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‘Living at the margins of difference’: transnational and transracial adoption and the re‐formulation of the American family and of its members’ assumptions

Giovanna Bacchiddu

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International adoption. Global inequalities and the circulation of children edited by Marre, Diana and Laura Briggs

GIOVANNA BACCHIDDU

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Ritualizing the Everyday

The Dangerous Imperative of Hospitality in Apiao, Chiloé

Giovanna Bacchiddu

Abstract

Based on an analysis of ethnographic data collected in Apiao, Chiloé, this article offers a view of relations as inescapably fraught connections between different entities. These relations are articulated in highly ritualized hospitality practices involving reciprocal exchange of food and drinks in a domestic space. Cutting across established, contrasting analytical categories, such as consanguines/affines and friends/enemies, hospitality practices reveal the immanence of otherness. Relations can occur only among different/differentiated individuals and are always expressed through an alternation of the contingent positions of host and guest, where one offers and another receives. In hospitality interactions, sameness is denied and transformed into otherness, revealing the importance of asymmetry and disclosing the latent hostility and potential danger implicit in relations. The other is first and foremost a dangerous and unpredictable guest.

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Theorizing Relations in Indigenous South America

Marcelo González Gálvez, Piergiorgio Di Giminiani, and Giovanna Bacchiddu

Abstract

Once conceptualized as self-evident connections between discrete social units systematized through ethnographic fieldwork, relations are being increasingly treated as instantiations of local ontological theories. The ethnography of indigenous South America has provided a source of inspiration for this analytical shift. As manifested in the contributions to this special issue, at the core of indigenous practices and discourses on relations lies a tension between ‘dependence on otherness’ and an ‘ethics of autonomy’. In this introduction, we revisit this tension by focusing on the ‘taming of relations’, a process through which subjects attempt to maintain the autonomy of each being vis-à-vis their relational constitution dependent on others. We argue that rather than being a necessary condition, autonomy is always a partial outcome of relations linking human and non-human others.