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John P. Ziker

This article examines altruistic social norms among the Dolgans and the Nganasans in Arctic Siberia, drawing on and integrating experimental game theory and semiotic approaches. The article demonstrates the complementarity of these two methodologies in order to more fully understand how sharing is promoted over individual self-aggrandizement in a communal-resource property regime. Any theory of social norms should be of some practical benefit for solving current environmental dilemmas, as well as for increasing understanding of the factors lending sustainability to human-environment relationships. With that goal in mind, the article presents results of experimental games conducted in the Taimyr Autonomous Region in 2003, along with an analysis of indigenous communication (sayings, aphorisms, taboos, etc.) aimed at the promotion of altruistic social norms. A synthesis of the two approaches is outlined with implications for the broader literature on hunting peoples across the north and beyond.

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Aestheticised Rituals and (Non-)Engagement with Norms in Contemporary Turkey

A Contribution to Discussions on Piety and Ethics

Erol Saglam

Drawing on an ethnographic research in some rural communities of Trabzon, Turkey, this article provides insights about the diversity of Islamic pieties and their relations to religious norms. An exploration of everyday Islamic practices in the area demonstrates how piety can take peculiar forms within which norms are both publicly and socially upheld and yet also hollowed out. Among Muslim men of ‘the Valley’ in Trabzon, piety emerges as an aggregate of reiterative practices exterior to the pious self. Highlighting the aestheticised and ritualised state of these engagements with Islam in the Turkish context allows discussion of the relationships among practices of piety, pious subjectivities, and ethics.

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Rwandan Women No More

Female Génocidaires in the Aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Erin Jessee

Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the current government has arrested approximately 130,000 civilians who were suspected of criminal responsibility. An estimated 2,000 were women, a cohort that remains rarely researched through an ethnographic lens. This article begins to address this oversight by analyzing ethnographic encounters with 8 confessed or convicted female génocidaires from around Rwanda. These encounters reveal that female génocidaires believe they endure gender-based discrimination for having violated taboos that determine appropriate conduct for Rwandan women. However, only female génocidaires with minimal education, wealth, and social capital referenced this gender-based discrimination to minimize their crimes and assert claims of victimization. Conversely, female elites who helped incite the genocide framed their victimization in terms of political betrayal and victor’s justice. This difference is likely informed by the female elites’ participation in the political processes that made the genocide possible, as well as historical precedence for leniency where female elites are concerned.

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Introduction

Ethnographic engagements with global elites

Paul Robert Gilbert and Jessica Sklair

question the extent to which disciplinary norms such as these place particular requirements on the ethnographic knowledge that we produce through our engagements with global wealth elites, industrialist-philanthropists, and corporate elites. Should

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Receiving the Gift of Cognitive Disability

Recognizing Agency in the Limits of the Rational Subject

Patrick McKearney

norms, giving care and so on. He argues that, lacking this kind of autonomous moral agency, they will only ever be of limited moral worth to others. A number of anthropologists of care see this line of thinking as troublingly widespread, and have

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Soft skills, hard rocks

Making diamonds ethical in Canada’s Northwest Territories

Lindsay A. Bell

when the number of jobs in the industry was drastically reduced. While the introduction of soft skills was aimed at orienting would-be worker behavior and speech to corporate norms, its more significant consequence came from the ways in which it

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High-rise social failures

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

Elisa Tamburo

altar, as incense burning was forbidden within the apartments. Besides, the white, immaculate walls would have soon turned black and smoky. Because of these safety and aesthetic norms, some families had resolved to leave without the material cultural

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Culture Trumps Scientific Fact

‘Race’ in US American Language

Augustine Agwuele

categorize humans by ‘race’ following customary American linguistic norms. So what compels this triumph of culture? I surveyed eight textbooks for their use of race, and all of them show similar tendencies. Three of them are treated here: Culture , by Lisa

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Mimesis of the State

From Natural Disaster to Urban Citizenship on the Outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique

Morten Nielsen

This article explores the generative effects of the flooding that hit Mozambique in 2000. Flood victims from the country's capital, Maputo, were resettled in Mulwene on the outskirts of the city. Although initially envisaged as a 'model neighborhood' based on a set of 'fixed urban norms', it soon became apparent that the Mozambican state was incapable of realizing the project. These failures notwithstanding, residents occupying land informally in the neighborhood have parceled out plots and built houses by imitating those norms. Based on a Deleuzian reading of 'situational analysis', introduced by the Manchester School, the article argues that the flooding constituted a generative moment that gave rise to new and potentially accessible futures in which hitherto illegal squatters were reconfigured as legitimate citizens.

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Requiem for a Waria

Piety and the Political Potentiality of Ironic Experience

Sylvia Tidey

This article engages recent queries in anthropology regarding where to find openings for reimagining, recreating, or rearticulating a moral and political otherwise. I suggest we can find such openings in the political potentiality of ironic experiences—intensely unnerving confrontations with the discrepancy between accepted norms and cherished ideals, of which these norms fall short. Through a person-centered account of one of Indonesia’s most well-known waria (transgender woman), I demonstrate how an out-of-the-ordinary woman’s pursuit of a pious, ordinary life occasions a profound estrangement from common understandings of what it means to be Muslim. This, then, facilitates the possibility of reimaging religious and political orientations despite a national political context of growing incommensurability between Islam and non-heteronormativity.