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Technologies of the Afterlife

The Agency of the Dead at Spanish Mass Grave Exhumations

Jonah S. Rubin

In August 2011, I attended the exhumation of Severiano Clemente González, conducted by the Forum for Memory in the Castilian town of La Toba, Guadalajara. Mr González was one of the over 130,000 civilian victims of the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War and ensuing Franco dictatorship (1939–1975). Even after Spain’s democratic constitution in 1978, most families could not recover their loved ones, owing to an unofficial ‘Pact of Silence’ whereby major political actors agreed not to legislate, litigate or discuss the still controversial past in the public sphere (Encarnación 2014). Since 2000, however, civil society organisations such as the Forum for Memory and the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) have been leading a series of forensic exhumations – modelled after similar state-led interventions in Latin America, Southern and Eastern Europe (Ferrándiz 2010; Rubin 2014).

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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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Vladimir Shkerin

This article examines the beginning and development of the shipbuilding industry in the Urals in the nineteenth century. It studies in detail the process of technology transfer from Britain to the Urals and highlights the important role that engineers and mechanics from Britain played in the development of the Russian shipbuilding industry, particularly the technology of shipbuilding.

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Bringing Indigenous Kamchatka to Google Earth

Collaborative Digital Mapping with the Itelmen Peoples

Brian Thom, Benedict J. Colombi, and Tatiana Degai

; Moore and Tlen 2007 ). In spite of living in fly-in communities, many with no running water, limited communications infrastructure, and modest living conditions, many young people are enthusiastic about mobile and computing technologies, with community

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You are now holding the first issue of Israel Studies Review—the official journal of the Association for Israel Studies (AIS)—in its new format, complete with new graphics, design, and content. Until now, it was known as the Israel Studies Forum, edited for ten years by Ilan Peleg, who transformed it from a newsletter for AIS members into a respected, refereed, professional journal. This year the journal is again taking a step forward. It reflects the academic development of the field, newly available technology (color, even!), and the progress and coming of age of the journal itself.

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Sergey V. Sokolovskiy

This article is a case study of the emergence and construction of politically salient social classifications that underpin such phenomena as ethnicity and nationalism in contemporary Russia. Official recognition of ethnic group in Russia often entails political visibility and special status with an associated set of legal provisions. In addition to 'titular peoples' of the republics, the Russian legal system has several legal categories based on ethnicity, such as indigenous peoples and national minorities, whose members claim and attain special status and associated rights. In order to ensure these rights, the state administration needs reliable information on the numbers of people in such categories.

The article analyzes ethnic and languages categorization in the population census of 2002, describes the related census technology, comments on legal definitions of indigenous peoples in Russia, and within this framework elaborates on the topic of indigeneity construction. It also provides an interpretation of the numerical threshold employed in federal laws on indigenous peoples.

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Jo-Ann Mort and Gary Brenner, Our Hearts Invented a Place: Can the Kibbutzim Survive in Today’s Israel? Review by James Armstrong

Rory Miller, Ireland and the Palestine Question 1948–2004 Review by Ian Black

Raz Yosef, Beyond Flesh: Queer Masculinities and Nationalism in Israeli Cinema Danny Kaplan, Brothers and Others in Arms: The Making of Love and War in Israeli Combat Units Reviews by Aeyal Gross

Allon Gal, ed., The Legal and Zionist Tradition of Louis D. Brandeis Review by Arnon Gutfeld

Ella Shohat, Zichronot Asurim [Forbidden Reminiscences: A Collection of Essays] Review by Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber

Nahum Karlinsky, California Dreaming: Ideology, Society and Technology in the Citrus Industry of Palestine, 1890–1939 Review by Zvi Raanan

Michael Berkowitz, ed., Nationalism, Zionism and Ethnic Mobilization of the Jews in 1900 and Beyond Review by Erica Simmons

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Stalin's railway to nowhere

'The Dead Road' (1947-1953)

Victor L. Mote

The uncompleted railway across Northern Siberia was one of the most shameful projects of the post-war era, involving many deaths and huge discomforts. Hailed by Stalin himself as a major part of his 'Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature', the scheme was dropped at his death in 1953. By that time, less than 600 kilometres were in working operation, even though up to 300,000 persons had been involved and about a third of them had perished, while more than 40 billion rubles of capital investment had been wasted. Ghostly labour camps, rusting rolling stock and rails, hundreds of bridges remain in what has been called 'an open air museum of human technology', preserved by nature's refrigerator - the tundra. The article describes the reasons for the railway project and the 'Great Plan', the organization involved, and the conditions in which the enslaved workforce struggled for survival and died.

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Anat First and Eli Avraham

American values, symbols, landscapes, and lifestyles have been widely used in Israeli advertisements to market a vast array of consumer goods. An analysis of advertisements that appeared in Israeli newspapers during the 1990s reveals that American symbols were invoked to promote products produced in the United States, Israel, or even a third country. By examining the relationship between advertising and culture, along with the changes that have occurred in Israeli society during this period, this analysis focuses on two interlocking spheres: capitalist-economic (labor and production, consumption, and technology) and cultural (cultural heroes and symbols, language, and lifestyle). Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, it is the authors' goal to show how social values have changed over time, losing their Israeliness and taking on an American flavor. This article seeks to present the manifestation of the American image in Israeli advertisements and thereby fuel a discussion on the Americanization of Israeli society.

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Sylvie and Reina Rutlinger-Reiner

In post-industrial societies, the individualization of the family process, which puts the individual at the center of the family, is changing this institution beyond recognition. As part of this evolution, individuals and their human rights, together with their obligations and responsibilities, become the basis for the family institution and for its legitimization. Consequently, family frameworks, whose roles and legitimate boundaries were established in the past in ways that served the interests of society and ensured its biological and cultural continuity, are becoming frameworks in which the individual is at the center. At the same time, thanks to ethical and political changes and the achievements of medical technology, for the first time in human history an individual can separate marriage, fertility, parenthood, and the establishment of a household to the extent that the socio-cultural climate allows.