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Jeanette Edwards

Local family historians in the north of England are not only intent on "finding" their ancestors but in adding "flesh" to the bones of genealogy. Many are as interested in the social life of their ancestors as they are in their family tree or pedigree and, through their research, they excavate particular social and classed histories which combine discourses of land, labor, love, and loss. As well as deepening a sense of the workings of class in England, their research renders class identity more contingent than other contemporary public and media-driven versions. This article argues that family history and genealogical research destabilizes readings of English class identities as fixed, bounded and inescapable by revealing the vagaries of fate and chance and by making explicit other relevant and overlapping social distinctions in the provenance of one's ancestors.

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Introduction

Envisioning Ethnography—Exploring the Meanings of the Visual in Research

Gerry Bloustien

Visual images are ubiquitous which, inevitably, is part of their appeal and their difficulty. As is the case with all sensory experience, the process of sight becomes naturalized for us, and it is easy to forget that how we interpret what we see is historically and culturally specific (Banks 2001). Similarly, the representations of what we see are influenced by our historical and cultural perspectives. In the forms of photographs, video, film, and new electronic media, these representations increasingly and apparently, often unproblematically, play a central role in the work of researchers, not just from anthropology, but also from a range of disciplines. As part of a broader ethnographic methodology, photography, film, and video have now been embraced by anthropology, sociologists, cultural studies, media studies, geographers, and other social scientists. The visual images are present in the form of cultural texts or they represent aspects of ethnographic knowledge and methodological tools. They can exist as the basis for the sites of social interaction amongst the informants or between the researcher and the researched. They can take the form of pre-existing images, such as television programs or contemporary or archival photographs and films (Banks 2001). It is hardly surprising, then, that visual images have become so important to the ethnographic endeavor. Yet, as Mac- Dougall laments above, relatively little has been written about how best to analyze and interpret the visual images, not only in anthropology, but indeed, in all of the social sciences.

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Statehood and Intercultural Dialogue

Study of Slovenian Transition

Peter Simoničm

Contemporary political rituals have been a neglected topic in Slovenian ethnology and anthropology. This article presents celebrations of Slovenian statehood in the period of transition - from 1991 to the present - which were being organised in the Republic Square (Trg Republike) and cultural centre Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, and have been outlining the components of Slovenian political mythology and offering solutions for the new national future. The analysis is focused on the holders of political, cultural and media systems. It attempts to disclose the significance and use of the concept of intercultural dialogue in contemporary Slovenian society by exploring the relationship between ritual and its social background.

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Marco Giuliani and Erik Jones

The year 2009 was a period of uncertainty, during which the Italian

political world appeared to be floundering and in need of a compass.

As evidenced by the chronological overview, many events continued

to beleaguer the political and social life in Italy. Some, such as the

result of the European elections and the escalation of the economic

crisis and its repercussions, were foreseen or, in any case, predictable.

Others, including the numerous scandals and irregularities that

tarnished the political year, continuously feeding the mass media with

distractions and nurturing the public debate with less then edifying

themes, were less expected.

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Anthropology

Its Importance and Implications for Policy and Practice in Pakistan

M. Sajjad Abro

A seminar on ‘Anthropology: Its Importance and Implications for Policy and Practice’ was collaboratively organised by the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, in the University of Sindh in Pakistan, and Anthropology in Action (Figure 1). The event was also supported by the civil society organisations Al-Mehran Rural Development Organization (AMRDO) and Dev-Con. The objective of the event was to create awareness among the public and the media regarding the importance and scope of anthropology and how anthropologists can better design social policies and interventions that have limited negative unintended consequences. The speakers were academic and practicing anthropologists who delivered lectures based on their personal extensive encounters with development in Pakistan.

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Deborah Howell-Ardila

Berlin 1948 and the longest airlift in history simultaneously ushered

in the Cold War, with a divided Berlin its best-known symbol, and

transformed West Berliners in the eyes of the Allied world from

Nazis to victims of Soviet aggression. By 1950, with Germany officially

divided, political elites of the East (GDR) and West (FRG)

took up the task of convincing their citizens and each other of the

legitimacy of their own governments. In spite of the primacy of

Cold War rhetoric in the media of the day, however, the most

pressing challenge of postwar society for both sides lay in redefining—

in perception, if not in fact—political and social institutions in

opposition to the Nazi past.

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Online Documents of India’s Past

Digital Archives and Memory Production

Katja Müller

How can the online distribution of heritage facilitate successful forms of collective online memory production? Two online archives from India are taken as case studies to analyze practices that make online archives effective as devices for recalling and constructing the Indian past. It is not only contextual conditions of the Internet age, but also particular applied practices of presenting, communicating, and using social media that enable it. Yet, the analysis of the two recently created online archives, which are partially driven by the idea of widening access, show that they do not so much set up counterpositions to established conceptions of archives as regulating entities, but rather aim at becoming acknowledged heritage agents.

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Abjection and the Cinematic Cholo

The Chicano Gang Stereotype in Sociohistoric Context

Richard Mora

In this brief research note, the author uses a sociohistoric lens to examine selected films that have employed the cholo, or Chicano gang member, stereotype. He finds that the cholo is a prevalent archetype of Mexican and Mexican American youth. The author argues that the depiction of the cholo as a hypermasculine, abject personage threatening the social order converges with how actual Latino youth are constructed in sociopolitical and media discourses—as both marginalized young men and migrants unworthy of membership in U.S. society.

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Transitions Within Queer North African Cinema

Nouri Bouzid, Abdellah Taïa, and the Transnational Tourist

Walter S. Temple

In recent years, North African queer cinema has become increasingly visible both within and beyond Arabo-Orientale spaces. A number of critical factors have contributed to a global awareness of queer identities in contemporary Maghrebi cinema, including the dissemination of films through social media outlets and during international film festivals. Such tout contemporain representations of queer sexuality characterize a robust wave of films in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, inciting a new discourse on the condition of the marginalized traveler struggling to locate new forms of self and being—both at home and abroad.

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Technological Nonviolence and Girls

Creating a Counter Discourse

Claudia Mitchell

The idea of devoting a special issue of Girlhood Studies to what Jonathan Bock (2012) calls technologies of nonviolence comes at a critical time in girlhood studies. On the one hand, technology—especially digital technology— and various social media platforms are firmly entrenched in the everyday lives of many young people around the world. On the other, questions regarding who has access to technology and how technology is used and abused continue to dominate the fields of girlhood studies in particular and of youth studies more broadly.