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Crafting Spaces of Value

Infrastructure, Technologies of Extraction and Contested Oil in Nigeria

Omolade Adunbi

materials and technology, I show how such refineries represent an emergent form of energy capture that transforms the creeks of the Niger Delta into islands of carbon sale and challenge state and corporate power. This form of capture, I suggest, is embedded

Open access

Environmental Expertise as Group Belonging

Environmental Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies

Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist

different sectors use environmental expertise to develop cleaner technologies, as well as to improve their public image and strengthen their brands. Thus, hardly any claims about environmental action—whether they come from governments, environmental

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Enrolling genetic technology in regulation

Struggles for recognition by biotechnologists in Norway

Sara Skodbo

This article addresses the need to overcome theoretical weaknesses of both technologically and socially deterministic accounts of technological development. Technology does not simply 'impact' on local contexts, but nor does it act as a tabula rasa, subject to the free attribution of meaning by local social actors. Expanding on theoretical developments in the anthropology of art (Gell 1998) and gender and technology (Strathern 1988, 1999, 2001), the essay seeks to explore genetic technology as a social agent and as a technological 'index'. Examining a case of genetic technology regulation and innovation in Norway, the article argues that technology is best understood as an agent that is engaged with on an affective basis by those who interact with it.

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Seeing Green

Visual Technology, Virtual Reality, and the Experience of War

Jose N. Vasquez

This article addresses the question of how visual technology—night vision, thermal imaging, and virtual reality—has changed the experience of war for both combatants and non-combatants. Video and still images are analyzed to draw out some of the phenomenological aspects of how technology mitigates the perception of combat and its resultant casualties. I argue that while visual technology makes the experience of war more intimate, it also generates psychological distance between the viewer and the viewed. Weapons equipped with visual technology facilitate war crimes by dehumanizing the individuals being targeted and filtering the carnage these weapons produce.

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Education and Godly Technology

Gender, Culture, and the Work of Home Schooling

Michael W. Apple

The secularity of the state is seen by 'authoritarian populist' religious conservatives as imposing a world-view that is out of touch with the deep religious commitments that guide their lives. In the process, authoritarian populists have taken on subaltern identities and claimed that they are the last truly dispossessed groups. To demonstrate their increasing power in educational and social policy, I situate a specific set of technologies—the Internet—within the social context of its use in this community. I focus on the growing home-schooling movement and suggest that to understand the societal meaning and uses of these technologies, we need to examine the social movement that provides the context for their use. I also argue that we need to analyze critically the kind of labor that is required in home schooling, who is engaged in such labor, and how such labor is interpreted by the actors who perform it.

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Introduction

Science/technology as politics by other means

Simone Abram

This article introduces a series of ideas about the categories of science and politics, by way of actor network theory, Gell's theories of index and agency, and governmentality studies. It explores the ways in which science has become a discursive element in contemporary government, and examines the tensions between the purifying categorizations of politics and science, and the re-embedding (or hybridizing) of science into national political discourse. What emerges is a series of practices by which science is nationalized, domesticating the ideal of a generalized science into localized political debates at both national and sub-national levels, practices which may be transformed at national boundaries. While we acknowledge that science in practice is not abstract or generalizable (since it must engage with a world which is not abstracted), it is the abstracting and purifying work attributed to science which makes it attractive as a political alibi for particular political projects. Rather than seeing science as politics by other means, perhaps we should be examining the creation of a rehybridized science-politics.

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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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Jackie Feldman

images of Lourdes, we see how technologies of visual recording and reproduction are employed by shrine authorities in order to propagate certain kinds of knowledge, while new and more accessible technologies also result in changes in the ritual

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High-rise social failures

Regulating technologies, authority, and aesthetics in the resettlement of Taipei military villages

Elisa Tamburo

Zhongxin Village's relocation—and on a month and a half of follow-up fieldwork in 2017—a year after the relocation. New regulatory regimes, articulated with new house technologies, governance, and aesthetics challenge the inhabitants’ spatial practices

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The Alimentary Forms of Religious Life

Technologies of the Other, Lenience, and the Ethics of Ethiopian Orthodox Fasting

Diego Malara

. In this article, I shall explore the nature of these shared efforts in order to ask the question, has a Foucauldian focus on ‘technologies of the self’ (see the introduction to this special section) caused us to overlook the significance of