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Anthropologists and Designers Co-Designing the Future

Report on the Sixth International Applied Anthropology Symposium in Lisbon

Laura Korčulanin and Verónica Reyero Meal

During the last weekend of October 2018, specialists from around the world met in Lisbon for the sixth ‘Why the World Needs Anthropologists’ symposium (WWNA). This yearly conference – which provides a space for sharing information, experiences and discussions regarding applied anthropology – has gone from a one-afternoon symposium to a three-day event with lectures, panel discussions, speed-talks, workshops, guided tours, social events and ‘Hot-Spots’ – stands where a range of institutions, sponsors and partners can present what they do. This year’s conference gathered more than 300 people from 33 countries (and more than a thousand online visitors via live-streaming) to reflect on the possibilities that the emergent discipline of design anthropology brings to anthropologists and designers and for cross-disciplinary collaborations. Significantly named, Designing the Future was a response to what many in the field feel is a time when the world needs more engaged anthropologists to spark ideas and bring out informed and well-thought-out research-based solutions.

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Sabina Barone, Veronika Bernard, Teresa S Büchsel, Leslie Fesenmyer, Bruce Whitehouse, Petra Molnar, Bonny Astor and Olga R. Gulina

THE REFUGEE CRISIS AND RELIGION: Secularism, Security and Hospitality in Question Edited by Luca Mavelli and Erin K. Wilson. London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2017. 305 pages, ISBN 9781783488940

MUSLIMISCHE DIVERSITÄT: Ein Kompass zur religiösen Alltagspraxis in Österreich [Muslim Diversity: A Guide to Religious Everyday Practices in Austria] Wiener Beiträge zur Islamforschung series. Edited by Ednan Aslan, Jonas Kolb, and Erol Yildiz. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2017. 506 pages, ISBN 9783658175535 (print); 9783658175542 (e-book)

BUREAUCRACY, LAW AND DYSTOPIA IN THE UNITED KINGDOM’S ASYLUM SYSTEM John R. Campbell. London: Routledge, 2017. 202 pages, ISBN 978113821495

ETHNIC CHURCH MEETS MEGACHURCH: Indian American Christianity in Motion Prema A. Kurien. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 281 pages, ISBN 9781479804757 (hardback); 9781479826377 (paperback)

FORGING AFRICAN COMMUNITIES: Mobility, Integration and Belonging Edited by Oliver Bakewell and Loren B. Landau. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 321 pages, ISBN 9781137581938 (hardcover); 9781137581945 (e-book)

DETAINING THE IMMIGRANT OTHER: Global and Transnational Issues Edited by R. Furman, D. Epps, and G. Lamphear. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 220 pages, ISBN 9780190222574 (hardback)

THIS IS LONDON: Life and Death in the World City Ben Judah. London: Picador, 2016. 423 pages, ISBN 9781447272441 (hardback); 9781447274797 (paperback)

THE ROAD TO SOMEWHERE: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics David Goodhart. London: Penguin Books, 2017. 278 pages, ISBN 9780141986975 (paperback); 9780141986982 (e-book)

THE GOOD IMMIGRANT Edited by Nikesh Shukla. London: Unbound, 2017. 254 pages, ISBN 9781783522958 (hardback); 9781783522965 (e-book)

THE SOVIET PASSPORT: Its History—Structure—Practices Albert Baiburin. St. Petersburg: Publishing House of the European University in St. Petersburg, 2017. 488 pages, ISBN 978-94380-232-4 (In Russian: Советский паспорт. История- структура- практики. СпБ: Издательство Европейского университета. Альберт Байбурин, 2017. 488. / Sovetskiy pasport. Istoriya- strukturapraktiki. SpB: Izdatel’stvo Yevropeyskogo universiteta, Albert Baiburin, 2017. 488)

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Anthropology in Action is always happy to hear from potential reviewers at all stages in their academic careers. We currently have a number of books awaiting review. If you are interested in reviewing any of the books on the list below, please contact the reviews editor David Orr (d.orr@sussex.ac.uk). We welcome reviews of around 600 words for a single book, but we are also keen to include review articles comparing two or more works, for which the word length is negotiable. Please also be aware that we can request recent publications (within the last year) from publishers, so do feel free to let us know of any books that you would like to review within the field of applied anthropology, and we will do our best to get them for you. Also note that publishers routinely send pdf or e-copies of publications rather than hard copies.

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Bryan Loughrey and Graham Holderness

Brian Cox and Tony Dyson established Critical Survey in 1962. Over its long history, the journal has never before published four issues within a single year. This initiative, it should be stressed, will not be a one-off event; rather it marks a strategic milestone, a precedent signalling that from now on four issues per year will be the journal’s default publication protocol. The main reason for this change is to facilitate ‘widening access’ and greater ‘diversity’. Given that both of these terms have, however, become deracinated, let us make clear what they mean in the context of Critical Survey’s vision, history, operations and future.

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Coming Together in the So-Called Refugee Crisis

A Collaboration Among Refugee Newcomers, Migrants, Activists and Anthropologists in Berlin

Nasima Selim, Mustafa Abdalla, Lilas Alloulou, Mohamed Alaedden Halli, Seth M. Holmes, Maria Ibiß, Gabi Jaschke and Johanna Gonçalves Martín

In 2015, Germany entered what would later become known as the ‘refugee crisis’. The Willkommenskultur (welcoming culture) trope gained political prominence and met with significant challenges. In this article, we focus on a series of encounters in Berlin, bringing together refugee newcomers, migrants, activists and anthropologists. As we thought and wrote together about shared experiences, we discovered the limitations of the normative assumptions of refugee work. One aim of this article is to destabilise terms such as refugee, refugee work, success and failure with our engagements in the aftermath of the ‘crisis’. Refugee work is not exclusively humanitarian aid directed towards the alleviation of suffering but includes being and doing together. Through productive failures and emergent lessons, the collaboration enhanced our understandings of social categories and the role of anthropology.

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Contemporary Girls Studies

Reflections on the Inaugural International Girls Studies Association Conference

Victoria Cann, Sarah Godfrey and Helen Warner

As we move towards the second International Girls Studies Association Conference, to be held at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, in February 2019, we reflect on the work of the scholars and practitioners who presented at our first conference in April 2016, in Norwich, UK. In this special issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal we highlight the diversity of articles presented at the conference that provided us with a sense of the breadth of research in girls studies to date.

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Editor's Note

Sustainable development – Still haven´t found what we’re looking for…

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Much debate has swirled around the United Nations’ (UN) 2000–2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On one hand, the MDGs established the fight against poverty in the global political consciousness. On the other hand, they maintained a traditional statistical approach to “development” that focused on indicators more than transformation. Critics (such as Blanco Sío-López, 2015; Martens, 2015) have contended that the MDGs reinforced power imbalances and the indicators included in the political program were unattainable by many developing states since the beginning.

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John Ireland and Constance Mui

There has rarely been a writer and thinker who saw his writing as more tied to his age than Jean-Paul Sartre. His notion of committed literature argued that writing and thought are anchored first and foremost in their “situation,” the period and context in which they are first produced, disseminated and discussed. One writes for one’s era, he maintained; that is when a piece of writing has its greatest impact. Almost forty years after his death, there is some irony in the fact that Sartre’s writings and thought continue to be invoked in so many different contexts far removed from their immediate cultural moment and situation. And this despite the legion of detractors on both sides of the Atlantic for whom the end of the Berlin wall and Soviet Russia sealed Sartre’s failed legacy and any possibility of his continued relevance.

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Editorial

African Philosophy and Rights

Motsamai Molefe and Chris Allsobrook

A useful way to approach the discourse of rights in African philosophy is in terms of Kwasi Wiredu’s (1996) distinction between cultural particulars and universals. According to Wiredu, cultural particulars are contingent and context-dependent. They fail to hold in all circumstances and for everyone (Wiredu 2005). Cultural universals are transcultural or objective (Wiredu 2005). Examples of cultural particulars include dress styles, religious rituals, social etiquette and so on. One example of a cultural universal is the norm of truth. One may imagine a society with different methods of greeting, dress, and raising children, but one cannot imagine a robust society which rejects the norm of truth as the basis of social practices.

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Editorial

Social Quality, Environmental Challenges, and Indicators

Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

The first three articles of this issue are dedicated to aspects of the current debate about and the praxis of environmental questions, and thus of the ecosystems. The fourth article concerns the application of social quality indicators in China. The gaining hypothesis is that a disconnection of the social quality approach of daily circumstances in Japan, Russia, China, Europe, the Americas, Africa, or India from environmental processes results into anachronisms. Without a global consciousness of the unequal consequences of these environmental processes, people in rich countries may be tempted to positively judge the nature of the social quality of their localities or country “as such.” Unknown remains that, seen from a global perspective, macrodetermined reasons for the positive outcomes in rich countries may go at the expense of ecosystems. They may cause, also because of the exportation of substantial elements of problematic (and partly environmental) aspects of the dominant production and reproduction relationships, serious forms of exploitation. Under the same conditions (ceteris paribus), this attack on ecosystems, as well as this exportation and exploitation cause increasingly declining social quality of daily circumstances in poor countries and regions. This will also result into an increase of “climate refugees.” Because of advancing technologically driven transformations—especially regarding communications systems—the interdependencies of countries between the West and the East, as well as between the North and the South, accelerate. Autarkic situations are becoming, or have already been for a long time, a myth.