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Between Conflicting Systems

An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania

Matthew Rosen

Abstract

‘Business as usual’ in contemporary Albania takes place between different and conflicting systems of meaning and value. Drawing from ethnographic material collected in Tirana, Albania, this article examines the complexities of social and economic life in a city where distinct moral economies routinely clash with the capitalist principle of profit. Starting from the ethnographic impulse to learn how two local booksellers made sense of the contradictory systems of meaning operating in their everyday lives, the analysis shows how a grinding of discordant value systems produced the more general paradox of an ‘ordinary tragedy’.

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Liesa Rühlmann and Sarah McMonagle

Abstract

This article highlights issues of Othering and linguicism and identifies the challenges of undoing taboos of race and racism in popular and academic discourses in Germany. We discuss the prospect of introducing critical race theory to expose these issues that we see as especially urgent, as Germany remains host to very large numbers of international migrants. A monolingual and monocultural idea of Germany does not befit this country of immigration in the twenty-first century.

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Language and a Continent in Flux

Twenty-First Century Tensions of Inclusion and Exclusion

Philip McDermott and Sarah McMonagle

Abstract

This article introduces the present forum edition on linguistic identities in twenty-first-century Europe. We consider how discourses of inclusion and exclusion, embedded in discourses of the nation, continue to be relevant in understanding and interpreting the social, cultural and political status of (minority) languages and their speakers. In order to introduce the various studies that comprise this forum, we relay how language debates provide a lens through which wider systems of prestige and hierarchy may be focused. Such debates can, at one and the same time, both alter and reflect the meanings and interpretations of Europe itself.

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Linguistic Identities in Post-Conflict Societies

Current Issues and Developments in Northern Ireland

Freya Stancombe-Taylor

Abstract

This article assesses the identity politics of language in post-conflict Northern Ireland, where language debates at a political level have been encased in questions of identity. However, despite the continued existence of ethnocentric narratives around language, opportunities have emerged for individuals to cross linguistic barriers and challenge the perspective that certain languages ‘belong’ to certain communities.

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Cristina Clopot, Ullrich Kockel, and Vytis Čiubrinskas

At the end of last year, the AJEC team received the sad news that Christian Giordano had suddenly died during his Christmas holidays in Vilnius. Christian was one of the founders of AJEC, shaped the journal significantly during its early years as co-editor (1990–2001) and, for a time (1992–1998), publisher. He remained connected with it over the years, regularly acting as peer reviewer and informal advisor during Ullrich's tenure as editor. His final contribution to AJEC () was an essay for last year's special issue in memory of Ina-Maria Greverus, reflecting on their encounter through a shared interest in Sicily, their long personal friendship, and their often-theatrical academic relationship.

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Nikolett Szelei

Abstract

Although European educational policies seemingly promote multilingualism, many countries continue to grapple with developing educational responses that recognise students’ complex linguistic identities. This discussion piece reflects on questions relating to multilingualism that have occurred within the Portuguese education system.

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Racial and Social Prejudice in the Colonial Empire

Issues Raised by Miscegenation in Portugal (Late Nineteenth to Mid-Twentieth Centuries)

Patrícia Ferraz de Matos

Abstract

This article analyses the issue of miscegenation in Portugal, which is directly associated with the context of its colonial empire, from late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The analysis considers sources from both literary and scientific fields. Subsequently, aspects such as interracial marriage, degeneration and segregation as well as the changes brought about by the end of World War II and the social revolutions of the 1960s are considered. The 1980s brought several changes in the attitude towards Portuguese identity and nationality, which had meanwhile cut loose from its colonial context. Crossbreeding was never actually praised in the Portuguese colonial context, and despite still having strong repercussions in the present day, lusotropicalism was based on a fallacious rhetoric of politically motivated propaganda.

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Francisco Martínez, Eva-Maria Walther, Anita Agostini, José Muñoz-Albaladejo, Máiréad Nic Craith, Agata Rejowska, and Tobias Köllner

Andreas Bandak and Manpreet Janeja (eds) (2018), Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope and Uncertainty (London: Bloomsbury), 232 pp., €90.46. ISBN 9781474280280.

Liene Ozoliņa (2019), Politics of Waiting: Workfare, Post-Soviet Austerity and the Ethics of Freedom (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 160 pp., £80. ISBN 9781526126252.

Giulia Evolvi (2018), Blogging My Religion: Secular, Muslim, and Catholic Media Spaces in Europe (London and New York: Routledge), 174 pp., £110, ISBN 9781138562110.

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein (2018), Making Intangible Heritage: El Condor Pasa and Other Stories from UNESCO (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), 204 pp., $75.00, ISBN9780253037923.

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein and Áslaug Einarsdóttir, directors and producers (2018), The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 30 min., available online: http://flightofthecondorfilm.com (accessed 22 July 2019).

Morton Nielsen and Nigel Rapport (eds) (2017), The Composition of Anthropology: How Anthropological Texts Are Written (London: Routledge), 202 pp., Pb £25.99, ISBN 9781138208117.

Agnieszka Pasieka (2015), Hierarchy and Pluralism: Living Religious Difference in Catholic Poland (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), 261 pp., €96.29, ISBN 9781137500526.

Detelina Tocheva (2017), Intimate Divisions: Street-Level Orthodoxy in Post-Soviet Russia (Berlin: LIT Verlag), xv +185 pp., 29.90€, ISBN 9783643908735.

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Translating Islam into Georgian

The Question of Georgian Muslim Identity in Contemporary Adjara

Ricardo Rivera

Abstract

This forum piece provides a brief discussion of the mediation of religious and ethnic identity through language in Adjara, an autonomous region of southwestern Georgia. The piece considers the emergence of a consolidated ‘Georgian Muslim’ identity in the post-Soviet period. It thus sheds light on how language acts as a site for the navigation of religious and historical difference in Adjara.

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Translating the Bottom-Up Frame

Everyday Negotiations of the European Union's Rural Development Programme LEADER in Germany

Oliver Müller, Ove Sutter, and Sina Wohlgemuth

Abstract

The paper follows the different moments of translation when LEADER, the EU development programme for rural areas, is put into practice on the local level. Drawing on ethnographic data gathered during several field observations and semistructured interviews from two LEADER regions in Germany, we analyse how the interpretive repertoire of LEADER's bottom-up approach is actualised, appropriated and negotiated by different actors when translated into local contexts of participative rural development. Drawing on Stuart Hall's theoretical distinction of different positions of ‘decoding’, the article demonstrates how the ‘bottom-up frame’ is interpreted and adapted strategically from a ‘dominant-hegemonic’, ‘negotiated’ and ‘oppositional’ position.