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Spells of belonging

A response to Anna Tuckett

Susannah Crockford

Anna Tuckett’s piece on the paper trails left, created and curated by migrant streams crossing Europe raises questions on how social personhood is legally affirmed or undermined by legal paperwork. As is now a well aired fact, those UK citizens affected by the ‘hostile environment’ instituted by the British Home Office (HO) from 2012 onwards were disproportionately black and descended from former Caribbean colonies (Olusoga 2019). I consider my experience relating to immigration practices and assumptions to indicate aspects of this environment in the making. In 2004, I spent six months working for the civil service in the UK as a blandly labelled ‘presenting officer’. A presenting officer presented the Home Secretary’s case for refusing immigration and asylum claims that the applicant had appealed. In such cases, it was common strategy to draw attention to the lack of consistency, in terms of both narrative and between a person and their papers. Narrative consistency was required: the same story had to be told to the case officer on presenting a claim and in the courtroom to the adjudicator and in any and every opportunity to retell the tale the applicant had. Any inconsistency was taken as evidence of deceit. A person had to be able to document their birth, entries and exits to the UK, schooling, workplaces, income and family relationships. The requirements of consistency reified relationships that had documentary existence over those that did not. Lack of documents undermined a person’s ability to make their case.

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The Long Homecoming

Ghanaian Migrant Business and Power in Veneto, Italy

Hans Lucht

This article discusses the challenge of returning home after years abroad from the perspective of Ghanaian labor migrants in northern Italy. It seeks to explore how Ghanaian migrants aft er years of hard work still find themselves fundamentally estranged from Italy and constantly must navigate day-to-day experiences of bigotry and discrimination in the workplace. Yet the migrants realize that returning home to Ghana is not as straightforward as they might have imagined when they set out, and how to protect advances upon returning to a home country that has changed rapidly during their years in Italy is a recurring subject of concern. Based on ethnographic vignettes, the article will explore West African migrants’ everyday struggles in Italy’s segregated and crisis-hit labor market.

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Memory, imagination, and belonging across generations

Perspectives from postsocialist Europe and beyond

Haldis Haukanes and Susanna Trnka

The last two decades have witnessed a phenomenal expansion of scholarly work on collective memory. Simultaneously, increasing anthropological attention is being paid to collective visions of the future, albeit through a range of disparate literatures on topics including development, modernity and risk, the imagination, and, perhaps ironically, nostalgia. In this introduction to this special section, we bring together analyses of postsocialist visions of pasts and futures to shed light upon the cultural scripts and social processes through which different temporal visions are ascribed collective meaning, employed in the creation of shared and personal identities, and used to galvanize social and political action.

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Introduction

Why Revisit Intimacy?

Sertaç Sehlikoglu and Aslı Zengin

Intimacy is tightly bound up with notions of privacy, sexuality, proximity and secrecy, and with dynamics of sensual and affective attachments and forms of desire. It is therefore integral to the formation of human selves and subjectivities, as well as communities, publics, collectives and socialities. The articles in this Special Section all offer an anthropological inquiry into intimacy, seeking a conceptual formulation that might capture its actual operations, the ways intimacy is done in talk and action. They thus contribute ethnographically to ongoing anthropological debates about intimacy, and explore how multiple domains and forms of intimacies are defined, shaped, constructed and transformed across different social worlds.

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'0 Feet Away'

The Queer Cartography of French Gay Men's Geo-social Media Use

Dominique Pierre Batiste

Why do gay men utilise geo-social media applications such as Grindr and Scruff? Social media scholarship describes technological mediations and changes to social space and communities; however, there are theoretical gaps concerning what geo-social technology means for gay men. I suggest that gay men's ability to see other gay men, via geo-social media, reveals the queer cartography of any geographical location. This re-mapping of social space proves the public sphere less heteronormative than purported, cultivates community between gay men who may initiate face-to-face contact utilising geo-locative technology, and allows gay men to interact with one another outside of specifically gay spaces. This research is based in Toulouse, France, and adds to scholarship concerning French gay men's resistance to heteronormativity. This research also holds global significance concerning subjugated communities' uses of geo-social technology in their resistance against dominant cultures.

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Henning Süssner

As a result of Nazi race politics, World War II, and the restructuring

of Europe in the postwar era, the painful experience of forced migration

became a reality in the lives of many Europeans. About 12 million1

ethnic Germans shared the fate of being forced to leave their

ancestral areas of settlement in Eastern and Eastern/Central Europe

between 1939 and 1948. These people were either forced to move

“back to the Reich” by the Nazi government, fled from advancing

enemy forces in 1944/45, or were forced out of their homes by Eastern

and Central European postwar governments.

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Daniel M. Knight

’ innerspaces’ ( Battaglia 2005: 2 ). 3 Talking about temporal phenomena encountered in Star Trek , Despoina rhetorically asks: ‘Do I belong to a time of foreign occupation or am I free and modern? … These market stalls that you see around you do not make

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Dancing in Solidarity and Dissent

JCM 2015, Wuppertal

Mark L. Solomon

nature to be more conformist and set high value on belonging, on loyalty to family, tribe, country and cult. Others are innately more individualistic and forge their own path, even at the risk of ostracism and alienation. I recognize both tendencies in

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Azim Malikov

built over the grave of this famous Sufi teacher in the late fourteenth century in honour of the defeat of the Golden Horde. In the past, most ethnic Kazakhs belonged to one of three ž uz (hordes): Uly ž uz (the Great Horde), Orta ž uz (the Middle

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Trauma, Time, and the ‘Singular Plural’

The Israeli Television Series Fauda

Nurith Gertz and Raz Yosef

historical chain of terror and traumas of the past and the future, and it views its protagonists through the lens of the homogeneous national collectives to which they belong and on whose behalf they fight. In their undercover mission to safeguard the nation