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Giuseppe Berta

The change in the presidency of Confindustria, which took place at the

end of April 2004, marked a break with the past in both the political

sphere and that of industrial relations in Italy. The new president was

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, managing director of Italian industry’s

world famous company, Ferrari, who took great care, from the very

outset of his candidature for the presidency, to emphasize just how

different he was from his predecessor, Antonio D’Amato. Indeed, by

proposing changes in the circumstances under which workers could

be dismissed, D’Amato had led Confindustria down the road of bitter

confrontation with the trade-union movement, as well as toward

collaboration, almost as a matter of principle, with the center-right

government. Paradoxically, the result had been to allow Sergio Cofferati,

the secretary general of the Confederazione Generale Italiana

del Lavoro (General Confederation of Italian Workers, CGIL), to gain

enormous popularity on the left—while Confindustria itself obtained

paltry and uncertain results from D’Amato’s neo-liberal policies.

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Massimo Baldini and Paolo Bosi

The year 2007 was an important test bed for the social policy of the

center-left government, the fundamental nature of which was revealed

in the legislative activity related, either directly or indirectly, to the 2007

and 2008 budgets. In this chapter, we review the principal measures

taken and seek to assess both their significance and the coherence of

the general policy design that they embody. A number of criteria (e.g.,

housing, pensions, measures related to unemployment, the status of

families, health care, and social benefits) can be employed to evaluate

social or welfare policies. The first criterion, however, is whether

the government’s actions are consistent with the objectives that it set

itself at the beginning of its mandate. In this context, it is particularly

important to assess the factors that conditioned welfare reform, among

which the constraint of public finances is generally significant. In this

sense, it is important to try to distinguish the objective factors from

those attributable to contrasting viewpoints that existed within the different

strands of the center-left coalition.

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D.M.G. Sutherland

Claude Langlois's work on the French Revolution captures the experience of ordinary people in the country as a whole. Against an interpretation that sees the Revolution as resulting in a secular, modernized France, he emphasizes the ambiguity and uncertainties of the outcome. He is above all interested in assessing the impact of the Revolution on the Church. Although the Revolution had a profound impact on the personnel, landscape, finances, and politics of the Church, the Concordat created the conditions for recovery. There were restorations in pastoral care and practices but in addition, there were also ruptures, especially in the long term. Alongside a nineteenth century of unexpected piety, there were also regions and groups of low practice and indifference. The article also discusses Langlois's contributions to the political history of the coup of 1799, and to population studies.

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Peiliao

Gender, Psychologization, and Psychological Labor in China

Jie Yang

This article examines the psychologization trend in China by analyzing peiliao (companion to chat), a 'profession' promoted among laid-off women workers since the mid-1990s. Unlike other psychological caregivers who empathize or sympathize through imagining the situation of another who suffers, job counselors encourage those who become peiliao to invoke their direct experience of unemployment in their current care work. Such job training not only reinscribes these women's pain, but also naturalizes their psychological labor as part of their moral virtue, which downplays its social and economic value. The article suggests that peiliao and other psychologizing processes in China, rather than depoliticizing social struggle, constitute a new arena for politics in which marginalized women's psychological labor is exploited both to advance market development and to enact the therapeutic ethos of the ruling party.

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Comic, Tragic, and Burlesque Burkean Responses to Hate

Notes from Counterprotests of Antigay Pickets

Rebecca Barrett-Fox

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has effectively roused public anger for its pickets of military funerals, sites of national tragedy, and LGBTQ+ cultural events. Counterprotests, some mournful and some festive, are sites where scholars can investigate the ambivalence of public response to homophobia. This article draws from ethnographic observations of 107 WBC pickets and interviews with 183 counterprotesters to create a profile of a typical large counterprotest of WBC. The article then considers how the comic, tragic, and burlesque frames of Kenneth Burke can be applied to analyze counterprotest activity, illuminating how WBC is used by communities as a foil for their own hurtful treatment of vulnerable members. Finally, it argues, based on observation of counterprotests and consulting work with organizations planning counterprotests, for the adoption of the comic frame, not for the good of WBC but for the good of communities seeking better care of targets of homophobia.

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Sarah Townsend, Anna J. Willow, Emily Stokes-Rees, Katherine Hayes, Peter C. Little, Timothy Murtha, Kristen Krumhardt, Thomas Hendricks, Stephanie Friede, Peter Benson and Gregorio Ortiz

ANDERSON, E. N., Caring for Place: Ecology, Ideology, and Emotion in Traditional Landscape Management

ÁRNASON, Arnar, Nicolas ELLISON, Jo VERHUNST, and Andrew WHITEHOUSE, eds., Landscapes Beyond Land: Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives

BARNARD, Timothy P., ed., Nature Contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore

BARTHEL-BOUCHIER, Diane, Cultural Heritage and the Challenge of Sustainability

FOOTE, Stephanie and Elizabeth MAZZOLINI, eds., Histories of the Dustheap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice

HAKANSSON, Thomas N. and Mats WIDGREN, eds., Landesque Capital: The Historical Ecology of Enduring Landscape Modifications

PERLMUTTER, David and Robert ROTHSTEIN, The Challenge of Climate Change: Which Way Now?

RUPP, Stephanie, Forests of Belonging: Identities, Ethnicities, and Stereotypes in the Congo River Basin

SODIKOFF, Genese Marie, ed., The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death

SWANSON, Drew A., A Golden Weed: Tobacco and Environment in the Piedmont South

WILBER, Tom, Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale

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Peter Collins and Yulia Egorova

I (Peter) remember sitting in a departmental meeting, doodling, preoccupied with the image of a hospital chapel. I had recently been involved in a research project seeking to document and explain the construction of religious/spiritual space in National Health Service (NHS) acute-care hospitals in the north of England. What was becoming more and more obvious was the growing tension between the distinction that staff and patients were making between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’. Admittedly, this tension was not especially surprising; indeed, it can be understood, in principle, as a reflection of the ambient climate of religiosity in the UK, as in many other Western countries (Flanagan and Jupp 2007; Heelas 2008; Heelas et al. 2004).

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Ashley B. Lebner

This article begins by exploring why secular studies may be stagnating in anthropology. Contrary to recent arguments, I maintain that rather than widening the definition of secularism to address this, we should shift our focus, if only slightly. While secularism remains a worthy object, foregrounding it risks tying the field to issues of governance. I therefore suggest avoiding language that privileges it. Moreover, in returning to Talal Asad's 'secular', it becomes evident that care should be taken with the notion of 'secularism' to begin with, even if he did not emphasize this analytically. Conceiving of secularism as a transcendent political power, as Asad does, is not only a critique of a secularist narrative, but also a secularist truism itself that can potentially cloud ethnography if applied too readily. A way forward lies in carefully attending to secular concepts, as Asad suggests, and in exploring a version of secularity inspired by the work of Charles Taylor.

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Family on the Edge

Neblagopoluchnaia Family and the State in Yakutsk and Magadan, Russian Federation

Lena Sidorova and Elena Khlinovskaya Rockhill

This paper addresses the notion and category of neblagopoluchnaia family in Yakutsk, Russian Federation, analyzing the ways in which this category is constructed and reproduced. Although this term is not defined in any jural and legal documents, it is widely applied in practice. The authors follow the process of marginalization of families through their increasing symbolic and geographic remoteness. These families constitute the category of neblagopoluchnaia family and include former village dwellers and urban families, irrespective of their ethnicity and gender, although the vast majority are mothers. As soon as such families become visible and fail to meet criteria for “good” parenting, they are demonized using the category of neblagopoluchnaia family as a tool, and their children are taken away. Personal and family difficulties due to symbolic and structural violence are not taken into consideration. Scapegoating parents facilitates social exclusion, expelling parents from moral community, and increasing, but justifying, the production of children without parental care.

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Mirrors for Margraves

Peter Damian’s Models for Male and Female Rulers

Alison Creber

In the 1060s Peter Damian wrote “mirrors for margraves” to the rulers of two different Italian marks: Godfrey, margrave of Tuscany, and Adelaide, de facto ruler of the mark of Turin. Although he wrote to them both on the subject of rule and justice, Damian offered Godfrey and Adelaide different models for rule. Godfrey was to mete out harsh punishments; Adelaide was to act with mercy and restraint. Godfrey was presented with images of paternal care, Adelaide with maternal imagery. Godfrey was encouraged to emulate historical figures; Adelaide was to emulate biblical heroines. Through comparing and contrasting the gendered way in which Damian constructs the image of the ideal margrave in each of these letters, this article demonstrates that Damian consciously used different models for Godfrey and Adelaide on the basis of their gender, rather than their status or behavior.