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Finding a Place to Sit

How Qatari Women Combine Cultural and Kinship Capital in the Home Majlis

Rehenuma Asmi

As Qatari women attend and graduate from institutions of higher education and many enter the work force, their mobility and visibility increasingly juxtaposes their roles in the family and tribe with their new roles as partners in the creation of a nation. I utilise ethnographic data from fieldwork in two Qatari home majâles (sitting rooms) to understand how Qatari women negotiate their new roles in society. Qatari women have increasing forms of cultural capital in one arena but also have recourse to kinship capital, where gender segregation and family name protect women’s social status. I argue that Qatari women combine the different forms of capital available to them in order to ‘find a place to sit’ in the new Qatari nation.

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Sarah Besky and Jonathan Padwe

In this article, we use plants to think about territory, a concept that is at once a bulwark of social theory and an under-theorized category of social analysis. Scholarship on plants brings together three overlapping approaches to territory: biological and behaviorist theories; representational and cartographic perspectives; and more-than-human analysis. We argue that these three approaches are not mutually exclusive. Rather, different epistemologies of territory overlap and are imbricated within each other. We further argue that these three approaches to territory inform three distinct domains of territoriality: legibility and surveillance; ordering and classification; and exclusion and inclusion. Through examples of how plants operate in these three domains, we illustrate the analytical potential that a more-than-human approach to territory provides. We conclude, however, that attention to the particularities of plant ecologies can help move multispecies discussions more firmly into the realm of the political economic.

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Rodrigo Booth

In 1984 the successful Chilean punk rock band Los Prisioneros identified Latin America as “an exotic place to visit”. Written in a strongly anti-imperialist key, the song “Latinoamerica es un pueblo al sur de Estados Unidos” (“Latin America is a village to the south of the United States”) said about tourism in the continent: For tourists and curious people, / it is an exotic place to visit. / It is only a cheap

place, / but inappropriate to live there. / Latin America offers, / the Rio’s Carnival and the Aztec Ruins, / dirty people wandering around in the streets, / ready to sell themselves for some US dollars.

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Beyond Blank Spaces

Five Tracks to Late Nineteenth-Century Beltana

Samia Khatun

From the 1860s, the colonial settlement of Beltana in the northern deserts of South Australia emerged as a transportation hub atop an existing, cosmopolitan center of Aboriginal trade. Viewing a colonial settlement on Kuyani land through a mobilities paradigm, this article examines intersecting settler and Aboriginal trajectories of movement through Beltana, illuminating their complex entanglements. Challenging the imperial myth of emptiness that shaped how Europeans saw the lands they invaded, this article renders visible the multiple imaginative geographies that existed at every colonial settlement. Examining mobility along Kuyani and Wangkangurru tracks alongside British mobilities, this article makes a methodological argument for writing multiaxial histories of settler colonialism.

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‘Isteach chun an Oileáin’

Reflections on Community Mapping

Liam Campbell and Iain Mackinnon

Since 2007 the Irish government have prevented the fisher-men of the Donegal islands of Arranmore, Tory and Inishbofin from engaging in their generations-old drift-net salmon fishery. We have been involved in supporting the islanders as they organise themselves to find ways to oppose the ban. In this dialogue we reflect on some aspects of our involvement.

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Catherine Vanner

In this article, I join a conversation about the definition and value of the term transnational girlhood. After surveying the fields of transnationalism, transnational feminism, and girlhood studies, I reflect on the representation of girls who act or are discussed as transnational figures. I critique the use of the term, analyze movements that connect girls across borders, and close by identifying four features of transnational girlhood: cross-border connections based on girls’ localized lived experiences; intersectional analysis that prioritizes the voices of girls from the Global South who, traditionally, have had fewer opportunities to speak than their Global North counterparts; recognition of girls’ agency and the structural constraints, including global structures such as colonialism, international development, and transnational capitalism, in which they operate; and a global agenda for change.

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Adam Drazin and Simon Roberts

Ethnographic work conducted by the Digital Health Group, Intel Ireland, explores the questions of how concepts of health and independence relate to peoples' lives in later life. This paper serves to present artistic approaches to the design of the material culture in elderly homes in Ireland, and aims to highlight and discuss the merits and problems of such approaches. Through writing 'in miniature' about specific experiences and homes, we propose that it is possible to develop explorations of material objects in the home which, rather than presenting material contexts as terminal 'conclusions' to the research process, use them as provoking and questioning resources for engaged dialogical encounters with informants.

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Natalie Mera Ford

Interdisciplinary scholars, stressing the lack of firm disciplinary boundaries for British science in much of the nineteenth century, have pointed to evidence of mutual influence between the discourses of 'mental science', or psychology, and imaginative literature. This article treats Chapters on Mental Physiology (1852) by the English physician Henry Holland as a case study of heightened concern over the competing cultural authority implied by such mutual influence, and specifically over the inclusion of references to dramatic and lyrical works in early Victorian mental theory. It examines the medical author's self-conscious attempts to separate the developing profession of psychology from a tradition in philosophical discourse of enlisting imaginative writing for illustration and support. It further explores the way Holland strives to marginalise his text's occasional, paradoxical slips back into citing poetry by relegating this material to subordinate paratexts. How to safely deploy literature in service of science thus emerges as a key epistemological and rhetorical issue that Henry Holland, representing the consolidating field of British psychology at large, grapples with in his mid-century study of the mind.

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Christian Diehm

Forrest Clingerman, Brian Treanor, Martin Drenthen, and David Utsler, eds. 2014. Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics. New York: Fordham University Press.

A. James Wohlpart. 2013. Walking in the Land of Many Gods: Remembering Sacred Reason in Contemporary Environmental Literature. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

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Preface

Extended-Case Studies—Place, Time, Reflection

T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

Extended-case studies originated and flourished in multiple sites in Central Africa as British colonialism waned. The extended-case study method was created and shaped in response to complex social situations that emerged from and through ongoing and at times profound changes in the ways in which social and moral orders were put together. The extended case and situational analysis have from their very beginnings been cognate with complexity in social ordering, with the non-linearity of open-ended social fields, and with recursivity among levels of social ordering. Manchester methods originated as a result of profound shifts in the practice of anthropology and contributed to turning these changes into the practicing of ethnographic praxis. Yet over time, the explicit valuing and evaluating of Manchester perspectives disappeared from view. Witness the inane, reductionist comment by George Marcus (1995: 110) (a member of the American lit-crit hit mob of the 1980s), limiting “the extended-case method” (with no mention of Manchester) to “small-scale societies,” where it has been “an established technique … in the anthropology of law” (with no mention of Gluckman).