Since the global crisis of 2008, Italy has witnessed several recoveries of failed private enterprises led by workers trying to escape the precarization of life under austerity. Some see this phenomenon as linked to the highly politicized occupations that took place in Argentina during the crisis of 2001. Italian recoveries, however, are usually far less controversial affairs carried out under the aegis of the state. What explains this difference? Looking at exceptions within the Italian case provides some answers. For example, a protracted conflict between workers (labor) and ownership (capital), the building of links with transnational struggles (including the Argentinian one), and the rediscovery of past working-class values such as mutualism all appear to be factors that can generate collective responses to austerity.
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Reclaiming labor, conflict, and mutualism in Italy
Queering the One Direction Fangirl
Hannah McCann and Clare Southerton
Like other fangirls, fans of former boyband One Direction (“Directioners”) have often been represented in media discourse as obsessive and hysterical, with fan behaviour interpreted as longing for heterosexual intimacy with band members. Subverting this heteronormative framing, a group of Directioners known as “Larries” have built a sub-fandom around imagining a relationship (“ship”) between two of the band members, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Representation of the Larry fandom has gone beyond pathologizing fangirls to framing their shipping practice in terms of “fake news.” The conspiracy theory panic around Larries misses the complex ways that subtext and queer reading are mobilized within the fandom to invoke feelings of queer intimacy and belonging. Drawing on a digital ethnography conducted on Twitter with Larries, we argue that these fans engage in queer reading strategies to explicitly imagine and interrupt dominant heterosexual narratives, and thus queer the figure of the fangirl.
Exploitation Without Interpersonal Domination
In this article, I query whether participation in the labour market can hinder neo-republican freedom as non-domination. I briefly present the view of Philip Pettit on the topic, based on the distinction between offering a reward and threatening a punishment. I compare it to the analysis of labour republicans, recently reconstructed by Alex Gourevitch, according to whom, the exclusion of a group of individuals from the control of productive assets represents a form of structural domination. Then, I explain why I take a position that is different from both. I hold that capitalist structural domination leads only to exploitation, not interpersonal domination. In doing this, I consider two objections that might be raised against my argument. The first one is based on incomplete contracts and on a possible ideal benchmark for job offers. The second one challenges the supposed arbitrariness of unequal property relations within the capitalist social system.
Piety and the Political Potentiality of Ironic Experience
This article engages recent queries in anthropology regarding where to find openings for reimagining, recreating, or rearticulating a moral and political otherwise. I suggest we can find such openings in the political potentiality of ironic experiences—intensely unnerving confrontations with the discrepancy between accepted norms and cherished ideals, of which these norms fall short. Through a person-centered account of one of Indonesia’s most well-known waria (transgender woman), I demonstrate how an out-of-the-ordinary woman’s pursuit of a pious, ordinary life occasions a profound estrangement from common understandings of what it means to be Muslim. This, then, facilitates the possibility of reimaging religious and political orientations despite a national political context of growing incommensurability between Islam and non-heteronormativity.
The Spatial Assimilation of Immigrants
While scholars study residential segregation dynamics in order to understand minorities’ assimilation into mainstream society, less is known about these mechanisms in ethno-national migration contexts. This article examines Israel’s demographic dynamics from 1961 to 2008 in order to evaluate and provide a framework for the process of spatial assimilation of Mizrahim and Ashkenazim in the context of segregation from the Palestinian citizens of Israel. By using the Theil index (H), I assess the level of segregation in different geographic layers and then explore how internal migration has reduced spatial distance within the Jewish society. The analysis demonstrates that despite the disadvantaged position of Mizrahim as of 1961, levels of residential segregation had decreased by 1983. Also, boundaries changed from a variance between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim into a variance among Mizrahim only, with those who relocated as the most spatially assimilated group and those who remained as the most segregated one.
Levien, Michael. 2018. Dispossession without development: Land grabs in neoliberal India. New York: Oxford University Press.
Li, Tania Murray. 2014. Land’s end: Capitalist relations on an indigenous frontier. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
This article is a thought experiment. It constructs ideal types of political representation in the sense of Max Weber. Inspired by Quentin Skinner and others, the aim is to give a rhetorical turn to contemporary debates on representation. The core idea is to claim an ‘elective affinity’ (Wahlverwandschaft, as Weber says following Goethe) between forms of representation and rhetorical genres of their justification. The four ideal types of political representation are designated as plebiscitary, diplomatic, advocatory, and parliamentary, corresponding to the epideictic, negotiating, forensic, and deliberative genres of rhetoric as the respective ways to plausibly appeal to the audience. I discuss historical approximations of each type of representation and apply the combination of representation and rhetorical genres to the understanding of the European Union’s unconventional system of ‘separation of powers’. I conclude with supporting parliamentary representation, based on dissensus and debate, with complements from other types.
Crowd Photography and the Liberation in Toulouse, 1944–1945
During the Liberation of Toulouse, crowd photography dominated the local press rather than the scenes of combat and barricades that marked coverage in Paris and elsewhere. This article shows how crowd photography contributed to a common construction of republicanism across the Toulouse press and exhibitions. It argues that the circulation of these images not only communicated the message that the “people” were once again sovereign, but also implied that these populations had been instrumental in their liberation, thereby contributing to the mythology of “la France résistante.” Editors mobilized crowd photography to convey to viewers the importance of adopting their republican roles at a time of community reconstruction. Reading the photography of the Liberation of Toulouse reveals that while photographic messaging in Liberation France varied in line with local circumstances, it nonetheless played a potent role in contributing to democratic resurgence.
The lottery and precarity of farming in Peru
Astrid B. Stensrud
The neoliberal global food system has intensified the uncertainties associated with peasant farming and agrarian livelihoods around the world. This article examines processes of precarization among smallholder farmers in the Majes Irrigation Project in Peru. By discussing price volatility and uncertainty related to the “free market,” I argue that the conditions of small-scale entrepreneurial farmers today can best be understood in terms of gambling and precarity. After four decades of neoliberal deregulation, farmers in Majes describe agriculture as a “lottery” where one can win or lose everything. Despite prospects of growth and progress, most farmers rely on low-income dairy farming or contracted crops for agro-industrial corporations. The freedom to take risks in the open market entails uncertainty and often results in loss, and farmers must negotiate the ambiguous relation between autonomy and dependency.
A Hidden Holocaust Refuge in Transnistria
Carol Simon Elias
As the child of Holocaust survivors, I had thought that after more than seventy-five years little else could be learnt. But I was wrong. After my second journey to Ukraine and Transnistria in order to discover how my family had survived when hundreds of thousands of Jews had perished, I realized just how much so. Bukovina’s Jews from Romania, Ukraine and Bessarabia had faced horrific pogroms, forced evacuations and death marches, and had then crossed the Dniester River into Transnistria. These are lesser known topics in Holocaust history. Of the 450,000 Jews sent there, approximately 250,000 died, not by guns, gas or ovens but through thirst, starvation, disease and bullet-free mass murders carried out by the Nazis and their Romanian allies. Transnistria’s Holocaust history must be visited and revised. We owe it to the survivors, ourselves, our children and to history itself, before altering what has been written, or not, becomes impossible.