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Cementing Relations

The Materiality of Roads and Public Spaces in Provincial Peru

Penelope Harvey

This article sets out to analyze how concrete is implicated in the transformation of public space in provincial Peru. While concrete enhances a state's capacity to produce reliable, predictable structures, there are also significant limits in relation to its connective capacity in both the material and social domains. Ethnographic attention to the relational dynamics of concrete reveals how its promise to operate as a generic, homogeneous, and above all predictable material is constantly challenged by the instability and heterogeneity of the terrains to which it is applied. The image of power that concrete affords is thus a compromised one, as the stability and predictability of this substance is secure only insofar as it is surrounded by and embedded in specific relationships of care.

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Managing Time and Making Space

Canadian Students' Motivations for Study in Australia

Heather Barnick

This article examines the ways in which Canadian students on an exchange or study abroad programme in Australia articulated the value of their experience in connection with time and, more particularly, time constraints. Where Canadian universities often promote study abroad programmes in connection with the global knowledge-based economy, students' desires to travel abroad were more often rooted in a desire to take 'time out' while remaining productive towards the completion of future goals. Students' narratives reveal a connection between time management, travel, and the formations of a class identity. Rather than analysing time strictly as a form of capital, however, insights are generated around time as practice, that is, how time becomes an important factor in students' continual negotiations of space, social relationships, and what could be called a 'lifetime itinerary'.

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A Dignified Meal

Negotiated Spaces in India’s School Meal Program

Sony Pellissery, Sattwick Dey Biaswas and Biju Abraham

In human rights literature, human dignity is the foundation of human rights. Thus, scholarly literature has focused on rights to further enchance dignity. In this article, we argue that rights alone provide only a minimum of dignity. We examine India’s right to food legislation and its implementation in school meal programs. Based on our observations, we argue that discretion and negotiation are complementary institutional spaces that can be developed for the meaningful enjoyment of rights and thus dignity. The negotiations that take place between school management committees and schoolteachers determine the dignity of the midday meal by improving meal quality and nutritional content, infrastructural facilities, and working arrangements for the cooking and delivery of meals. The findings are based on a study of four schools in the states of Kerala and West Bengal and on a review of studies on the midday meal programs in other Indian states.

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Mapping Time, Living Space

The Moral Cartography of Renovation in Late-Socialist Vietnam

Susan Bayly

Building on fieldwork in Hanoi, this article uses the idea of moral cartography to explore the ethical significance attached to the expertise of mapmakers, geomancers and psychic grave-finders, fields widely esteemed in Vietnam as scientific disciplines with strong moral entailments. Of central concern are the ways such practices reflect the intertwining of the temporal and the geophysical. The material expressions of these engagements include article death goods and the photographs displayed on ancestor altars; also maps as points where histories of nationhood and family interpenetrate in forms both exalting and painful for those involved. In connecting the different markers and chronologies of Vietnam's official and familial time modes with the notion of a moralized marketplace, it is suggested that the ethical concerns of today's market socialism are being negotiated in Hanoi not only in temporal terms, but through evocations of purposefully achieving life in space.

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Wandelnde Horizonte des Weltwissens

Zur Raumvorstellung der elementaren Geographieschulbücher des Japanischen Kaiserreichs

Toshiko Ito

*Full article is in German

Changing Horizons of World Knowledge: On the Presentation of Space in Primary School Geography Textbooks of the Japanese Empire

English abstract

The presentation of space in primary geography textbooks of the Japanese Empire (1868–1945) changed according to the political climate. In the liberal phase of the 1870s, Japanese geography schoolbooks dealt with the entire earth. In the revisionist phase of the 1880s, in order to encourage a sense of national identity, no knowledge of lands outside of Japan was imparted to lower primary school students. In the phase of colonial expansion from the 1890s, the world reemerged in geography school books, with an increasing emphasis on the reorganisation of East Asia. Drawing on premodern mythology, primary geography textbooks served to consolidate the Japanese concept of empire in accordance with the respective political situation.

German abstract

Die Raumvorstellung in den elementaren Geographieschulbüchern des Japanischen Kaiserreichs (1868–1945) änderte sich mit dem politischen Klima. In der liberalen Phase der 1870er Jahre behandelten die Geographieschulbücher alle Erdräume. In der revisionistischen Phase der 1880er Jahre wurde den unteren Grundschülern zur Wahrung der nationalen Identität kein Wissen über die Erdräume außerhalb Japans vermittelt. In der kolonialen Expansionsphase ab den 1890er Jahren fanden die Erdräume außerhalb Japans wieder Eingang in die Geographieschulbücher, wobei die Neuordnung Ostasiens immer stärker betont wurde. Auf der vormodernen Mythologie basierend dienten die elementaren Geographieschulbücher der Festigung des japanischen Reichsgedankens nach Maßgabe der jeweiligen politischen Lage.

Keywords: Geographieschulbücher, Großostasiatische Wohlstandssphäre, Japanisches Kaiserreich, koloniale Expansion, nationale Identität, Raumvorstellung

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The Tyranny of Time and Space—Weakened but Not Vanquished

Comment on Special Section on Media and Mobility

Patricia L. Mokhtarian

People have exchanged messages across distances of space or time since the dawn of human history. Modern technologies, for both travel and telecommunication, have vastly increased the speed and reach of our communication potential, but the difference from the past is not just one of degree: at least one difference in kind is the convergence of information/computing technology with communication technology (ICT), and specifically the emergence of the (now-mobile) internet. Relationships between ICT and travel are numerous, complex, and paradoxical. Speculation that “modern“ ICT could substitute for travel virtually coincided with the invention of the telephone, but scholars as early as the 1970s also realized the potential for mutual synergy and generation. Although ICT and travel have diminished the tyranny of space, they cannot be said to have conquered it.

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Stephen G. Gross

This article explores the economic context behind Germany’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia in 2014 in response to the Ukraine crisis, through the lens of energy and natural gas. It does so by comparing 2014 with another moment in German-Russian relations when questions of energy, economics, sanctions, and transatlantic politics converged—the Yamal natural gas pipeline in 1982. Then, West Germany had little economic latitude to disrupt trade with Russia because of its high unemployment rate, its balance of payments problems, and the large investments major German corporations had made in Yamal. Consequently, Bonn broke with the United States over the question of sanctions. In 2014, by contrast, Germany’s strong economy, robust balance of payments, and the absence of a united business front opposing sanctions gave Berlin the space to pursue a non-economic agenda and support the United States in imposing sanctions. The article concludes that these cases illustrate how Germany should not be characterized as a “geo-economic power,” insofar as Berlin still has the space to prioritize goals such as the advancement of democracy and human rights over its need to promote exports and secure imports of raw materials.

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Drawing Back the Curtains

The Role of Domestic Space in the Social Inclusion and Exclusion of Refugees in Rural Denmark

Birgitte Romme Larsen

This article examines negotiations over social inclusion and exclusion that take place during everyday settlement processes among refugee families located in rural areas in Denmark. Using the case study of a Congolese household, the article shows how local codes of sociability are often concretized and materialized in domestic space in ways that turn the home sphere, with its daily routines and material culture, into a domain of vital importance for the social incorporation of refugee newcomers. This domestic domain is of particular significance in a country where, on the one hand, the integration programs of the welfare state are highly regulatory and tend to intervene deeply in refugees' private spheres and, on the other, cultural homogeneity is emphasized and regarded as closely related to equality.

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Money Can't Buy Me Hygge

Danish Middle-Class Consumption, Egalitarianism, and the Sanctity of Inner Space

Jeppe Trolle Linnet

In this article, the style of social interaction known as hygge is analyzed as being related to cultural values that idealize the notion of 'inner space' and to other egalitarian norms of everyday life in Scandinavian societies. While commonly experienced as a pleasurable involvement in a social and spatial interior, hygge is also examined as a mode of withdrawal from alienating conditions of modernity. In spite of its egalitarian features, hygge acts as a vehicle for social control, establishes its own hierarchy of attitudes, and implies a negative stereotyping of social groups who are perceived as unable to create hygge. The idea of hygge as a trait of Scandinavian culture is developed in the course of the interpretation, and its limitations are also discussed against ethnographic evidence that comparable spatial and social dynamics unfold in other cultural contexts.

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Melody Viczko

Internationalisation of higher education has been overwhelmingly embraced by Canadian universities (Beck 2009). Yet, the decentralised nature of higher education institutions, coupled with the absence of a national governing body with responsibility for higher education, creates an interesting terrain for internationalisation. In this paper, I examine the ideas related to internationalisation pursued by one Canadian organisation, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Responding to concerns from Canadian institutions and government ministries about their potential exclusion from global markets, the AUCC took a national lead to better acquaint Canadian institutions with the Bologna reforms, declaring an urgent need to respond to the reforms taking place in Europe (AUCC 2008a). I analyse the policy knowledge, spaces and actors involved with internationalisation through the AUCC's interaction with the Bologna Process, to argue that a deeper entangling of universities in the ideational market-based competition embedded in neoliberal reforms has created tensions in how autonomy can be conceived in Canadian higher education.