This article is concerned with the 2012 feature Lore, which was made in Germany by Australian director Cate Shortland and is based on the story of the same name by Rachel Seiffert. Focusing on a group of siblings and their odyssey across Germany at the end of World War II, the film explores questions of identity constitution and subversion in the transitional ground between childhood and adulthood, in particular as this is registered in bodily experience. The three main sections of this article focus on the family archive (not least through the medium of photography), structures of double identity (in particular around the figure of the German Jew), and aesthetic strategies of representation (especially framing and mirroring). Through these steps, the article probes the ethical, aesthetic, and political stakes involved in representing the passing of children through the violence of history in what the director calls “grey zones.”
Andrew J. Webber
Myth and Reality in Shangri-La
Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell
In 1945 Australian war correspondent and later novelist George Johnston undertook a journey on the Tibetan Plateau with fellow American correspondent James Burke. Johnston later wrote about this adventure in his memoir Journey Through Tomorrow (1947) as part of a wider account of his travels in Asia during the Second World War. This article considers the Tibetan section of his narrative with a focus on the influence of English novelist James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, with its depiction of a Tibetan utopia in the form of the lamasery of Shangri-La. In doing so the article considers Johnston’s text as an example of the challenge faced by travel writers in negotiating the territory between myth and reality in representing the ‘truth’ of their experience, and as a narrative that avoids the worst of the orientalizing traits of many other travelers’ accounts of Tibet.
Contemporary undergraduate courses in research methods are challenging to teach because of the wide scope of the subject matter, limited student contact hours and the complexity of supervising research projects undertaken by novices. Focus group assignments within class offer an interesting and enjoyable way for students to develop and apply research skills and reflect on the process of being both a researcher and a research participant in social science disciplines. Using focus groups enables deep learning, formative assessment and the development of reflexive research skills. This article discusses the use of focus group assignments as a key assessment tool in a Sociological research methods course taught at Monash University, Australia. The use of focus groups as a teaching tool is further assessed through analysing the reflections and evaluations given by students participating in the course.
Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos and Karen Schönwälder
With the passage of a new citizenship law in 1999 and the so-called
Zuwanderungsgesetz (Migration Law) of 2004, contemporary Germany
has gone a long way toward acknowledging its status as an immigration
country (Einwanderungsland). Yet, Germany is still regarded by
many as a “reluctant” land of immigration, different than traditional
immigration countries such as Canada, the United States, and Australia.
It owes this image to the fact that many of today’s “immigrants”
were in fact “guests,” invited to work in the Federal Republic
in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and expected to leave when they were
no longer needed. Migration was meant to be a temporary measure,
to stoke the engine of the Economic Miracle but not fundamentally
alter German society. The question, then, is how did these “guest
workers” become immigrants? Why did the Federal Republic
become an immigration country?
Trauma and Collective Identities among East Timorese Refugees in Australia
Some of the more interesting and useful work on diasporic and transnational identities has emanated from scholars working in cultural studies and contemporary anthropology. However, with a few notable exceptions, little attention has been paid to the specific experiences of refugee diasporas, and in particular, to the role of trauma and embodiment in the creation of these ‘moral communities.’ Based on research with the East Timorese diaspora in Australia, this article looks at the performative dimensions (protests, church rituals, singing, and dancing) of the diaspora’s political campaign for East Timor’s independence. I consider how the bodily dimensions of this protest movement contributed to certain formations of identity, belonging, and exile, within the Timorese community. In particular, I explore how these performative strategies have created a context for ‘retraumatizing’ bodies and memories, channeling them into a political ‘community of suffering,’ in turn contributing to a heightened sense of the morality of an exilic identity among many Timorese.
Its Chinese Alters in Transnational Space
Donald M. Nonini
Chinese businessmen in Indonesia still want to come [to Australia] for safety for their families, especially their children. Right now many Chinese in Jakarta fear violence, because commercial grudges are actually being settled by attacks on them. Recently, a famous Chinese businessman in Indonesia was shot dead even though he was guarded by men from KOPPASUS [an elite counter-terrorist army unit]. He was killed by men due to some business grudge … I do not want my son to do business in Indonesia because of the violence. He could make a competitive tender for a government or other contract, but then find that someone bears a grudge against him for being underbid and decides to hurt or kill him. One never knows.
Craig San Roque
This article explores the relationship of Central Australian 'Dreaming', or Tjukurrp, to symbol and thought formation in Aboriginal culture. Acknowledgment is given to ethnographic and indigenous descriptions of Tjukurrp and to Aboriginal mythopoeia, but the author is primarily concerned with how thoughts are made and what they are made of. Comparisons are drawn to European myths and cults in order to understand how Tjukurrp and myth might influence intercultural transference. The author suggests that through an anthropological and psychoanalytical analysis of intercultural conversations and an understanding of Tjukurrp's structure and content, non-indigenous people working in health and law might appreciate and comprehend Aboriginal thinking and thus be more effective in various aspects of engagement. In this meditation on thought formation and failure, the author seeks to understand the relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, so that those who intend to help do not end up destroying.
Aspects of Maternal Pedagogy in Australia
The field of autism interventions, as well as advice given to parents on educating children with autism spectrum disorders, is characterized by competing claims and controversy. This article compares two events targeted at parents, both of which were staged on the same weekend in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. One centered on applied behavioral analysis, holding out the promise of potential normalization for children with autism and their families. The other, mobilizing civil rights rhetoric, pushed for the full educational inclusion of all children with disabilities. This article investigates the assumptions underlying these varied positions and assesses some of the ways in which parents, especially mothers, make sense of and situationally negotiate these often emotionally charged claims and counter-claims.
Interview with Martin Holbraad on Becoming Editor of Social Analysis
How did it come about that you became editor of Social Analysis?
It was Bruce Kapferer and his legendary powers of persuasion! Bruce set the journal up in 1979 with the intention, as he explained to me recently, of taking forward the anthropological agenda of the Manchester School: socio-political analysis based on the detailed ethnography of practice aiming to intervene critically in the big issues of the day. Since that time, the journal has grown a lot, but without losing its somewhat homespun quality, which is one of the things I most like about it. In fact, one of the best moves Bruce made, after eventually shifting the center of gravity of the journal away from Australia and joining forces with you guys at Berghahn, was to pass the editorship to my predecessors—a dynamic editorial team based at Bergen in Norway, comprising Bjørn Bertelsen, Ørnulf Gulbrandsen, Knut Rio, and Olaf Smedal, along with their editorial assistant Nora Haukali.
In spite of the growing public focus on domestic violence (DV) in mainstream Australian society, ethnographers have remained aloof from analysing this problem. In an ethnographic study in the Brisbane region, I analysed people’s perceptions of anti-violence images that were part of a public campaign and assessed the appropriateness of the images’ locations. Occasionally, my interlocutors unexpectedly included accounts of DV. My analysis reveals the tensions between public display and the concealment underlying the campaign. The interlocutors revealed experiences of competing responsibilities related to DV. The use of subtle images of anti-violence in locations filled with competing images, coupled with a failure to consider historical continuities and changes in local imaginaries of violence, exposed the difficulties associated with conveying persuasive messages of DV prevention.