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Jane H. Roberts

While Putnam's communitarian conceptualization of social capital has significantly influenced our understanding of community cohesion, the concept of social capital is highly contested. Questions have been raised about the ways in which agency and power operate in a community's sense of connectedness. Within this critique, little attention has been paid to the conceptualization of cultural identity when framed in dominant constructions of social capital. This paper contends that Bourdieu's critical perspective on social capital is better placed to examine the complex relationships between multiple, conflicting and overlapping positions of cultural identity with a sense of belonging. In addition, a Bourdieurian analysis acknowledges that the dynamic relationships of habitus, capital and field produce multiple identities associated with conflicting notions of connectedness which are contextually contingent. The paper argues that ethnography is best placed to offer a different perspective to de-contextualized data, and supports any examination of identity and belonging as best viewed within the context in which such concepts develop and are situated.

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For Belief

Embodiment and Immanence in Catholicism and Mormonism

Jon P. Mitchell and Hildi J. Mitchell

This article argues for belief, suggesting that the reason why anthropologists might have moved against belief is their persistent attachment to a linguistic model of religion that sees the job of the anthropologist of religion as being one of translation. In such a model, the absence of the word 'belief' signals the absence of the process. We argue for the enduring utility of belief, not as a linguistic category, but as a description of experiential processes at the heart of religion. Using examples from popular Catholicism and Mormonism, we contend that such processes are rooted in the body. Through bodily practice and performance, religion is generated as an immanent force in the world—people come to believe.

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‘Nature Has Its Own Soul and Speaks Its Own Language’

The Meaning of Local Landscape in the Pallastunturi Fells

Helena Ruotsala

Nature and environment are important for the people earning their living from natural sources of livelihood. This article concentrates on the local perspective of the landscape in the Pallastunturi Fells, which are situated in Pallas-Ylläs National Park in Finnish Lapland. The Fells are both important pastures for reindeer and an old tourism area. The Pallastunturi Tourist Hotel is situated inside the national park because the hotel was built before the park was established 1938. Until the 1960s, the relationship between tourism and reindeer herding had been harmonious because the tourism activities did not disturb the reindeer herding, but offered instead ways to earn money by transporting the tourists from the main road to the hotel, which had been previously without any road connections. During recent years, tourism has been developed as the main source of livelihood in Lapland and huge investments have been made in several parts of Lapland. One example of this type of investment is the plan to replace the old Pallas Tourist hotel, which was built in 1948, with a newer and bigger one. It means that the state will allow a private enterprise to build more infrastructures for tourism inside a national park where nature should be protected and this has sparked a heated debate. Those who oppose the project criticise this proposal as the amendment of a law designed to promote the economic interests of one private tourism enterprise. The project's supporters claim that the needs of the tourism industry and nature protection can both be promoted and that it is important to develop a tourist centre which is already situated within the national park. This article is an attempt to try to shed light on why the local people are so loudly resisting the plans by a private tourism enterprise to touch the national park. It is based on my fieldwork among reindeer herding families in the area.

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Gavin Rae

Sartre's phenomenological ontology discloses that understanding consciousness and its mode of being requires an analysis of its relation with other consciousnesses. The primordial manner in which the Other relates to consciousness is through the look. Sartre claims that consciousness tends to adopt a pre-reflective fundamental project that leads it to view the Other as a threat to its pure subjective freedom. This creates a conflictual social relation in which each consciousness tries to objectify the Other to maintain its subjective freedom. But Sartre also notes that consciousnesses can establish a social relation called the “we” in which each consciousness is a free subject. While certain commentators have noted that communication allows each consciousness to learn that the Other is not simply a threatening object but another subject, communication can only play this positive role if both consciousnesses have undergone a specific process called conversion. Only conversion brings consciousness to recognise, respect, and affirm the Other's practical freedom in the way necessary to create a we-relation. To support my argument, I spend significant time outlining what conversion and the social relations created post-conversion entail.

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David Collins

The following list continues the entries published in the previous issue of Sibirica. It includes items from late 1993 to 1995 and some earlier publications discovered since the list was published. I would be very grateful for information about any items which have escaped my attention, so that they can be included later.

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David Collins

This is a continuation of the lists published in Sibirica vol. 2 nos.1 and 2. It includes items from earlier years (1991–1995) discovered since the publication of my previous lists.

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Béchir Oueslati, Marie McAndrew and Denise Helly

This article examines the evolution of the representation of Islam and Muslim cultures in textbooks in Quebec. Results indicate signicant improvements in the new secondary school history textbooks, both quantitatively (for they contain more information about pillars, key concepts, and relations with Christianity and Judaism) and qualitatively (on account of their depth of coverage, fewer negative views than in the 1980s, and fewer factual errors than in the 1990s). The positive role played by Muslim scientists in preserving old knowledge and enriching is also recognized. However, textbooks still view Islam as a religion of submission, proscriptions, and forced conversion, failing to recognize the diversity within Islam and Muslim cultures.

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Daniel Y. Harris, Steven B. Katz and Lori Levy

Asherah (for Jehon Grist)

The Languages of Leaves

Smoke and Words

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“Smile Now, Cry Later”

Chicana and Mexicana Homegirls Trespassing/Reinforcing Linguistic, Gendered, and Political Borders

Lena Carla Palacios

Review of Norma Mendoza-Denton’s Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice among Latina Youth Gangs

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Tracy K. Harris

This paper examines the current state of Ladino as a spoken everyday language of communication. Research has shown that there are very few competent speakers of the language under the age of sixty throughout the world. Negative language attitudes as well as assimilation into the dominant cultures and choice of the dominant language(s) are contributing factors to this decline. However, this decline in linguistic skills does not reflect the promotional efforts on behalf of Ladino and Sephardic culture which are discussed at length in the paper. The end result is that language loss does not mean the decline of Sephardic ethnicity and culture, which are presently thriving.