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Damon Boria

This article attempts a full appreciation of interdependence in Sartre's thinking about practical freedom. The result is an account that opens Sartre's thinking on practical freedom to more than just the empowerment of individuals and groups. Ultimately, this means privileging, perhaps paradoxically, a vision of practical freedom that is greater by being more limited. The trajectory for this attempt is Sartre's 1971 diagnosis of America as “full of myths,” which provokes a critical examination of a vision of freedom in independence. The attempt is then fleshed out through encounters with notions that linger at the fringes of Sartre's thought, namely, happiness, progress, equality and the possibility of everything.

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Spirit of the Future

Movement, Kinetic Distribution, and Personhood among Siberian Eveny

Olga Ulturgasheva

This article discusses the concept of djuluchen (a spirit that travels ahead) among Siberian Eveny, which can illuminate the human potential to foreshadow one’s own future. Looking closely at case studies of Eveny adolescents reveals that the act of planning, narrating, or envisioning a future event, heavily charged and empowered by djuluchen, moves the event to its fulfillment. Drawing from the Deleuzian notion of ‘becoming’, the article shows the connection between prediction and fulfillment involved in the Eveny conceptualization of personhood and destiny. The discussion of ‘kinetic distribution’ and illocutionary acts uncovers the principle of detachability and the partibility of personhood in nomadic ontology.

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Jonathan Magonet

As congregational rabbis, or in any other role, those gathered here have taught, guided, supported and accompanied people through all the stages of their lives; shared their times of joy, and been quietly or actively present, often for long periods, in times of sadness or tragedy. This is self-evident, and each individual rabbi, has an endless series of stories to tell. But the collective effect is quite overwhelming. So what is needed to enable us to continue this task, this vocation, to empower those who come after us?

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Hirut Tefferi and Katy Anis

This report aims to identify the individual and external factors that have engendered the development of resilience among Ethiopian secondary school girls. Pact Ethiopia initiated this study on resilience as a component of the GET-SET project in order to better understand how girls overcome and pursue their education despite multifarious adversities in their personal lives and in the wider environment. The GET SET project is funded by the Oak Foundation, a donor which funds activities to combat global social and environmental concern that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged, particularly in relation to child abuse, human rights and women’s development. The GET SET project works to empower girls whose life circumstances put them at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse in their communities and school environment. GET SET builds on a sister project of Pact Ethiopia, Girls’ Empowerment and Management Project (GEM), which provided significant academic strengthening, economic strengthening and life skills training inputs into girls’ lives over a two-year period. GET SET operates around the vicinity of fifteen secondary schools in three regions of Ethiopia: Amhara, Gambella and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).

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Re-siting corporate responsibility

The making of South Africa's Avon entrepreneurs

Catherine Dolan and Mary Johnstone-Louis

The bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) approach is championed as a way to deliver both corporate profits and poverty reduction. This article explores how “the poor” are repurposed as the instruments of ethical capitalism through the archetypal BOP model—Avon Cosmetics. A harbinger of “compassionate capitalism,” Avon has long stylized its entrepreneurial opportunity as a channel to a transcendent realm of self-actualization and social transformation. The company pursues this vision through a set of discourses and calculative practices that aim to produce industrious, self-disciplined, and empowered “entrepreneurs.” However, while BOP systems like Avon may provide a viable income stream for “poor” women, the practices through which women are “converted” into enterprising subjects can confound their intended “empowerment” effects. The article suggests that while targeting the “bottom of the pyramid” may elide the distinction between the maximization of profit and the imperatives of sustainable development, devolving corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the “entrepreneurial poor” raises questions about the implications of “making poverty business.”

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From Ebony to Ivory

‘Cosmetic’ Investments in the Body

Chiara Pussetti

This article discusses the impact of skin colour inequality in the individual aspirations and prospects of social inclusion and success, social mobility aspirations, professional ambitions and career opportunities. Ethnographically, it studies specific forms of cosmetic investments and self-optimisation in Portugal and its effects on the micropolitics of bodies, correlating the agency of individuals (how they empower themselves maximising certain aspects and minimising others) with the ways in which a European white appearance circulates as a form of capital and commodity, creating body narratives that are very much racialised. By inquiring the actual European understanding of value in bodies, we can also understand the colonial legacy and how it is reproduced through the mutation of bodies.

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Women’s Uprising in Poland

Embodied Claims between the Nation and Europe

Jennifer Ramme

In 2016 a legislative proposal introducing an abortion ban resulted in female mass mobilisations. The protests went along with frequent claims of Polish as well as European belonging. Next to this, creative appropriations of patriotic symbols related to national movements, fights and uprisings for independence and their transformation into a sign of female bodily sovereignty could be observed all over the country. The appearance of bodies needs to be looked at in relation to the concrete political context and conditions in which bodies materialise (Butler 2015). Bodies are in this sense always relational, but they also depend. The article argues that the constitution of ‘European bodies’ can serve to empower people exposed to and oppressed by nationalist biopolitics. In such cases a ‘European body’ might be constituted in distinction to the nation/nationalism and its claim of ownership on female bodies (the ‘national body’) and by performing multiple belongings extending national belonging.

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Fair Exchange

Utilisation of Working Animals (and Women) in Ancient Mesopotamia and Modern Africa

Jill Goulder

Modern sub-Saharan African studies on the recent adoption and impact of working-animal use provide valuable ethnographic insights for archaeologists into early exploitation of this new resource in antiquity. The systematic use of working cattle and (often forgotten in models) of donkeys constituted a key factor in the burgeoning of complex societies in fourth- and third-millennium BC Mesopotamia. Modern analogy indicates that models should include the economic importance of year-round utilisation of working animals and strategies for achieving this, including user training and animal hiring and lending. Another key finding is that the situation of women, commonly culturally constrained worldwide from handling cattle, is greatly ameliorated by the availability of donkeys, which can empower them in terms of income and status.

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Terms of Silence

Weaknesses in Corporate and Law Enforcement Responses to Cyberviolence against Girls

Suzanne Dunn, Julie S. Lalonde and Jane Bailey

Girls do not need merely to be empowered with technological know-how in order to engage fully online. While girls use digital and social media for self-expression, activism, and identity experimentation, their engagement is too often interfered with by online gender policing and by being attacked for daring to challenge conventional stereotypes. Reshaping the online environment in ways that address this discrimination meaningfully requires a multifaceted approach that includes transparent, responsive, and accessible redress through both social media platforms and, where necessary, law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, these institutions all too often fail to respond adequately when girls report acts of cyberviolence committed against them. This article illustrates this failure by drawing on lessons learned from coauthor Julie S. Lalonde’s experiences in advocating online for gender equality. It also raises the troubling concern of law enforcement deference to corporate terms of service rather than to Canadian law.

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Tehmina Pirzada

In this article I focus on the graphic narratives Gogi (1970–the present) by Nigar Nazar and Haroon Rashid’s Burka Avenger (2013–the present) in particular to examine the empowering portrayal of Muslim girlhood that these works offer in addition to advocating for the rights of Muslim girls. I emphasize that graphic narratives have become a powerful medium that represents the resistance of Muslim girlhood both in the context of local patriarchies and as a tool to challenge the stereotypical representation of Muslim identities globally. By focusing on the depiction of the girl protagonists in these graphic narratives, I analyze how these artists rework the western superhero trope to foreground the girls’ everyday heroism. Moreover, by situating the interaction of the girls with Pakistani cityscapes, I argue, in terms of De Certeau’s concept of tactics, that the protagonists navigate the Pakistani cities as familiar places rather than as othered spaces.