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Asserting the Capacity to be Free

Disciplinary Violence at the Intersection of Race and Gender in Shifting Contexts

Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides

In this article, I explore how the social contract of schooling and the three functions of schooling (Noguera 2003)—to sort, to socialize, and to control— impact and constrain the freedom and agency of a group of young Black and Latinx men in one suburban school district that was experiencing sociodemographic shifts in the Northeastern United States. I use qualitative data to frame how the young men experience schooling, and I show how the local community context facilitates the institutionalization of discriminatory sorting processes and racially prejudiced norms. I also show how the young men are excessively controlled and monitored via zero tolerance disciplinary practices, which effectively constrains their humanity and capacity to freely exist in their school and which inadvertently strengthens the connective tissue between schools and prisons.

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Needs, States, and Markets

Democratic Sovereignty Against Imperialism

Lawrence Hamilton

One of the more intractable questions in the history of political thought is still around today: how can humans collectively control and enhance the development and satisfaction of their needs? This is a question about the nature of contemporary needs, about which and whose needs are developed and satisfied, and about the extant evaluative control over the generation of needs. That is, it is a question about the mechanisms and institutions that constitute and legitimize the generation, interpretation and satisfaction of needs, in particular, states and markets. And it is also a question about the possibilities and means of transforming these mechanisms and institutions. In this paper, I suggest conceptual means of thinking about the different parts of the question and their relation to democratic sovereignty. The suggestions are based on an account of human need that overcomes the current framework of rights and (utilitarian) preferences tempered by paternalist attention to state-defined human needs.

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A Nexus of Sensationalism and Politics

Doar Ha-Yom and the 1929 Western Wall Crisis

Ouzi Elyada

This article looks at how a group of radical Revisionist journalists who assumed effective control of the newspaper Doar Ha-Yom in July 1929 attempted to fuse politics and sensationalism against the background of the Western Wall affair that, in late August of that year, evolved into the violent incidents collectively known as the 1929 riots (or massacres). Examination of the paper during the month preceding the riots shows clearly that its editors made a systematic attempt to inflame the Jewish population of Mandate Palestine. These sensationalist editing techniques, reminiscent of the pamphleteer style, were employed not only to sell more copies of the paper, as had been the case before the Revisionists took control, but also to advance Revisionist political goals. The article examines the model that the Revisionists used to shape their incendiary strategy, the provocative process itself, and the question of the editors’ responsibility for the 1929 riots.

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'Being in Between'

Art-Science Collaborations and a Technological Culture

James Leach

Recent experimental collaborations in the United Kingdom have brought artists and scientists together in order to explore new possibilities for research. There is a particular sense of timeliness felt by organizers and participants of these projects that, in part, mirrors concerns about the trajectory and implications of scientific research more generally in society. Faith in the transformative power of technology is combined with explicit concerns over how much control humanity is able to exert over the dynamic of technological development. Highlighting an analogy with Papua New Guinean ritual, I suggest that the scheme discussed here is one of a number of ways in which people attempt to take control over powerful forces beyond their everyday experience—in this case, the apparently 'runaway' character of technological development and the implications that this development has for social change. The article is framed by a discussion of the role of social-scientific evaluation in the scheme.

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Nonrecording the “European refugee crisis” in Greece

Navigating through irregular bureaucracy

Katerina Rozakou

This article explores nonrecording on the borders of Europe during the “European refugee crisis” in 2015. It examines the ambiguous practices of border control and the diverse actors involved. Taking the island of Lesvos as its starting point, the article interrogates how state functionaries manage an “irregular” bureaucracy. Irregular bureaucracy is approached as an essential element of state-craft , rather than an indication of state failure. Nonrecording is thus a crucial site of contestation between the state, nonstate agents, and the government, as well as between Greece and “Europe.” Nevertheless, despite the prevalence of irregularity, the imagery associated with ideal bureaucracy—a system of absolute knowledge, control, and governance of populations—is powerful; and yet, the actors are fully aware that it is a fantasy.

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P. Steven Sangren

For many Western observers, Chinese religion and cosmology appear rife with contradictions, among them the recurrent motif in litera- ture and myth of preordination or fate, on the one hand, and a relentless attempt, through ritual means, to discern, control, or change fate, on the other. This article argues that the obsession with fate and luck is best comprehended with reference to desire understood as a human universal. Underlying one's hope to control the future lies a psychologically more fundamental wish to claim ownership of one's being. I argue that fate and luck are operators in a symbolic economy that implicitly posits what Freud terms the 'omnipotence of thoughts'. Moreover, if the underlying principle of Chinese notions of fate and luck can be termed an 'economy of desire', it is a principle that also coordinates and encompasses Chinese patriliny, family dynamics, and wider collective institutions.

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Steffen Dalsgaard

In sociological literature, the most commonly accepted meaning of 'the state' is based on a spatial definition that describes it as an entity exercising sovereignty within a bounded territory. However, the state is also made present in time, and state forms have a profound impact on the temporalities of social events and interaction, for instance, through rhythms and schedules. Consequently, this article discusses how the state in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, can be understood with reference to temporality as much as to spatiality and materiality. Here, the state is seen as being personified in its politicians, who are in control of its resources. In this understanding, the state is both facilitated and limited by the presence, attention, and duration of the politicians, who are obliged to recognize personal relationships through which kin or acquaintances can challenge bureaucratic control of space and of time.

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High-tech Romania?

Commoditisation and Informal Relations in the Managerialist Informatisation of the Romanian Health-Care System

Sabina Stan and Valentin-Veron Toma

While informatisation has officially been hailed as a major component of the modernisation of the Romanian health-care system, this paper, based on ethnographic research in Romanian hospitals, shows that it has been mostly geared towards managerialist goals of administrative control and cost containment. Paradoxically, informal relations, which were supposed to be suppressed as a result of both informatisation and managerialist marketisation, continue to thrive in the Romanian health-care system.

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Bodies of Evidence

Feminist Performance Art

Erin Striff

When a woman appears on stage, her body too often speaks for itself. It becomes the object of the gaze, an object of desire. Feminist performance artists attempt to disrupt the cultural associations with the female body. They extend their bodily capabilities through cybernetic technology; they practice body modification; and they enact the abjection of the female body. This article will explore whether or not it is possible for these artists to control the way their bodies are perceived on stage.

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Fixing Men: Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico, Contemporary South Africa, by Matthew Gutmann Marc Epprecht

The Political Philosophy of Needs, by Lawrence Hamilton David James

Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power, by Derek Hook Grahame Hayes

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory, 2nd edition, by Bhikhu Parekh Joleen Steyn-Kotze

The Plot to Kill God: Findings from the Soviet Experiment in Secularization, by Paul Froese Gerald West