This article builds on theories of space to suggest that the spatialised public-private dichotomy may be redundant and that civic space has become a more useful language of the success, or otherwise, of publicly accessible spaces. Taking my impetus from the seemingly hyper-privatised space of the shopping mall I argue that private space can be civic space if it encourages, using theorist Iris Marion Young's terminology, 'social justice', and the mixing of diverse peoples and uses. Alongside the shopping mall, I examine the much-hyped Disney town of Celebration in Florida to illustrate how distinctions between public and private space have become increasingly blurred, before concluding with a discussion of recent efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to produce effective design approaches in creating civic space. The approach in this article is more pragmatic than theoretical given the minimal theorising about 'civic space' to date. Although I provide a brief overview of the established literature, most still relies on the 1960s writings of French geographer, Henri Lefebvre, who called for space that 'signifies the right of citizens and city dwellers, and of groups they (on the basis of social relations) constitute, to appear on all networks and circuits of communication, information and exchange.'
Negotiating Civic Spaces in Post-urban America
Historical Obstacles, Current Situation, Future Challenges
Dan Podjed, Meta Gorup and Alenka Bezjak Mlakar
The article presents the state of applied anthropology in Europe, in particular focusing on the application of anthropological knowledge and skills within the private sector. Firstly, the text depicts the historical context, which has had a strong and often negative impact on the developments in contemporary applied anthropology and specifically on applying anthropology in for-profit endeavours. It then provides an overview of this type of applied anthropology in Europe by identifying its main institutions and individuals. Building on this analysis, the article elaborates on extant challenges for its future development, and outlines the most promising solutions. The authors conclude that it is of crucial importance for European anthropology to make the transition ‘from words to actions’, especially in the areas not traditionally addressed by anthropologists, such as business and design anthropology or consultancy work in the private sector. While the discipline has a longer applied history in areas such as development, human rights and multiculturalism, few anthropologists have played significant roles in the efforts usually associated with the private sector. It is argued that anthropology should – also outside the non-profit and non-governmental sectors – shift from being a descriptive, hermeneutical and interpretative branch of social sciences describing and explaining the past or commenting on the present, to an applied discipline intervening in shaping the future.
Complex intersections of the public and the private in the South Bohemian countryside
This article discusses notions of "public" and "private" in the postsocialist Czech Republic through a comparative examination of food practices in families and in the canteen of an agricultural cooperative in South Bohemia. Different meanings of public and private will be outlined, making up a complex set of referential contexts for the interaction between canteen personnel and customers. Analysis of daily life in the canteen revealed that the personnel tended to personalize customer relations. It is argued that this inclination cannot be explained first and foremost as the influence of market-oriented postsocialist public debates on public-private relations. The canteen is a key provider of services to the community but is not run according to market principles or driven by the logic of profit. Its friendly atmosphere is predicated on the moral practice and personal skills of its employees and is embedded in local cultures of food sharing. By exploring daily practice and interaction in the canteen, the article critically examines implications for the feminist concept of emotional labor that have emerged in studies on capitalist, profit-driven enterprises.
The Construction of Flow in and through Radio Traffic Reports
With the rise of privatized automobility and the increase of traffic jams, new sociotechnical systems have emerged that aim at traffic control. Radio traffic information has been a key element in these systems. Through a qualitative analysis of historical radio broadcasts of the largest Dutch news station between 1960 and 2000, this article explores the changing format and content of traffic information updates. I will show how the rather formal, detailed, and paternalistic narratives of the traffic reports in the 1960s gave way to more informal, witty, yet flow-controlling traffic information discourse in later decades. I will explain the dynamics involved by drawing on mobility and media studies and by developing two distinct notions of flow, one of which builds conceptually on Raymond Williams’s work on mobile privatization, the other is grounded in the field of traffic management. In so doing, this article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role of public radio broadcasts in our world of privatized automobility.
The Meaning of Local Landscape in the Pallastunturi Fells
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.
Gustavo Lins Ribeiro
Public higher education has been strangled in Brazil by personnel policies, fragmentation through privatisation and competition with a growing private sector. Central to the productivist turn in Brazil is the annual 'CAPES report' which ranks departments and determines their funding. The Forum of Executive Officers of Graduate Programs in Anthropology was created, years ago, to discuss problems regarding anthropology's teaching and research. Its efficacy depends on the political skills of its members to influence interlocutors. We need to understand the sociology of change around us and the power structures of the agencies structuring our field of action to be able to propose solutions.
Mary Taylor Huber
Higher education in the US stands out for its size and variety, and its complex mix of public and private finance and control. Although this situation makes it hard to 'see' and 'name' the sources of systemic change, academic life in the US is showing the same signs of neoliberal 'market penetration' as elsewhere. One way in which educators in the US are attempting to take some control is through a movement to recognise and reward different kinds of scholarly work. By illuminating this movement's contradictory tendencies, anthropologically informed ethnography can help move debate forward and suggest strategies for action.
The Piper Alpha disaster remains the most significant event in the history of the British North Sea oil industry, yet despite a large range of scholarship on the topic women's experiences of the disaster have not been heard publicly. This article uses oral history testimony to add the private experiences of women who were affected by the disaster to the public experiences of men. The focus of the analysis is on the gendered and political nature of remembrance and the impact that women had on the way that Piper Alpha was commemorated and remembered.
Michael F. Wagner
Automobilism—the culture of individual mobility based on private transportation—is promoted by leisure, consumption, the construction of infrastructure, and the provision of service by auto clubs. It promises to carry the driver away on a voyage of discovery with narratives of adventurousness and dreams of the good life on the road. It was from the outset an international movement with national repercussions and variations on a theme. Basically, however, the rise of European automobile culture accompanied the rise of consumption for leisure, which in turn evolved into a consumption regime of mediation and consumption junctions based on individual mobility and tourism.
Duncan M. Campbell, Alison Petch, Sarah-Neel Smith, Ryan Brown-Haysom and Nélia Dias
DENTON, Kirk A., Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China
LU, Tracey L.-D., Museums in China: Power, Politics, and Identities VARUTTI, Marzia, Museums in China: The Politics of Representation after Mao
HARRISON, Rodney, et al., eds., Reassembling the Collection: Ethnographic Museums and Indigenous Agency
MEJCHER-ATASSI, Sonja, and John Pedro SCHWARTZ, eds., Archives, Museums, and Collecting Practices in the Modern Arab World
PAINE, Crispin, Religious Objects in Museums: Private Lives and Public Duties
WINTLE, Claire, Colonial Collecting and Display: Encounters with Material Culture from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands