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Introduction

Indigenous Methodology

Uliana Vinokurova

In this issue of Sibirica scholars from Sakha (Yakutia), Buryatia, Tuva, and Khakassiia present their research with a new paradigm in mind: an indigenous methodology facilitated and represented by indigenous peoples in Siberia. This methodology is aimed at bringing together the thinking, experiences, interpretations and interests of the indigenous peoples in cultural anthropology. The indigenous scholars whose work is published in this issue understand their own rich cultural, historical, and intellectual legacy, as well as its contemporary potential. These scholars do not only study their own cultures but also live within the communities, sharing the interests and anxieties of their people. This is why indigenous scholars often are political and social activists who speak on behalf of their own people. Many urgent issues present concerns for the indigenous peoples of Siberia, including industrial development and sustainability, modern challenges that affect cultures in the context of globalization, education and schooling, language development and preservation, and, perhaps most important, ecological transformations that affect the sensitive environments of Siberia. Tackling such significant issues requires partnership and cooperation between scholars from the West and indigenous scholars in their home countries.

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Introduction

Marxian anthropology resurgent

Patrick Neveling and Luisa Steur

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.

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Introduction

Elusive Matsutake

Lieba Faier

In this special issue, we draw on our collaborative research as the Matsutake Worlds Research Group to explore the world-making dynamics of multispecies encounters. We center our exploration on matsutake, a gourmet mushroom eaten primarily in Japan. Drawing on cases from around the world, we suggest that the cosmopolitan worlds of matsutake cannot be accounted for by any single agent or individual set of cultural or political economic processes. Rather, we propose that contingent multispecies attunements and coordinations knit together the various world-making processes that allow matsutake to flourish. We use the notion of ‘elusiveness’ to capture these shifting dynamics of attraction, coordination, and elusion.

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Introduction

Writing History and the Social Sciences with Ivan Jablonka

Nathan Bracher

This introduction outlines Ivan Jablonka’s theory and practice of writing the social sciences as foregrounded in three of his most noted, recent books, A History of the Grandparents I Never Had, History is a Contemorary Literature, and Laëtitia. As he outlines in his own contribution here, Jablonka advances rigorous, methodical research that nevertheless details the subjective investment of the researcher while at the same time utilizing creative “literary” techniques to engage a wide spectrum of readers well beyond the habitual circles of academic specialists. The essays contributed by Julie Fette, Sarah Fishman, Melanie Hawthorne, Don Reid, and Nathan Bracher explore various facets of Jablonka’s approach, including, respectively: writing history with family stories, resisting the erosion of factual reasoning in the Trump years, pursuing biographies of supposedly non-descript lives, appreciating the importance of Communist cultural networks in postwar France, and revisiting the role of the subject in the social sciences.

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Introduction to the Issue

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.

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Migration and Citizenship in “Athens of Crisis”

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.”

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Participation, Process and Partnerships

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.

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Arturo Hernández-Huerta, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo and Miguel Equihua Zamora

*Full article is in Spanish

English Abstract:

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.

Spanish Abstract:

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.

French Abstract:

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.

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Reassembling Musicality

Critical Music in Reassembly on Tinos

G Douglas Barrett

Reassembly, curated by G Douglas Barrett and Petros Touloudi Tinos, Greece 5 July 2017 to 31 October 2017

The free movement of bodies and objects once considered critical for the smooth functioning of contemporary art has appeared, especially since 2017, increasingly uncertain in this era marked by new forms of nationalism, xenophobia, and economic isolationism. Indeed, many artists working in this environment have found it difficult or impossible to cross once unquestionably open borders, or to ship works to and from exhibitions held across a requisitely international stage. As an attempt to respond to this crisis, I, along with Petros Touloudis, curated Reassembly, an exhibition held in the summer of 2017 on the island of Tinos, Greece. The exhibition came out of an annual residency program organized by Touloudis’s Tinos Quarry Platform and was held at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos. Overall, we wanted to ask if there is a critical role for music can play in the field contemporary art, especially as its plagued by new forms of border policing and geopolitical conflict.

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Hadas Weiss

My goal in this forum essay is to brush the dust off Claude Meillassoux’s (1981) magnum opus, Maidens, Meal and Money, by demonstrating its relevance for the present day. While Meillassoux wrote primarily about precapitalist agricultural communities, he had sketched on their basis a model of social reproduction that incorporates social investments and powers, and he foregrounded the hierarchical and exploitative reproductive orders by which capitalism sustains accumulation. In the context of a renewed interest by feminist scholars in questions of social reproduction, I argue that the analytical tools developed by Meillassoux are at least as helpful in making sense of the age of financialization.