alimentaires par rapport au quotidien tunisien, de saisir leur sens et la symbolique qu'elles sous-tendent et d'apprécier l'ampleur des changements qu'elles ont subis. Les enquêtes de terrain nous ont permis de classer ces pratiques alimentaires rituelles en fonction des objectifs que la communauté cherche à atteindre à travers leur observation.

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Sortir Manger / Eating Out

Les pique-niques des ouvrières du textile au Maroc dans les espaces publics / Female Textile Workers’ Picnics in Moroccan Public Open Spaces

Gaëlle Gillot

Abstract

Textile workers in Morocco are a vulnerable group. Subjected to exhausting working conditions, poorly paid, often poorly nourished, their lives are structured around working and cooking. Although they say have no leisure activities, they often eat outside. Picnics provide good opportunities for relaxation and above all allow them to make themselves visible throughout the city. This practice gives the textile workers of Rabat and Tangier an experience of urbanness that allows them to appropriate the whole city, to take their time, and to exist as city dwellers. This article is based on a survey carried out as part of an IRD program from 2012 to 2018.

Résumé

Les ouvrières du textile au Maroc constituent une population vulnérable. Soumises à des conditions de travail épuisantes, mal payées, souvent mal nourries, leurs journées sont rythmées par le travail et les repas. Si elles ne se reconnaissent aucun loisir, elles sortent pourtant souvent manger à l'extérieur. Les pique-niques sont des moments privilégiés de détente et surtout ils permettent de se déployer dans la ville et de se rendre visibles. Grâce à cette pratique, les ouvrières du textile de Rabat et Tanger expérimentent une urbanité qui leur permet de s'approprier toute la ville, de prendre leur temps et d'exister en tant que citadines. Cet article repose sur une enquête menée dans le cadre d'un programme IRD de 2012 à 2018.

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Jean-Pierre Poulain

Abstract

This article explores the contribution of Maxime Rodinson to the thematisation of food in the Social and Human Sciences (SHS), i.e. its recognition as a legitimate object. Rodinson's contribution consists in having created the conditions for the socialisation of food. The focused interest in cookery books, as a source of empirical data, has made it possible to situate food in culinary styles, that is to say not only in physical space, but also in social space. Entry through practices has provided access to what he calls “mass effects” that affect society at large. Thus, it has been possible to sociologise the issue by adding to the local, geographical, and cultural locations of food and dishes the consideration of social hierarchies and forms of diffusion, mixing linguistics, history, sociology, anthropology, and geography. Beyond Rodinson's personal trajectory, which from a personal poly-competence promotes a transdisciplinary approach, the thematisation takes place in a historical and epistemological context marked by the opposition between a spiritual Islamology and evolutionary Marxism. This characterises the period preceding the Iranian revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Résumé

Cet article étudie la contribution de Maxime Rodinson à la thématisation de l'alimentation dans les Sciences humaines et sociales (SHS), c'est-à-dire à sa reconnaissance comme objet légitime. Son apport consiste à avoir créé les conditions de la sociologisation des aliments. La mise en évidence de l'intérêt des livres de cuisine comme source de données empiriques a permis de situer les aliments dans des styles culinaires, c'est-à-dire non seulement dans l'espace physique, mais également dans l'espace social. L'entrée par les pratiques a donné accès à ce qu'il appelle des « effets de masse » qui touchent la société de façon large. Ainsi a-t-on pu sociologiser la question en ajoutant à la localisation géographique et culturelle des aliments et des mets la prise en compte des hiérarchies sociales et des formes de diffusions, en mêlant linguistique, histoire, sociologie, anthropologie, géographie… Au-delà de la trajectoire personnelle de Rodinson qui, depuis une poly-compétence personnelle, promeut une approche transdisciplinaire, cette thématisation s'opère dans un contexte historique et épistémologique marqué par l'opposition entre une islamologie spirituelle et le marxisme évolutionniste qui caractérise la période qui précède la révolution iranienne et la chute du mur de Berlin.

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Between Boundary-Work and Cosmopolitan Aspirations

A Historical Genealogy of EASA (and European Anthropology)

Damián Omar Martínez

Abstract

This article presents a historical genealogy of EASA and European anthropology. Performing a heuristic exercise of ethnographic epoché, it critically examines European anthropologists’ writings on European anthropology and EASA as they appear in different statements and accounts, especially in the Association's newsletters and reports of its conferences, understanding these documents as praxeologically embedded in anthropologists’ everyday production of knowledge. Drawing on the sociology of critique and the concept of boundary-work, it argues that EASA created its own ‘space of critique’, funnelling previous discussions on European anthropology, and becoming a platform for its production and its contestation as a site for the production of ‘hierarchies of knowledge’. Those contestations reflect an original and longstanding tension between EASA's inclusive cosmopolitan aspiration and the exclusionary practice of boundary-work.

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European Anthropology as a Fortuitous Accident?

Reflections on the Sustainability of the Field

Čarna Brković

Abstract

Under what conditions does European anthropology emerge today as an intellectual project? European anthropology takes shape only provisionally, as a fractured, heterogeneous and uneven field, for the duration of time-limited research projects and meetings with Europe-wide participation. In the currently dominant socio-economic conditions of academic life, European anthropology as an intellectual project has little chance to develop, except as an accident. And yet, with more institutional stability for researchers and their conversations, European anthropology could be turned into a more inspiring intellectual endeavour that challenges the classic Anglo-Saxon way of understanding anthropology as a conceptual translation between ‘our’ modern and ‘Other’ worlds; it could also help us to reimagine the world anthropologies framework through the postsocialist and postcolonial lens as something other than a ‘family of nations’.

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Forum Introduction

Anthropological Boundaries at Work

Francisco Martínez

This Forum sets out to contribute to the understanding of anthropologists’ identification with their discipline, the homogeneity of anthropologists as an academic group, and how our disciplinary boundaries are constructed and embodied. It provides different angles on the academic demarcations influencing how anthropology is practiced in Europe. Four colleagues explore different ways of questioning the boundaries of our discipline, opening up spaces for remaking anthropology (what can be said and done, and by whom).

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Introduction

On the Usefulness of Boundary Re-work

Francisco Martínez

Abstract

Boundaries influence how we live, the way we do and see things – but how? What role do boundaries play in effecting disciplinary shifts or stability in turn? And who is excluded when tracing epistemic frontiers and hard notions of relevance? This theme issue discusses the porosity of anthropology's borders and the difficulty of establishing scholarly authority. We set out to reopen the conversation about the permeability of academic boundaries, exploring different conceptual, methodological and historical reconfigurations with and within European anthropologies. We also discuss how the epistemic and institutional boundaries of our discipline are changing, affecting in turn what people can know and with whom, as well as our sense of professional strength and vulnerability.

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Land Reclamations

Boundary Work as Production of Disciplinary Uniqueness

Klaus Schriewer

Abstract

This article deals with the hegemony of Anglo-Saxon social anthropology over the anthropologies of the South and its neighbour discipline, European ethnology. It departs from a description of my personal professional experience during the last thirty years to discuss how the disciplinary capacity of influence (and shadowing) is linked to political decisions, the definition of what is scientific, and the instrumental use of rankings and evaluations.

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Narva as Method

Urban Inventories and the Mutation of the Postsocialist City

Francisco Martínez

Abstract

This article asks how a post-Soviet city went global and became something else, mutating, in the sense of generating a new set of features that go beyond a narrow understanding of postsocialism. The research provides a synthetic conceptualisation of Narva and the organisation of its ordinary life, by combining methods of urban observation and classification with geographical and ethnographic descriptions of this city. Using visual imagery of urban objects, along with field annotations and interview quotes as the materials analysed, the article carries out a Narvaology that consists in deploying this city ‘as method’. It points out that cities such as Narva require a more relational and multi-scalar language, one with broader theoretical and methodological implications, able to account for fragmentary socio-political issues.

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Alessandro Testa

Abstract

Is European anthropology the product of a colonialist plot to gain intellectual hegemony? Was the epistemic posture of its main representatives in the past one of crypto-imperialism aimed at – and based upon – power, in the attempt to climb up the ‘hierarchy of knowledge’ and subjugate from its peak minor traditions of study? How can we think about the genealogy of Euro-anthropology (and its future progress) without necessarily capitulating to these narratives of powerism and to the grip of the radical post-colonial discourse, which has been growing mainstream of late? This piece seeks to briefly but piercingly address these pressing issues, while at the same time proposing a few viable routes around the resulting methodological impasses. It also represents the prolegomena to a longer and more substantial critique, which will be published later.