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“Save the Men!”

Demographic Decline and the Public Response in the Late Soviet Period

Tricia Starks

care propaganda of all types and in an environment of increasing material comfort for Soviet citizens (see figure 1 ). Yet even as a new era of plenty emerged for Soviet citizens, disquiet over Soviet performance as an economic, military, and

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Where going back is a step forward

The re-traditionalising of sport games in post-Soviet Buriatiia

Stefan Krist

After a brief description of how Soviet policy influenced and changed the centuries-old traditional Buriat sports holiday called Surkharban, this paper discusses the changes that this festivity has been undergoing since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under Soviet rule, this annual holiday, earlier linked to religious rituals, became secularised. Party and State propaganda infiltrated the event in a variety of ways and international rules were adopted for the games. The last 15 years have seen a reversal of this process, leading to a stormy re-traditionalisation of the holiday in general and of the games in particular. However, this did not occur in a uniform manner and is still far from being completed. On the contrary, the author has been observing a wide spectrum of local variants and new changes every year. He analyses the ways in which Buriat sports games are performed and how these public events mirror the manifold socioeconomic and political developments in post-Soviet Buriatiia.

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Kuru, AIDS, and Witchcraft

Reconfiguring Culpability in Melanesia and Africa

Isak Niehaus

This article examines the significance of witchcraft accusations during the South African AIDS epidemic. In search of broader intercontextual understanding, I compare experiences of AIDS in Bushbuck ridge, where I have done fieldwork, with anthropological studies of kuru, a transmissible degenerative disease, in Papua New Guinea. Whereas scientists blamed the spread of kuru on the practice of cannibalism, those who were affected attributed it to sorcery. These dynamics resonate with the encounters between health workers and host populations during the AIDS epidemic in Bushbuckridge. Health propaganda attributed the rapid transmission of HIV to sexual promiscuity. In response, sufferers and their kin invoked witchcraft, shifting blame onto outsiders and reinforcing the relations that medical labeling threatened to disrupt. The comparison enables us to see witchcraft accusations as a means of reconfiguring culpability, cutting certain networks, and strengthening other existing configurations.

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Contested Representations

Exploring China’s State Report

Halme-Tuomisaari and Miia

As states become parties to international human rights treaties, they undertake the obligation to provide periodic state reports to UN human rights treaty bodies. Officially, state reports are paramount vehicles of factual information of a given state’s human rights situation. Unofficially their status may be contested and their data reduced to state propaganda. This article examines this transformation through the submission of China’s first state report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The article shows how human rights documents of diverse genres join together in a continual ceremony of dialogue. It connects minute details of treaty body proceedings to more general developments in the international human rights field, and argues that beneath the veneer of diplomatic conduct accompanying human rights dialogue lays an intense struggle for representation and legitimacy. It further discusses how this struggle reflects the recent rise of Kantian theories of international law. These theories seek to re-evaluate the foundational concept of international law, namely ‘sovereign equality’, and, thus continue the mission civilisatrice that has characterized elements of international collaboration for centuries.

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Emptiness and its futures

Staying and leaving as tactics of life in Latvia

Dace Dzenovska

positive news was reinforced by arguments that Russian propaganda perpetuates negative stories about Latvia, and that therefore the task of Latvian journalism is to counter them (see Spriņģe 2017 ). As a result, there began to appear stories about people

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Not Soft Power, But Speaking Softly

‘Everyday Diplomacy’ in Field Relations during the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Jeremy Morris

campaign of counter-propaganda about the West. This was impossible to avoid, as it took place on a multi-platform basis (mainstream state-controlled TV and small armies of paid government bloggers on social media). As a society characterized by increasing

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“China gives and China takes”

African traders and the nondocumenting states

Shanshan Lan

between China and Africa at the nonstate and grassroots levels ( Strauss 2009 ). In its efforts to promote a benevolent image of China in Africa, the Chinese state propaganda runs the risk of perpetuating the asymmetrical nature of Sino-African economic

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Siberian Newspapers of the Russian Empire and USSR Periods

Issues of Conservation, Digitization, and Scientific Use

Viacheslav Shevtsov

truth) in Barnaul, Vostochno-Sibirskaia pravda (Eastern Siberian truth) in Irkutsk and others. Their main task was to distribute political propaganda and ideologically influence citizens during the “building of socialism” in the USSR. Newspapers and

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Vilhjalmur Stefansson

The Northward Course of Empire, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, 1922–1925, and “Universal Revolution”

Paul Dukes

language. Their words are misrepresented, and have reactions, evil instead of good. They are suspected of selfish and sly propaganda. Yet, all the time, the supposed propaganda was launched in perfect good faith, and without a thought of taking advantage

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Imitations of Buddhist Statecraft

The Patronage of Lao Buddhism and the Reconstruction of Relic Shrines and Temples in Colonial French Indochina

Patrice Ladwig

against Soviet propaganda and the threats posed by the Communists. 42 This is probably a very good example of Ann Stoler’s notion of ’fashioning techniques of affective control’. Rational colonial governmentality can indeed be based in the emotional