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Reassembling the Lucky Gods

Pilgrim Economies, Tourists, and Local Communities in Global Tokyo

Tatsuma Padoan

This article intends to analyze the emergence of new subjectivities and economic discourses, and the semiotic construction of sacred places in global Tokyo as inventively constituted within the popular urban pilgrimage routes of the Seven Lucky Gods (shichifukujin). While a specific neoliberal discourse in Japan linked to tourism and the media has promoted the reinvention of traditional pilgrimage sites as New Age “power spots” informed by novel forms of temporality and subjectivity, urban communities living in those places, with their specific concerns and problems related to the local neighborhoods, often generate pilgrimage spaces that are radically different from those of the “neoliberal pilgrims.” I will thus argue that the pilgrimage of the Seven Lucky Gods emerges as a double discourse through which religious institutions and urban collectives semiotically assemble themselves not only by rebranding older sites as neoliberal power spots through media and tourism practices, but also by creatively producing hybrid subjectivities, sacred places, and alternative ontologies that are set apart from neoliberal economies.

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Rebuilding, Remembrance, and Commerce

Perspectives on the Economic Revitalization of Lower Manhattan

Kate DeConinck

The 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers and also devastated the economy in Lower Manhattan. Many local businesses and restaurants were forced to close, and thousands of residents were displaced from their homes. For more than a decade, the neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade Center site struggled to stay afloat economically. However, recent years have witnessed the revitalization of this area as developers have built new office and retail spaces as well as museums and memorials that attract visitors from around the globe. Drawing from fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2017, this article analyzes the significance of these rapid economic developments for individuals who were personally affected by the attacks. Some persons condemned the changes as immoral, believing that money and respectful remembrance cannot coexist. Others viewed the revitalization as redemptive, the product of the communitas that had united citizens after the tragedy.

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Sacred Journeys

A Lucrative Revenue Stream

Shadia Taha

Pilgrimage has been performed by members of all religions, and all beliefs, from prehistoric times to the present. The visitation of religious and sacred sites represents a significant economic resource for many faith establishments and organizations. In this article, I will explore the Muslim Hajj to Mecca as a case study. The study is based on ethnographic research using interviews and observation. The economic impact of pilgrims is a multifaceted and complex subject. Pilgrims spend money on transport, accommodation, and other services; hence, they contribute to the economy of the host state. My research suggests that there is a particular type of relationship between the economic and the spiritual aspects of pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

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Siseko H. Kumalo

The historical debate, in African philosophy, on personhood has been characterised by radical and moderate communitarianism seen through the scholarship of Menkiti (1984) and Gyekye (1997) and continues contemporarily with scholars considering its implications on contemporary conceptions of rights.

Responding to Chemhuru’s compatibilist view that, he maintains, safeguards and guarantees individual rights, I showcase how his conception of the community as prior to the individual betrays his project. Using the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to contextualise rights discourse in Afro-communitarianism, Chemhuru avers that once collective rights have been gained, individuals can claim their rights. I critique this position to suggest that Chemhuru undermines his own project of compatibilism through placing the community prior to the individual. Using the Civil Union Act (2006) as a legislative framework that safeguards and guarantees individual human rights, I test Chemhuru’s compatibilist view. I conclude by highlighting the divergences between constitutionalism and Afro-communitarianism.

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Anti-social security

The changing contours of the hegemonic field in the twenty-first-century United States

Jeff Maskovsky

Gavin Smith’s (2014) Intellectuals and (Counter-) Politics is a tour de force. It calls for anthropology to attend more carefully to the history of moves by the dominant capitalist blocs to enhance the conditions for their own reproduction and to the ways in which different subordinated and subaltern groups respond to these moves. This is, of course, a well-established line of inquiry. Yet, in Intellectuals, Smith breathes new life into an intellectual project that has been sidelined in recent years, as other preoccupations take hold in the discipline of anthropology and beyond. Smith rethinks what is meant by realist history, arming a new generation of insurgent scholars, readers, and activists, inside and outside the academy with a new set of intellectual priorities. The book thus exemplifies the best kind of politicized writing in anthropology and in other disciplines.

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Douglas Bruster

Q1 Hamlet (1603) routinely sets prose speeches so that they appear to be blank verse. This article argues that such was an attempt to confer prestige upon the text, particularly in the wake of the saturation of Shakespeare books on the literary marketplace around 1600 – a phenomenon that saw his prose works achieve less favour than those in pentameter. The publishers of Q1 Merry Wives (1602) and Q1 Hamlet may have hedged their bets on these Shakespeare texts by amplifying their verse, long the gold standard of the Shakespearean brand. Like The True Tragedie of Richard III (published 1594) and The Famous Victories of Henry V (entered 1594), which presented their opening pages to readers as iambic pentameter, Q1 Hamlet seems to have beautified its dialogue for readers in the early modern book marketplace.

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Being a Girl Who Gets into Trouble

Narratives of Girlhood

Elaine Arnull

In this article I focus on the narratives of girls who describe the events that shape their lives and get them into trouble. The narratives are explored against Darrell Steffensmeier and Emilie Allan’s (1996) proffered Gender Theory, to consider whether it offers an adequate explanatory framework. The article adds to the body of knowledge about girlhood, gender norms, and transgression and provides fresh insight into the relevance of physical strength to girls’ violence. I conclude that girls are defining girlhood as they live it and it is the disjuncture with normative concepts that leads them into conflict with institutions of social control.

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Naila Keleta-Mae

In this article I examine the performances of black girlhood in two texts by Ntozake Shange—the choreopoem “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” (1977) and the novel Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo (1982). The black girls whom Shange portrays navigate anti-black racism in their communities, domestic violence in their homes, and explore their connections with spirit worlds. In both these works, Shange stages black girls who make decisions based on their understanding of the spheres of influence that their race, gender, and age afford them in an anti-black patriarchal world dominated by adults. I draw, too, from Patricia Hill Collins’s work on feminist standpoint theory and black feminist thought to introduce the term black girl thought as a theoretical framework to offer insights into the complex lives of black girls who live in the post-civil rights era in the United States.

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Janet Seow

Doll play is critical in the formation of young black girls’ gender, race, and class identities. In this article, I use textual analysis that emphasizes how physical changes in dolls correspond to contextual shifts in society over the last seven decades, and qualitative research with ten Afro-Caribbean girls and young women in Toronto to reveal the racial and cultural meanings of dolls in young people’s everyday lives and how doll play is complicated by racist and classist representations of dolls. By exploring what doll play meant to them, I show how it helps black girls understand racial and gendered norms. Through doll play, girls reveal an understanding of their racialized identities and marginalization as they demonstrate unacknowledged skills in their ability to navigate barriers that reinforce racial inequalities and social hierarchies in girls’ material culture in a multicultural Toronto.

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Jörn Happel and Nick Fielding

A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada Edyta M. Bojanowska (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2018), viii + 373 pp., illus., maps. ISBN 978-0-674976405. $35.00

Thomas, Lucy & Alatau: The Atkinsons’ Adventures in Siberia and the Kazakh Steppe John Massey Stewart (London: Unicorn, 2018), 344 pages. ISBN 978-1-911604-30-3. Hardback, £25.00