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Nicholas J. Long

The metaworld Ultima Online was designed to foster 'tight communities' of inhabitants. So ware users frequently say it has done just that. Yet many users spend most of their time online alone, engaged in practices of self-realization, individuation, and skill maximization. Drawing on Wilde's utopian writings, I suggest that Ultima Online has fostered an emergent sociality of sympathetic individualism - but that characterizing this as 'community', 'friendship' and 'camaraderie' also allows users to engage with seemingly opposed communitarian tropes of the good life. This affords insights into how ethical imaginations influence emergent forms of human sociality.

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Extreme Poverty and Existential Obligations

Beyond Morality in the Anthropology of Africa?

Harri Englund

The suggestion that the anthropological study of morality is theoretically undeveloped carries with it the risk of caricaturing ideas of moral obligation in mid-twentieth-century social anthropology. The need for recovering aspects of these ideas is demonstrated by the tendency of moral philosophers to reduce the issue of world poverty to a question of ethical choices and dilemmas. Examining the diplomatic tie that had existed for almost 42 years between Malawi and Taiwan and an ill-fated project of Taiwanese aid in rural Malawi, this article maintains that honoring obligations indicates neither a communitarian ethos nor rule-bound behavior. As the mid-twentieth-century anthropology of Africa theorized ethnographically, the moral and existential import of obligation lies in its contingent materiality rather than in social control. Such insights, the article concludes, can enrich debates on world poverty with alternative intellectual resources.

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Comment on cosmopolitan politesse

Goodness, justice, civil society

Don Gardner

This comment focuses less on the three hopes expressed in Nigel Rapport’s title than on the conception of individuality and its relation to the aspirations of the social sciences that underpins his case for cosmopolitan politesse. First, I want to say that Nigel Rapport’s industry is astonishing. He reads widely, across many genres, and has written a great deal aimed at persuading us of two things: that the social sciences suffer from fundamental shortcomings, and that they are implicated, if not complicit, in communitarianism and other worrying tendencies of our age. Possibly social anthropology’s most ardent, resilient and ‘poetic’ reformer, he offers us here a digest of one of his many publications concerned with establishing the central importance to anthropology – and to the possibility of a decent world – of what his friend, Michael Jackson, calls ‘the human microsphere’. Because of Rapport’s many different journeys through this microsphere, it is not possible here to cover more than a little of the terrain.

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Nagas as a ‘Society against Voting?’

Consensus-Building, Party-less Politics and a Culturalist Critique of Elections in Northeast India

Jelle J. P. Wouters

individual rights or political gains are at issue’. What legal and procedural codes of representative democracy and party politics disrupted was the communitarian and political commensality of village life, whose ideals of communal harmony, consensus

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Constanza Parra and Frank Moulaert

the younger generations born and educated in regional cities or even in the capital Santiago, they became places to (re)imagine a remote utopian past of Indian communitarian life. In the words of an interviewee with indigenous blood, San Pedro de

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Cosmopolitan Politesse

Goodness, Justice, Civil Society

Nigel Rapport

( Jackson 2004: 153 ; Rapport 2010 ). ‘Justice’ in other words, to continue with Rorty’s terminology, would seem to me an everyday felt and rationalised reality held in contradistinction to ‘loyalty’. The human dimension and the communitarian one abut

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The Incredible Edible Movement

People Power, Adaptation, and Challenges in Rennes (France) and Montreal (Canada)

Giulia Giacchè and Lya Porto

and ideas behind the Incredible Edible movement and practice are present in different kinds of initiatives, from communitarian to social business projects, that focus on the values of sharing, local farming, and strengthening of local relationships

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“Avoiding the mistakes of the past”

Tower block failure discourse and economies of risk management in London's Olympic Park

Saffron Woodcraft

” between government and citizens based on an ethic of mutual responsibility. Drawing heavily on a branch of Communitarian philosophy ( Prideaux 2002 ), New Labour policies were infused with ideas about the significance of civic values, moral responsibility

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Horizontal and vertical politics

Strategic uses of abajo and arriba in the construction of the Venezuelan socialist State

Stefano Boni

communitarian direct action against institutions, as the demand in some public gatherings of the derecho de palabra (the right to speak for all those present). PSUV grassroots activists espouse the egalitarian popular moral: barrio political leaders present

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Beyond citizenship

Adivasi and Dalit political pathways in India

Nicolas Jaoul and Alpa Shah

consciousness among the Dalit masses and to promote education and progress. This politicized communitarian elite rejected the Gandhian model, which could conceive of Dalits only as beneficiaries of charity and welfare, and portrayed themselves as the true