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Anna Tarrant, Gareth Terry, Michael R.M. Ward, Sandy Ruxton, Martin Robb and Brigid Featherstone

This article considers the so-called war on boys through a critical examination of the way boys and young men have been represented in what might be termed the male role model discourse in policy and media debates in the UK. Critical engagement with academic literatures that explore the male role model response to what has become known as the problem of boys, predominantly in education and in welfare settings, reveals that contemporary policy solutions continue to be premised on outdated theoretical foundations that reflect simplistic understandings of gender and gender relations. In this article we advocate policy solutions that acknowledge the complexity and diversity of boys’ and young men’s experiences and that do not simplistically reduce their problems to the notion of a crisis in masculinity.

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Reports

Publications, Films and Conferences

Sabine Strasser, Serge D. Elie, Sophie Accolas and Soheila Shahshahani

PUBLICATIONS

‘Parallel Societies’ and ‘No Integration’: Interventions of Social Sciences to the ‘Outside-World’

Schiffauer, Werner (2008), Parallelgesellschaften: Wie viel Wertekonsens braucht unsere Gesellschaft? Für eine kluge Politik der Differenz (Bielefeld: transcript). 147 pp., ISBN 978-3-89942-643-4.

Hess, Sabine, Binder, Jana and Moser, Johannes (eds.) (2009), No Integration?! Kultur­wissenschaftliche Beiträge zur Integrationsdebatte in Europa (Bielefeld: transcript). 242 pp., ISBN 978-3-89942-890-2.

Anthropology and the Panoptic Encompassment of the Middle East

Lindholm, Charles (2002), The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change (rev. ed.) (London: Blackwell Publishing). xxviii + 324 pp., ISBN 1-405-10146-6.

Salzman, Philip Carl (2008), Culture and Conflict in the Middle East (New York: Humanity Books). 224 pp., ISBN 978-1-59102-587-0.

FILMS

Loubeyre, Nathalie et Labat, Joel (2008), No comment, France, vidéo, couleur, 52 minutes, froggie production.

CONFERENCES

‘Humanity, Development and Cultural Diversity’, 16th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), 27–31 July 2009, Kunming, China

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Introduction

Theorizing Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures in Contemporary Times

Garth Stahl and Cynthia Brock

This special issue of Boyhood Studies, entitled “Contemporary Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures,” is composed of international cutting-edge research focused on boys’ formal and informal literacy practices, boys’ engagements with a variety of texts, as well as gender-focused/gender-critical teaching practices in the literacy classroom. The articles interrogate how boys are positioned and how they position themselves within their acquisition of literacy skills. The research presented highlights the diversity and complexity of boys’ literacy practices. The scholars contend that how we define literacy is undergoing change alongside significant alterations to traditional cultural practices associated with boyhood. We see attention drawn to how these literacy practices operate in relation to the formation of boys’ masculinities in terms of how they do boyhood in contemporary times.

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Regions and Regionalism in Social Anthropology

Possibilities and Approaches – The Case of Slovakia

Alexandra Bitušíková

The article deals with the study of regionalism in European social anthropology with the focus on Slovakia's regions, regional diversities and identities in a broader perspective of European integration and regionalisation. It looks at socio-anthropological research on regionalism worldwide and in Slovakia particularly. The key objective is to examine the impact of geographical conditions and political-administrative reforms on the development of historic regions, sustainability of regionalism and the survival of regional differences and identities in Slovakia. The essay also discusses the creation of transborder regional co-operation and the establishment of Euroregions that only started to develop in the new democratic conditions after 1989. What do transborder regions mean to local people? Are they only bureaucratically constructed entities based on co-operation of formal authorities or do they also have an impact on people's identities? The essay aims at drawing attention to the importance of this research orientation in contemporary European social anthropology.

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George A. Martinez, Maresi Nerad and Elizabeth Rudd

This workshop report summarises the potentially far-reaching deliberations and results of a conference of experts in doctoral education from around the world. The conference was organised jointly by the U.S. Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Seattle and the German International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) at the University of Kassel. Participants discussed critical issues in the globalisation of doctoral education, including global inequalities, diversity in types of students and modes of study, and intellectual risk-taking, and they sought to develop proposals for policy. The focus of the conference was on the research doctorate. This essay reports on the activities, discussions, and conclusions of the workshop. One of the task forces illustrated issues in the intellectual risk-taking faced by graduates by performing a highly realistic vignette written by a South African professor. We begin our workshop report with this vignette as a way to begin to frame the key issues.

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Eva Bendix Petersen and Bronwyn Davies

In this article the authors take up the invitation to respond to the previous articles in the special issue. They discuss why it is so difficult to speak and write about gender and sexuality, and difference more generally, in the neoliberalised university. They make the case that the neoliberal university engages and uses categorical difference, and the individuals inhabiting these, mainly for auditing purposes. The authors develop the argument that despite the enterprise university's official commitments to diversity and inclusion, it remains indifferent to difference, understood as openness to becoming different, to differenciation in a Deleuzian sense. Difference is privatised and depoliticised and is only acceptable if it is useful and exploitable in pre-specified ways and if it conforms to and facilitates neoliberal agendas.

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Soo Ah Kwon

Drawing on existing literature and student ethnographic projects, this article examines Asian American undergraduates' overwhelming focus on individual racial identity and practices of racial segregation in their ethnographic research about the University of Illinois. The author examines how such racial segregation is described and analysed as a matter of personal 'choice' and 'comfort' rather than as the result of racial inequality, racism and the marginalisation and racialisation of minority groups. This lack of structural racial analysis in the examination of Asian American students' experiences points to the depoliticisation and institutionalisation of race in higher education today. Race is understood and more readily analysed as a politically neutral concept that invokes celebration of racial diversity and 'culture' and not as a concept marked by power and inequities as it once may have been.

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Esther Anaya and Santiago Gorostiza

Compared with work in other European countries, the history of bicycle mobility in Spain is still in its infancy. In pioneering work, some historians have dealt with the nineteenth-century origins of cycling in Spain, particularly its athletic aspects. Other historians have reviewed the main cycling competitions in the country: the Volta a Catalunya, organized in 1911, and the Vuelta a España, begun in 1935. Utilitarian cycling, however, has received less attention. A few authors have highlighted the bicycle’s importance in Spain over most of the century, but none have examined the evolution of utilitarian cycling in Spain during the twentieth century. Although archival sources are ample, their diversity and wide dispersion in various government archives, especially at the municipal level, are research obstacles.

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John K. Walton

Publications dealing with histories of tourism are proliferating as the importance of the sector is recognised and the long-established diversity of themes and approaches permits advances on a broad interdisciplinary front. Geographically, studies based on Europe and North America continue to dominate, while work on Australasia and Latin America is growing. The balance of publications on tourism in Africa and especially Asia remains overwhelmingly present-minded, ethnographic, or directly policy oriented. Thematically, contributions range from literary investigations of guidebooks and travel writing to economic, demographic, and cultural analyses of the impact of tourism on particular localities. Bibliographies on travel and transport in relation to tourism are expanding, as we should expect. International overviews of tourism history have been published in journals and handbooks where the main interest is in tourism economics and management, indicating increasing awareness of the importance to tourism of a grounded understanding of its past.

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Elizabeth Butterfield

In this article, I will investigate Sartre's claims regarding need as an element of the human condition, and I will compare them to the analysis of need found in the works of Marx and of Herbert Marcuse. These comparisons will raise important questions, such as: given the cultural diversity of experiences of need, is Sartre justified in speaking of needs common to all humans? Are these human needs to be considered permanent fixtures, or do they change historically? And, how might this affect their status as fundamental and truly human? Finally, is it even possible for us to recognize our real human needs, and to distinguish them from artificially created and alienated false "needs," while we exist in what Sartre identifies as the current state of subhumanity?