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Subversive Mobilities

The Copenhagen Riots, 1900–1919

Mikkel Thelle

The article approaches mobility through a cultural history of urban conflict. Using a case of “The Copenhagen Trouble,“ a series of riots in the Danish capital around 1900, a space of subversive mobilities is delineated. These turn-of-the-century riots points to a new pattern of mobile gathering, the swarm; to a new aspect of public action, the staging; and to new ways of configuring public space. These different components indicate an urban assemblage of subversion, and a new characterization of the “throwntogetherness“ of the modern public.

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Anna Henkel

This article starts with the observation that a sociological analysis of interactions concerning drugs cannot rely on accounts of drugs that were generated in the field because these accounts (such as the distinction between drugs and non-drugs or between intended effects and side effects) are shaped by strong interests. The article suggests two approaches to obtaining actor-independent accounts, both of which are based on comparisons. The first approach is a symmetrization of perspectives, which can be achieved by including the perspectives of as many different actors as possible as well as the abstract actors of science and law. The second approach starts from the definition of a problem that is contingent but grounded in practices of the field. In the case of drugs, this problem can be constructed as how laypersons can rate the identity and quality of specific things as unproblematic. In both cases, an ontological idea of the “drug as such” is replaced by a social-constructivist view of the drug, which at the same time takes the drug's materiality into account.

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Johannes Fedderke

The resurgence of interest in the determinants of economic growth through the vehicle of endogenous growth theory has brought with it new understanding of what underlies long term economic prosperity. In particular, the role of human capital as an important driver of technological change, and hence development, has emerged as a key factor.

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Rohan Bastin

This essay examines the importance of sorcery in the dynamics of religious innovation in contemporary Hindu and Buddhist Sri Lanka.1 My interest stems from two observations. First, in almost stark contrast to other Hindu ritual forms that emphasise unchanging text-based rites, the sorcery practices I describe display an almost modernist preoccupation with innovation. Second, much of this innovation originates, or is seen to originate, from outside the cosmic order both of the pantheon and of society. Consequently, sorcery practices manifest a dynamism that often results in the appearance of sorcery having sprung up from nowhere or of being on the sharp increase. However, such an appearance of growth is less of an increase by degree than a shift in visibility. Moreover, it is a characteristic Sri Lankan sorcery practices share with practices elsewhere. When social scientists whose gaze has been primed for spotting anomalies light upon these shifts in visibility, the reaction is usually one of alarm. Scholars whose basic orientation is to the problem of social order and stability tend to judge these apparent aberrations in terms of social breakdown and anomie. Instead of considering what sorcery reveals anthropologically, they instead analyse sorcery as a symptom of a social pathology. The restless dynamism of sorcery and its role in religious innovation remain unaddressed, and this contributes to a conservative view of both the phenomenon of sorcery and the study of religion in general.

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Didier Gazagnadou

In this article, the author investigates, from an anthropological point of view, why many Iranian women (and even some men) resort to rhinoplasty – that is, surgery to alter the appearance of the nose – for cosmetic purposes. When did this phenomenon begin in Iran? Which social classes and ages are concerned? What is the relationship between this practice and Iranian society in general? Is it the result of foreign cultural influences? What comparisons can be made with other cultures? Born of a micro-sociological case, these interrogations address the anthropology of Iranian society, which, like many others, has been engaged for several decades in an ‘exchange process’ that today is commonly known as globalisation.

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James Ryan

This article reviews recent works of the urban history of Istanbul and considers new frameworks for the history of public transit in that city. It suggests that through new understandings of the transformation of public space, we can reconceptualize transit history as urban history writ small.

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Asta Vonderau

Drawing upon ethnographic data, this article investigates the effects of a new online campus management system in one of the largest universities in Germany. It shows the various ways in which this technological innovation influenced students', teachers' and administrative personnel's relations and everyday working practices and how it is influential in the reorganisation of university structures. The online management system is regarded as an important part of an emerging infrastructure of excellence, which materialises the changing understanding of qualitative studies and teaching. Findings show that the online management supports standardised and economised study, teaching and administrative practices and silences creativity and flexibility. However, these standardisations are negotiated and questioned by the actors involved.

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Tweens as Technofeminists

Exploring Girlhood Identity in Technology Camp

Jen England and Robert Cannella

Girls’ relationships with digital technologies are often complicated by competing narratives. Girls are told that digital technologies are a gender neutralizer or savior; this is a common argument of 1990s’ cyberfeminism that “celebrated digital

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Pushkar Sohoni

Many premodern technologies have relied on the utility of domesticated animals, harnessed to support human activities of transportation, agriculture, and warfare. The culture of domestication required humans who were traditionally trained in the

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Christopher Howard and Wendelin Küpers

-in-the-world as an event that takes place within, across, and between places. Indeed, the willingness and readiness to be “on the move” seems to have developed as a strong imperative in late modernity, 4 as mobile relations, technologies, and a language of