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Scale and Number

Framing an Ideology of Pastoral Plenty in Rural Mongolia

Joseph Bristley

mobilized to enact a scale of measurement that makes ideologically important and powerfully evaluative interventions in social life. Here, this intervention is to valorize plenty in horses. My argument is thus positioned in relation to the anthropologically

Open access

The stable stranger

Constructing “the Roma” within the European neoliberal culture complex

Marianne Blom Brodersen and Emil André Røyrvik

, and ideologically created nature—with the fashioning of the reifying and all-embracing “Roma ethnic group” category by contemporary EU documents and policies. We explore a thesis regarding the ongoing redefinition, relabeling, and refunctionalization

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Blake Ewing

methods of conceptual history, or Begriffsgeschichte , continue to be especially relevant to ideology studies, a subfield of political theory finally liberated from the Marxian undertones that see ideology as a ubiquitous, and not simply ruling

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Simulating Events as They Happen

Spectacle, Ideology, and Readymade Boogeymen—The 2011 August Riots and the Media

Christian Garland

The 2011 August riots that combusted with the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London, (Laville, 2011; Vasagar, 2011) spread literally like wildfire to cities and towns across England in the space of a matter of hours. At the time, much was written about the supposedly ‘nihilistic’ and ‘opportunistic’ nature of the events, and how, unlike previous urban rebellions, they could not be considered to have any ‘political’ dimension, although there were some notable exceptions to such blanket dismissals, which were offered en bloc from even ‘radical’ quarters, not say media and academic ones. The article seeks to offer an analysis and critique of the media narrative of the events in English cities that August, with the aim of contributing to their demystification and better understanding, more than three years on. The article is written from a Marxist perspective, heavily drawing on Critical Theory and using content analysis and an ideological critique of the media to develop its argument. In the three years since the riots of 2011, the production of literature on those events has been fairly continuous, but largely oblivious to their significance, or just why they received such blanket and unequivocal condemnation. This article, in keeping with its origins as one of ‘the notable exceptions’ at the time makes an interrogative critique of the media’s part in ‘simulating events as they happen’.

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The Prospects for Socialist Politics in South Africa

Global and Domestic Trends Following the Failed SRWP Experiment

Giovanni Poggi and Ongama Mtimka

ideological suppression are typically found in the United States, as seasoned neoconservative politicians often explain away left-aligned policy as a poorly dressed up version of Marxist–Leninism ( Drier 2019 ). The emphasis in this process is to narrow the

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Part 2: After the Big Bang

The Fusing of New Approaches

Jan Ifversen

existed for almost twenty-three years. In the following, I draw a map of the situation in the years immediately after the London meeting. Concepts in Ideological Practice Of the British intellectual historians who attended the meeting, Michael

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The Art of Capture

Hidden Jokes and the Reinvention of Animistic Ontologies in Southwest China

Katherine Swancutt

Anthropology has, among its many accomplishments, become a ‘hyper-reflexive’ discipline that is mastered by anthropologists and their fieldwork friends. Today’s China offers an especially revealing lens onto anthropological reflexivity as it reintroduces animism among ethnic minorities and mobilizes a cosmological-cum-ecological ethos, replete with soul-searching and planet-saving behaviors. This article presents ethnography on the Nuosu of Southwest China, who use the ‘art of capture’ to reinvent local animistic ideas and the Chinese ‘ideology of animism’. In dialogue with a Nuosu ethnologist, rural Nuosu villagers, and a Nuosu anthropologist, I propose that ‘hidden’ knowledge and jokes underpin the expositions of native scholars, who interlace their academic work with local rituals. In this way, Nuosu academics, foreign anthropologists, and villagers all partake in the reinvention of Nuosu animism.

Open access

Taras Fedirko, Farhan Samanani, and Hugh F. Williamson

Liberalism has been fundamental to the making of the modern world, at times shaping basic assumptions as to the nature of the political, and in other cases existing as a delimited political project in contention with others. Across its long history, liberal projects have taken a diverse range of forms, which resist easy reduction to a single logic or history. This diversity, however, has often escaped anthropological attention. In this introduction to our special section on Grammars of Liberalism, we briefly trace this historical diversity, interrogate anthropological approaches to conceptualising liberalism and offer a broad framework for studying liberalism that remains attentive to both continuity and difference. First, we argue for attention to how the political claims made by liberal projects unfold at the levels of values, their interrelations (morphology) and the underlying rules governing the expression and combination of values, and their intelligibility as liberal (grammar). Second, we argue for empirical attention to how values are expressed and liberal projects assembled across different social forms. We argue that this approach enables anthropology to grasp the diversity of liberal political projects and subject positions while still allowing scholars to approach liberalism critically and to interrogate its underlying logics.

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Amazing Grace

Vincent Lloyd

On one hand, the excess marked by grace is unquantifiable, challenging the order of the world and opening to the new. On the other hand, grace and its promise are used by the powers that be to naturalise themselves and manage dissent. Black American discourse around racism illustrates this tension, with elected leaders like Barack Obama using grace in the service of power, social movement leaders suspicious of performances tied to grace, and scholars navigating our instinct to be critical and our instinct to use critique as its own form of grace. Meditating on these questions opens lines of inquiry where theology and anthropology connect, including around the aesthetics of grace, the morality of grace, the relationship between trauma and grace, and the authorship of grace.

Free access

Katherine C. Donahue