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Introduction

Theorizing the Spatiality of Protest

Dimitris Soudias and Tareq Sydiq

Since the 1990s, there has been a raft of case studies inquiring into the relation between space and protest in the field that has come to be known as social movement studies or social movement theory, whether it be resource in protesters’ tactical repertoires, a terrain that sets policing strategies, or an actant that influences movement-building. So why produce a special section on “the spatiality of protest” now? The first reason lies in what William Sewell observed almost 20 years ago, which is that “most studies bring in spatial considerations only episodically, when they seem important either for adequate description of contentious political events or for explaining why particular events occurred or unfolded as they did” (2001: 51). Despite efforts from within the field to push social movement studies further around the spatial turn (e.g., Martin and Miller 2003; Wilton and Cranford 2002), it appears as though little theoretical work about the spatiality of protest has been generated in the past 15 years.1 Within the field of social movement studies, the core concepts of opportunity structures, resources, and frames are far from “spatialized.” Curiously, the seemingly marginal theoretical interest in space is set against the fact that recent methodological and conceptual advances in social movement studies call for what is essentially a scalar analysis of protest (Nulman and Schlembach 2018).

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Introduction

Reconceptualizing Transit State in an Era of Outsourcing, Offshoring, and Obfuscation

Antje Missbach and Melissa Phillips

There has been growing pressure on states to “solve” the phenomenon of irregular migration. Destination countries have transferred this pressure onto transit countries, which are assumed to have the political will, ability, and means to stop irregular migration. This special section looks at the ways in which transit countries respond to challenges, pressures, and compromises in matters of irregular migration policies through a number of empirical case studies. Making transit countries the main focus, this special section aims to scrutinize domestic policy discourses in the transit countries, which are influenced by regional agreements and economic incentives from abroad but are also shaped by local interests and a wide range of actors. Of special interest is to understand whether the logics of destination countries that favor deterrence and exclusion have been adopted by politicians and the public discourse within transit countries.

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Introduction

Engendering Plural Tales

Yousif M. Qasmiyeh

Since its inception in 2018, the aim of the “Creative Encounters” section of Migration and Society has been to off er alternative ways of engaging with “voice” or, more pertinently, as I have argued elsewhere, “to embroider the voice with its own needle” (Qasmiyeh 2019). This dialectic is proposed to problematize the notion of the voice as it is often perceived and mobilized: a medium offered to those in need of (their) voices rather than as a prior state of being that is initiated by and therefore intrinsically belongs to the individual herself. In this vein, “to embroider the voice with its own needle” is to see the voice within its owner, as a given and not to be given, through tracing the thread as it touches the needle eye to go through it and in so doing ushering in the embroidering that will come. Indeed, embroidering the voice is writing the intimate, the lived, and the leftovers in life into newer times as imagined by the writer herself; it is writing without a helping hand from anyone but rather through continuously returning to the embroidered (and what is being embroidered) and its tools, notwithstanding how incomplete and fragmentary they are.

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Introduction

Tax Beyond the Social Contract

Nicolette Makovicky and Robin Smith

This special issue decenters tax as an analytic device for understanding the relationship between state and citizen while examining the limits of social contract thinking. Focusing on how citizens interpret and react to state efforts to promote fiscal citizenship, it sheds light on contemporary fiscal structures and public debates about the moralities, practices, and imaginaries of tax systems. The contributors use tax to explore the nature of citizenship, personal freedom, and moral and economic value. They also highlight how taxation may be influenced by spaces of fiscal sovereignty that exist outside or alongside the state in the form of alternative religious and economic communities.

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Introduction

‘William Le Queux, Master of Misinformation’

Ailise Bulfin and Harry Wood

The Introduction prefaces a double special issue of Critical Survey examining the work of controversial popular author, journalist and amateur spy William Le Queux from 1880 to 1920. Known as the ‘master of mystery’, Le Queux was prominent in transmitting exaggerated fears about British national security before, during and after the First World War. The Introduction provides a historical and literary framework for the special issue and outlines its central premises: that cultural production in Le Queux’s era was intimately connected with contemporary socio-political forces; that this relationship was well understood by authors such as Le Queux, and often exploited for propagandist purposes; and that the resulting literary efforts were sometimes successful in influencing public opinion. The Introduction also outlines the overall finding that Le Queux’s work tended to distort his subject matter, misinform his readership, and blur the lines between fact and fiction in pursuit of his defencist agenda.

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Introduction

Knowledge, Ignorance, and Pilgrimage

Evgenia Mesaritou, Simon Coleman and John Eade

This special issue on “Knowledge, Ignorance, and Pilgrimage” highlights processes of production of knowledge and ignorance that unfold within as well as beyond pilgrimage sites. We illustrate the labor, politics, and power relations involved in the construction of sacred centers, but also the ways in which the field of study must be extended to other places where pilgrims learn to practice their religion, and live their everyday lives.

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Introduction

Recentering the South in Studies of Migration

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

It has become increasingly mainstream to argue that redressing the Eurocentrism of migration studies requires a commitment to decentering global North knowledge. However, it is less clear whether this necessarily means “recentering the South.” Against this backdrop, this introduction starts by highlighting diverse ways that scholars, including the contributors to this special issue, have sought to redress Eurocentrism in migration studies: (1) examining the applicability of classical concepts and frameworks in the South; (2) filling blind spots by studying migration in the South and South-South migration; and (3) engaging critically with the geopolitics of knowledge production. The remainder of the introduction examines questions on decentering and recentering, different ways of conceptualizing the South, and—as a pressing concern with regard to knowledge production—the politics of citation. In so doing, the introduction critically delineates the contours of these debates, provides a frame for this volume, and sets out a number of key thematic and editorial priorities for Migration and Society moving forward.

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“Is He Talking to Me?”

How Breaking the Fourth Wall Influences Enjoyment

Daniela M. Schlütz, Daniel Possler and Lucas Golombek

In this study, we empirically investigate the enjoyment-related consequences of the TV trope of breaking the fourth wall (B4W), which is when a fictional character addresses viewers directly. Based on the model of narrative comprehension and engagement, we assume that B4W contributes to viewers’ cognitive and affective enjoyment by intensifying the parasocial interaction experience (EPSI). Alternatively, B4W could reduce enjoyment by disrupting viewers’ transportation into the narrative. We report two experiments with a total of N = 658 participants and three different stimuli based on the TV series House of Cards (HoC) and Malcolm in the Middle (MitM) as well as the movie Deadpool (DP). Analyses revealed that B4W increased the EPSI, which in turn fostered enjoyment.

Open access

Laurent Berger

Moore, Jason. W. 2015. Capitalism in the web of life: Ecology and the accumulation of capital. London: Verso.

Tsing, Anna. L. 2015. Th e mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruins. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Jackie Feldman

Two themes that surface in the articles in this collection are: Visual knowledge and the means of acquiring it—the ability of pilgrims to see and read signs while overlooking or avoiding other sources of knowledge that are visible or readily available; and the issue of authority: who propagates and gains from the teaching, images, and practices of pilgrimage? The articles demonstrate that distance from pilgrimage sites and ignorance of local knowledge is important in intensifying pilgrims’ experience and maintaining the power of traditional authorities. While some shrines readily adopt new technologies to diffuse their messages, activities and images, pilgrimages continue to rely on embodiment and sociality to solidify communities and commitments. The variety of engagements of pilgrimages with changing media and emerging historical realities testifies to the viability of the forms and practices of pilgrimage in transmitting other kinds of knowledge.