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Interrogating the Essential

Moral Baselines on Adult-Child Sex

Richard Yuill

In this paper I emphasize the multiple ways dominant moral and essentialist understandings feed into the wider regulatory norms and conventional thinking governing adult‐child sexual relations. Clearly, researchers are not immune from the ascendant material and symbolic hegemony enjoyed by child sexual abuse (CSA) paradigms. Indeed the experience of the seven critical writers and researchers cited in the paper, coupled with the author’s own experiences carrying out PhD research in this area, clearly reinforce this point. I contend that sociological and Foucauldian insights on age and sexual categorization can offer a helpful tool‐kit for unpacking the contested claims from CSA survivors, child liberationists, and the specific case of one respondent who resists victimological labelling of his sexual experiences with adults.

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Introduction

The Importance of Rituals in Everyday Life in the Middle East

Zubaydah Ashkanani and Soheila Shahshahani

A culture can be expressed in a succinct way in its rituals, the manifestations of the culmination of its deepest beliefs. Rituals are also attempts to maintain cohesion, which they do most successfully in the material and non-material arts. Knowledge of a culture is necessary in order to portray the totality of that culture through its rituals and ceremonies. As a central topic in anthropology, ritual has been regarded as a phenomenon that is resistant to change and bound to a great extent to certain norms and regulations. Yet it is obvious that rituals are not rigid, unvarying sets of performances and that they have undergone many changes in definitions, functions and interpretations. Indeed, all aspects of culture, including rituals, are subject to change. Drawing on the past, cultures sustain their beliefs by making use of what is at hand in the present.

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Parents, Sons, and Globalization in Tanzania

Implications for Adolescent Health

Marni Sommer, Samuel Likindikoko, and Sylvia Kaaya

As the global youth population grows exponentially across Africa, there is increasing recognition of the risky health behaviors impeding boys’ healthy transitions through puberty. This study in Tanzania sought to capture boys’ voiced experiences of transitioning through adolescence, and the masculinity norms shaping boys’ engagement in risky behaviors. A critical finding was the gap in parent-son communication around pubertal body changes and avoidance of risk behaviors. Findings also suggest influences from globalization and modernization are changing boys’ pubertal experiences and introducing new challenges for parents attempting to provide guidance. Given evidence from high-income countries indicating parents can serve as protective factors for young people during the transition through adolescence, additional research is needed to understand current parent-son dynamics and potential interventions.

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Women “Making History” in Museums

The Case of Female Curators in Postwar New Zealand

Bronwyn Labrum

This article examines three remarkable New Zealand women, Nancy Adams, Rose Reynolds, and Edna Stephenson, who, as honorary or part-time staff, each began the systematic collecting and display of colonial history at museums in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland in the 1950s. Noting how little research has been published on women workers in museums, let alone women history curators, it offers an important correction to the usual story of the heroic, scientific endeavors of male museum directors and managers. Focusing largely on female interests in everyday domestic life, textiles, and clothing, their activities conformed to contemporary gendered norms and mirrored women’s contemporary household role with its emphasis on housekeeping, domestic interiors, and shopping and clothing. This article lays bare the often ad hoc process of “making history” in these museums, and adds complexity and a greater fluidity to the interpretations we have to date of women workers in postwar museums.

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Gerald Sim

This article questions the standard history being constructed about the adoption of digital cinematography in commercial cinema, a narrative whose broad assumptions resonate with industry professionals, including cinematographers. Digital image acquisition is frequently taken to be motivated by an industrial push to cut production costs, which impinges on the creative autonomy of film artists. This perception overlooks parts of Hollywood's current business model concerning production values and theatrical exhibition that will sustain film cinematography in the foreseeable future. These findings then lead the article to address filmmakers and critics who fear that photorealist aesthetics will be supplanted by digital images that possess a different visual signature. Prognostications that the digital look will replace that of film as the norm appear inaccurate.

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Stephen Prince

This issue of Projections focuses on movie violence, a topic of continuing controversy. Concerns about screen violence are not new. Because of their visceral power, popular appeal, and the seeming ease with which they bypassed established channels and norms of socialization, movies swiftly drew the attention and scorn of social critics and reformers. The city of Chicago passed the nation’s first movie censorship ordinance in 1907. Numerous state and municipal censor boards were established in its wake, and movie violence drove the first court-adjudicated censorship case in American film history. The James Boys in Missouri (1908) and Night Riders (1908) were Westerns that Chicago authorities deemed to be immoral because they concentrated on showing the exploits of violent outlaws. The Chicago reformers felt that the films lacked an appropriate moral balance in failing to devote sufficient attention to law-abiding characters.

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Alexandra Schneider

Taking Hum Aapke Hain Koun . . . ! as an example, this article asks whether models that were developed for the analysis of narrative forms and their intended emotional effects in Hollywood cinema can be regarded as universal, and to what extent they may be reasonably applied to commercial Hindi films. The often voiced reproach that Hindi cinema lacks realism, usually accompanied by a critique of the excessive use of emotional cues, arises in part from the fact that scholars tend to view the narrative forms of Western mainstream cinema as the norm from which Hindi cinema deviates. By contrast, this article argues that we need to search for a proper understanding of a cinema whose films follow different rules. In so doing, this article also contributes to the debate on how cognitive models of film reception may be expanded to include culturalist elements of explanation.

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Uncertain Mobilities

A View from the Past

Colin G. Pooley

Contemporary society assumes high levels of unimpeded mobility, and disruptions to the ability to move quickly and easily can cause considerable concern. This paper examines the notion of mobility uncertainty and disruption from an historical perspective, arguing that interruptions to mobility have long been a characteristic of everyday travel. It is suggested that what has changed is not so much the extent or nature of disruption, but rather the resilience of transport systems and societal norms and expectations about travel. Data are taken from five examples of life writing produced by residents of the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The texts are used to illustrate the travel problems encountered and the strategies adopted to deal with them. A concluding discussion examines these themes in the context of twenty-first century mobility.

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Un projet de réforme hygiénique des modes de vie

naturistes et végétariens à la Belle Époque

Arnaud Baubérot

In reaction to industrial and urban development and its effects on health during the Belle Epoque, doctors endeavored to promote a program of hygienic reform. Militant vegetarians and naturopathy enthusiasts, sharing their apprehensions, translated this program into a number of concrete recommendations. Presented as an alternative solution to the detrimental effects of modern life, these reforms were supposed to guarantee a way of living that would conform to the laws of nature and therefore be conducive to health. The circulation of this health reform program was based both on a nebula of "reformist" organizations, including a key player, the Société Végétarienne de France (the French society for vegetarianism), and on norms of healthy consumption associated with the formation of specific commercial networks.

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Jaro Stacul

At a time when European cities redefine themselves through 'culture' in an attempt to attract tourists, investors and potential residents, policymakers have to negotiate different notions of 'local culture' defined by state governments on the one hand and by the EU on the other. Drawing upon research conducted in the Polish city of Gdańsk in the context of the redevelopment of its urban landscape, the article illustrates how 'local culture' is redefined as 'culture of freedom' by municipal and state institutions in order to establish a relationship of historical continuity between the time when Gdańsk was a thriving multicultural city and the post-socialist present. The article puts forward the argument that while the reformulation of local culture as 'culture of freedom' involves reconciling notions of national identity with new norms of local, regional and European integration, it does not necessarily entail the supersession of nationalism.