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Jo Lindsay

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.

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Yogesh Sharma, ed., Coastal Histories: Society and Ecology in Pre-Modern India Debojyoti Das

Jason Lim, A Slow Ride into the Past: The Chinese Trishaw Industry in Singapore 1942–1983 Margaret Mason

Xiang Biao, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, and Mika Toyota, eds., Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia Gopalan Balachandran

Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Johannes G. de Kruijf, eds., Indian Transnationalism Online: New Perspectives on Diaspora Anouck Carsignol

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora Yuk Wah Chan

Christine B.N. Chin, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City Lilly Yu and Kimberly Kay Hoang

David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska, eds., Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century Daniel Oakman

Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914 Vincent Lagendijk

Bieke Cattoor and Bruno De Meulder, Figures Infrastructures: An Atlas of Roads and Railways Maik Hoemke

Klaus Benesch, ed., Culture and Mobility Rudi Volti

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Commentary

Breathing Fresh Air into Mobility Studies from Down Under

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

As Georgine Clarsen summarizes this special section on Australian and settler colonial Pacific, these four articles add to the “rereading [of] settler-colonial formations through practices and representations of movement [and] circulation.” But that is only half the truth. They also constitute counterrepresentations. They deal not only with the stasis that follows European settling as a process but also with counter- and antimobilities that Indigenous peoples mount: against inward movement, against disruptive settling and forceful displacement of the Indigenous from their lands, and against emplacement and settlement upon it. The scholars in this special section present an example for studies of mobility in the colonial setting in two ways. First, they decenter technology and center the human factor, for which they get full marks. Second they allow mobilities to emanate from the subjects and context of study, rather than letting conceptions of Western-centric, technocentric history of transport and mobility studies guide them.

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Diverse Driving Emotions

Exploring Chinese Migrants’ Mobilities in a Car-Dependent City

Sophie-May Kerr, Natascha Klocker and Gordon Waitt

In the industrialized West, cars are considered an essential part of everyday life. Their dominance is underpinned by the challenges of managing complex, geographically stretched daily routines. Drivers’ emotional and embodied relationships with automobiles also help to explain why car cultures are difficult to disrupt. This article foregrounds ethnic diversity to complicate notions of a “love affair” with the car. We report on the mobilities of fourteen Chinese migrants living in Sydney, Australia—many of whom described embodied dispositions against the car, influenced by their life histories. Their emotional responses to cars and driving, shaped by transport norms and infrastructures in their places of origin, ranged from pragmatism and ambivalence to fear and hostility. The lived experiences of these migrants show that multiple cultures of mobility coexist, even in ostensibly car-dependent societies. Migrants’ life histories and contemporary practices provide an opportunity to reflect on fissures in the logic of automobility.

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Naughtiest Girls, Go Girls, and Glitterbombs

Exploding Schoolgirl Fictions

Lucinda McKnight

In this article I consider the white British and Australian schoolgirl through a notionally comparative study of Enid Blyton’s The Naughtiest Girl in the School (1940–1952) series and the contemporary Go Girl (2005–2012) series, texts spanning my lived experience as girl, mother, and teacher. Through incendiary fragments of memory and media, I, as researcher and writer, seek the girl addressed by these texts and consider the struggles, denials, and ambivalences that produce and are produced by reading the schoolgirl. This girl resists historical determinism, coalescing as contemporaneous past, present, and future as the reader performs her own girlhood through reading and writing. This creative analytical article notices the visual and physical manifestations of texts, as well as their linguistic discourses. Through this work, we perceive postfeminist entanglement in the ongoing re-configuration of the schoolgirl, with implications for policy and practice in education and for cultural and girlhood studies.

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Donatella della Porta and Mario Diani

The largest pacifist demonstration ever seen in Italy was held in

Rome on 15 February 2003. Behind the lead banner, which read

“Let’s stop the war with no ifs or buts,” were 3 million protesters,

according to organizers (police estimates put the figure at 650,000).

Supporting the march, which was organized by 400 groups and associations,

were 350 local authorities and 136 parliamentarians.

Twenty-eight special trains and 3,000 coaches converged on Rome,

while 2,000 police officers lined the 10 kilometer path that led to the

central stage in Piazza San Giovanni.1 The march in Rome was part

of a wider global protest. L’Unità wrote on 16 February: “Dawn had

yet to break in Rome but Australia had already been marching for a

while.” This international day of protest against the war had been

launched at the European Social Forum in November 2002 and became

international when the idea was taken up in January 2003 at

the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre.

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Brett Klopp

Cities have long been the destination of those on the move. Migration

and especially immigration always raise issues of inclusion and

exclusion, of rights and obligations, and of the meaning of membership

and citizenship. The particular form and content of these

debates vary, just as host countries, national and local governments,

and immigrant populations vary. Over the past few decades, patterns

of immigration have begun to shift away from classical immigration

countries (the United States, Canada, Australia) toward the democracies

of the European Union. “In this troubled world, Western

Europe has in fact, become a fragile island of prosperity, peace,

democracy, culture, science, welfare and civil rights,” according to

urban sociologist, Manuel Castells. “However, the selfish reflex of

trying to preserve this heaven by erecting walls against the rest of

the world may undermine the very fundamentals of European culture

and democratic civilization, since the exclusion of the other is

not separable from the suppression of civil liberties and a mobilization

against alien cultures.”

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Passions and Purposes

Acting Faith and Nostalgia in New Caledonia

Matt K. Matsuda

As developed since the seventeenth century, the concept and experience of nostalgia has been linked to individuals or groups displaced from, and longing for, a distant site they consider to be “home.” Colonial historians have also noted that indigenous peoples, such as Australian Aborigines or the Kanak in New Caledonia, may suffer from “solastalgia,” that is, homesickness while “still at home” because they have been subjects with restricted rights on what was once their own territory. The thoughts and writings of Kanak seminarian and anticolonial activist Jean-Marie Tjibaou are analyzed to demonstrate the ways that Kanak communities have shaped locally rooted identities through traditions of genealogy to assert continuities in their own history. Special focus is given here to Tjibaou's seminary training and his appropriation of Biblical stories and teachings to make points about suffering, charity, nobility, and challenges to authority, both in staged passion plays and in Kanak versions of the Christian Word.

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Editorial

Interview with Martin Holbraad on Becoming Editor of Social Analysis

Martin Holbraad

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.

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Indonesia Seen by Outside Insiders

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.