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The Currency of Proof

Euro Competence and the Refiguring of Value in Greece

Thomas M. Malaby

The rollout of the euro as a hard currency involved unprecedented logistical organization oriented toward security; yet just as central to its success was the pedagogical project of enlisting those within the euro-zone to be competent with the new currency. This paper explores two forms of euro competence in Greece: the accurate recognition and use of the currency, and the learned refiguring of the values of everyday products. These competencies were, however, only partially anticipated and targeted by the institutions involved in the rollout; in key respects these competencies were generated by the rollout event itself. These competencies can furthermore be seen as epistemic practices; they came to serve as the grounds for truths about the monetary system itself, about Greeks as Europeans, and about the morality of economic transactions.

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Our Present Misfortune

Games and the Post-Bureaucratic Colonization of Contingency

Thomas M. Malaby

Anthropology is turning toward a new engagement with a central question of Weber: how do people come to understand the distribution of fortune in the world? Our discipline's recent examination of the uses of the past prompts us to ask how stances toward the future are both the product of cultural logics and the target of institutional interests. In this article, I trace the engagement with contingency in anthropology and social thought, and then compare the nonchalant stance toward the future found in Greek society with the different disposition of individual gaming mastery in the digital domain, such as in Second Life, but also in the longest-running Greek state-sponsored game: Pro-Po. These examples illustrate how games are increasingly the sites for institutional efforts both to appropriate creativity and to generate distinctive subjectivities.

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Ferid Agani, Kalman Applbaum, Rohan Bastin, Daniel Breslau, Joshua Breslau, Ralph Cintron, Richard Daly, Andrew Davidson, Elissa Dresden, Andreas Glaeser, Van Griffith, Georg Henriksen, Michael Humphrey, Craig R. Janes, Ingrid Jordt, Roland Kapferer, Thomas M. Malaby, Barry Morris, June Nash, Alcida Rita Ramos, Steven Robins, Janine R. Wedel and Stevan Weine

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