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Nguyen Van Suu

Đô'i Mó'i, the name given to the economic reforms initiated in 1986 in Vietnam, has renewed the party-state's ambitious scheme of industrialization and has intensified the process of urbanization in Vietnam. A large area of land has been converted for these purposes, with various effects on both the state and society. This article sheds light on how land conversion has resulted in farmers' resistance and in what way and to what extent it has transformed their livelihoods in the transitional context of contemporary Vietnam. The article argues that agricultural land use rights remain an important asset for Vietnamese farmers, containing great value and meaning for them besides forming a means of prod

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Fascism at eye level

The anthropological conundrum

Douglas R. Holmes

Fascism in our time is emerging not as a single party or movement within a particular nation-state but rather as a dispersed phenomenon that reverberates across the continent nested within the political contradictions of the European Union. Rather than focusing on a specific group to determine whether it is or is not “fascist,” we must look at how diverse parties and movements are linked together in cross-border coalitions revealing the political ecology of contemporary fascism and the intricate division of labor that sustains it. Underwriting contemporary fascism is an “illiberal” anthropology that can colonize every expression of identity and attachment. From the motifs and metaphors of diverse folkloric traditions to the countless genres of popular culture, fascism assimilates new meanings and affective predispositions.

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Introduction

Theorizing Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures in Contemporary Times

Garth Stahl and Cynthia Brock

with the literacies boys engage in, or value, outside of school. Contemporary Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures Across this collection of articles, we see boys committed to literacy practices they consider valuable and embedded within their

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Contemporary Megaprojects

An Introduction

Seth Schindler, Simin Fadaee, and Dan Brockington

There is renewed interest in megaprojects worldwide. In contrast to high-modernist megaprojects that were discrete projects undertaken by centralized authorities, contemporary megaprojects are often decentralized and pursued by a range of stakeholders from governments as well as the private sector. They leverage cutting-edge technology to ‘see’ complex systems as legible and singular phenomena. As a result, they are more ambitious, more pervasive and they have the potential to reconfigure longstanding relationships that have animated social and ecological systems. The articles in this issue explore the novel features of contemporary megaprojects, they show how the proponents of contemporary megaprojects aspire to technologically enabled omnipresence, and they document the resistance that megaprojects have provoked.

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Introduction

Contemporary Fiction

Katharine Cockin

Contemporary fiction has to address all manner of uncertainties. Those brought about by scientific developments and related social changes are possibly most acute in novels which experiment with the new science of cloning and reproductive technologies. Here there is often an explicit exploration of what it means to be human. As Eva Sabine Zehelein’s article shows, the capability of science to replace sexual reproduction is explored as a potentially liberating idea by the scientist-author, Carl Djerassi. His novel provides a means of educating the reader about science as well as providing a testing-ground for the ethical issues which face today’s scientists. Notably it is the long-term effects of scientific inventions in reproductive technologies which require hard thinking today. While these concerns will be considered by scientists and legislators, they are certainly being tested in the relative freedom of the novel. Thus Eva Hoffmann’s The Secret demonstrates that, to some extent, it is the clone who exposes what is taken for granted as human. Susan Stuart illustrates here the critical perspective offered by this novel. Whatever scientific interventions and biological crafting are involved in the creation of new life, the complexity of the decisions and actions of the life created provides a rich source of narrative exploration, especially in the bildungsroman form.

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Sociology in the Garden

Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology

Nissim Mizrachi

In “For Public Sociology,” the article based on his presidential address to the American Sociological Association, Michael Burawoy (2005) describes two interrelated trends in contemporary American sociology. First, he notes, sociology and the

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Magdalena Rodziewicz

values and protocol with regards to marriage has brought with it challenges to traditional values’ ( 2012: 4 ). This challenge seems to be particularly difficult because in contemporary Iran, gender relations are still not only shaped by the religious

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“Real, practical emancipation”?

Subaltern politics and insurgent citizenship in contemporary India

Alf Gunvald Nilsen

instructive point of departure for a critical investigation of subaltern politics in contemporary India. The context in question is one in which dominant and subaltern groups engage in complex processes of struggle, negotiation, and contention over the

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Introduction

Writing Jews and Jewishness in Contemporary Britain

Axel Stähler and Sue Vice

Several of the articles gathered in this special issue are based on papers presented at the symposium on ‘Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain’ held at and generously funded by the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism on 11 September 2013, and co-convened by the editors together with the Institute’s director, David Feldman. Others have been especially commissioned for the issue. Thanks are also due to Jan Davison, Jonathan Magonet and Jenny Pizer.

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Introduction

A New Journal for Contemporary Environmental Challenges

Paige West, Dan Brockington, Jamon Halvaksz, and Michael Cepek

Social scientists have been writing about the relationships between people and their surroundings for as long as there has been social scientific inquiry. Fields such as anthropology, economics, history, human geography, law, political science, psychology, and sociology all have long and rich histories of contributing to and pioneering socio-environmental analysis. However, the past 20 years have seen a proliferation of scholarship in the social sciences that is focused on environmental issues. This is due, in part, to changes in our environment that have profound implications for the future of both human society and the environment. It is also due, in part, to the ways in which environmental practitioners have portrayed the causes of these changes. In the 1970s, social scientists, concerned with the ways in which the causes of environmental changes were being attributed to some peoples and not others, felt that their knowledge of social processes and social systems could shed light on these issues (see Blaikie and Brookfield 1987). They thought that the methods and theories of the social sciences could and should be brought to bear on questions about contemporary environmental changes. Climate change, the water crisis, deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss, the energy crisis, nascent resource wars, environmental refugees, and environmental justice are just some of the many compelling challenges facing society today that were identified by these early scholars as sites in need of social scientific analysis.