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Desired formality

Labor migration, black markets, and the state in Chile

Sofía Ugarte

Formal work is essential to gain legal residence in Chile and the reason why Latin American and Caribbean migrants purchase fake contracts on the black market. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with migrant Haitian women applying for work visas in Santiago, this article explores the effects of desired formality and its promises of a good life on contemporary statehood in Chile. The analysis shows how Haitian women’s efforts to become formal workers transform their experiences as racialized and gendered migrants in Chile, and impact how state institutions manage and control migration. Desired formality reveals the paradoxical character of state policies that help create a racialized and precarious labor force within its legal frameworks and explain why migrants attach themselves to fragile good-life projects in new countries.

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Richard Allen and Ira Bhaskar

This article describes how Kamal Amrohi's Pakeezah distils the idioms of the historical courtesan film, poised as they are between the glorification of courtesan culture and lamenting the debased status of the courtesan; between a nostalgic yearning for the feudal world of the kotha and a utopian desire to escape from it. The article argues that Pakeezah self-consciously defines the particular “chronotope”, or space-time, of the historical courtesan genre by showing that nothing less than a transformation of the idioms of that genre is required to liberate the courtesan from her claustrophobic milieu—whose underlying state is one of enervation and death—into the open space and lived time of modernity.

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Danny Kaplan and Niza Yanay

Based on a case study of Israeli men's friendships, this article examines the inter-relations between the experience of male relationships in everyday life and established representations of fraternal friendship. We delineate a script for male bonding that echoes ancient epics of heroism. This script holds a mythic structure for making sense of friendship in everyday life and places male relatedness under the spectral ideal of death. Whereas various male-to-male arenas present diverse and often displaced expressions of male affection, we contend that sites of commemoration present a unique instance in which desire between men is publicly declared and legitimized. The collective rituals for the dead hero-friends serve as a mask that transforms a repudiated personal sentiment into a national genre of relatedness. We interpret fraternal friendship as a form of private/public identification/desire whereby the citizen brother becomes, via collective rituals of commemoration, the desired brother.

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Desire versus Horniness

Sexual Relations in the Collectivist Society of Tajikistan

Colette Harris

Desire focuses on a particular object, while horniness stems from a generalized feeling of sexual arousal. In Tajikistan, people are discouraged from the former and are expected to experience their sexuality as the latter. The story of Rustam and the clashes with his father Malik over the choice of his bride serve to demonstrate the tensions between the two types of sexuality. Women have more difficulties experiencing desire than men, owing to the reification of the hymen and their expected subordination to their husbands. The conceptual differences between Rustam and his father are to some extent due to differences between collectivism and individualism. The concluding discussion suggests that Western culture may be less individualistic in this regard than is often believed.

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P. Steven Sangren

For many Western observers, Chinese religion and cosmology appear rife with contradictions, among them the recurrent motif in litera- ture and myth of preordination or fate, on the one hand, and a relentless attempt, through ritual means, to discern, control, or change fate, on the other. This article argues that the obsession with fate and luck is best comprehended with reference to desire understood as a human universal. Underlying one's hope to control the future lies a psychologically more fundamental wish to claim ownership of one's being. I argue that fate and luck are operators in a symbolic economy that implicitly posits what Freud terms the 'omnipotence of thoughts'. Moreover, if the underlying principle of Chinese notions of fate and luck can be termed an 'economy of desire', it is a principle that also coordinates and encompasses Chinese patriliny, family dynamics, and wider collective institutions.

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Being-for-itself and the Ontological Structure

Can Being-for-itself Avoid Bad Faith?

Ronald E. Santoni

regard to its desire , as Sartre claims, to be “ Being-in-Itself-For-Itself ”, or what he calls “God” and the ens causa sui? Given that Sartre regards the pursuit of this “God,” or simply of Being , to be in bad faith, two intertwined concerns

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Nicholas L. Syrett

to the relationships, unlike the central role that age difference has played in histories of men's same-sex desire and relationships. Indeed, in the six articles collected here on the theme of intergenerational same-sex sex, five concern men, and the

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Periphery and Intimacy in Anti-Imperial Culture and Politics

From French Others to Othering Frenchness

Burleigh Hendrickson

spaces and French epistemologies. Their positionality as postcolonial subjects and intellectuals gave them a unique vantage point from which to reject, desire, redefine, or reclaim what it meant to be French. While this approach flips the construction of

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Daniel M. Knight

inherited upon the death of a relative. Among my research participants in western Thessaly, central Greece, over the past three years, there has been a growing desire to be disinherited, a disconnection from family history, from roots, and from nation

Open access

Impatient Accumulation, Immediate Consumption

Problems with Money and Hope in Central Kenya

Peter Lockwood

‘fun’ ( raha ) of drinking. ‘To reach for’ ( gũkinyĩra ) the lives of others implies not only economic distance, sometimes a chasm of wealth between oneself and another person, but the desire to forcibly seize money to experience a life that is not one