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Ellen Bal, Erella Grassiani and Kate Kirk

This article is based on our own experiences and that of several of our colleagues teaching social and cultural anthropology in different Dutch institutions for higher learning. We focus in particular on teaching and learning in two small liberal arts and science (LAS) colleges, where anthropology makes up part of the social science curriculum and/or is part of the core curriculum. The data collected from our own critical reflections developed during informal discussion and from formal interviews with colleagues, together with literature on recent changes in academia, leads us to argue that neoliberal individualism, shaped by management tactics that constantly measure individual performance and output, is making academia an increasingly insecure place in which to work and study. The consequences of this insecurity include increasing mental health problems among both students and staff, intensifying competition at the expense of collegiality and collaboration and an overall decrease in the quality of academic jobs and teaching. Although the discipline of anthropology can help us better understand our own conditions, the personalisation of problems and the focus on success obscure the anthropological lens, which looks at social and cultural structures of power and depends on critical reflexivity.

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Roger Just

Having for nearly a century lived a shadowy existence on the margins of mainstream ethnography, summoned forth only to play bit parts in some exemplary anecdote or illustrative vignette, over the last two decades the individual has emerged to take anthropological center stage. And not just the particular individual (the individual individual, so to speak)—the Nisa or the Tuhami (Crapanzano 1980; Shostak 1981)—but also the generic individual. Of course, the ethnographic foregrounding of individual individuals cannot be decoupled from a theoretical reconsideration of the generic individual, but it is the prominence granted the latter that marks a fairly decisive shift in current explanatory and interpretative paradigms (or at least rhetoric), so that nowadays it is commonplace to remind readers that the individual members of any society discussed are all “agents” actively engaged in “contesting,” “disputing,” “negotiating,” if not “creating” the social or cultural rules and norms to which they remain subject only in so far as those rules and norms may be incorporated into their own strategic pursuits.

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Abraham Mansbach

This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.

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The Mobilization of Appropriation

Comment on the Special Section on Cultural Appropriation

Carsten Schinko

“Appropriation“ is a complex term used in many different realms, and an almost ubiquitous phenomenon. Conceptually linked to questions of mobility, appropriation has both a social and physical dimension. This essay delineates the term's employment in key political and academic discourses, and interrogates its inherent logic with regard to possession, the attribution of purpose and value, and the social reciprocity of the parties involved in the act. Starting off with questions of just distribution in modern nation-states, the argument then traces appropriation in contemporary debates on copyright in a digital age, and provides a sketch of the larger political imaginary informing acts of appropriation.

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What Is Africa to Me Now?

The Politics of Unhappy Returns

Christine Levecq

Accounts of African American journeys to Africa have long functioned as ways to comment on social, psychological, and political conditions at home. This article surveys a number of such works written since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, and notes that the trend continues, albeit with different emphases. For Maya Angelou in All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986) and Saidiya Hartman in Lose Your Mother: A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route (2007), the journey leads to a renewed call for solidarity at home and in the world. Conversely, some journalists such as Howard French provide insightful and moving commentary on a continent all too easily subsumed in a discourse of despair; still others, like Keith Richburg, use Africa as a platform for a radically conservative approach to the politics of the global community.

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The End Begins in Me

New Forms of Political Action in Israeli Channeling

Adam Klin-Oron

In this article I examine eschatological beliefs and practices among channels in Israel and abroad, and show that they demonstrate an avoidance of traditional, group-oriented political action, and an embrace of alternative, spiritual action performed individually. This is linked to Israel's shift to a neo-liberal economy and culture in the last few decades, where self-accountability has become the norm. Channeling teaches an extreme version of self-divinity, claiming that a person creates all aspects of his or her life and objecting to outside authority and regulation. It believes in a coming of a New Age of light and that the means to achieve it are personal quests for individual empowerment, which are anticipated to affect the whole world via the “virtual aggregate group,” an energetic reservoir that replaces the traditional group. Channels are engaged in alternative political action, attempting to change the world by virtually pooling spiritual resources.

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Kenneth Shockley

English abstract: The likelihood that the poor will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change makes it necessary that any just scheme for addressing the costs and burdens of climate change integrate those disproportionate effects. The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDRs) framework attempts to do just this. The GDRs framework is a burden-sharing approach to climate change that assigns national obligations on the basis of historical emissions and current capacity to provide assistance. It does so by including only those emissions that correspond to income exceeding a development threshold. According to the GDRs framework, this development threshold considers the right to develop to be held by individuals rather than the nations in which those individuals find themselves. The article provides a critique of this framework, focusing on three concerns: First, in generating national obligations the GDRs framework collapses significantly different moral considerations into a single index, presenting both theoretical and practical problems. Second, the framework relies on a contentious and underdeveloped conception of the right to develop. Third, the framework's exclusive focus on individual concerns systematically overlooks irreducibly social concerns. The article concludes by pointing to an alternative approach to balancing development against the burdens of climate change.

Spanish abstract: La alta probabilidad de que los pobres sufran de manera desproporcionada los efectos del cambio climático requiere que cualquier sistema que se supone de hacer frente a los costos y las responsabilidades del cambio climático incorpore precisamente estos efectos desproporcionados. Esto es precisamente lo que el modelo de Derechos al Desarrollo con Emisiones Responsables de Gases de Efecto Invernadero (GDR por sus siglas en inglés) está tratando de hacer. El modelo promueve un enfoque para compartir la carga relacionada con los efectos del cambio climático asignando obligaciones nacionales sobre la base de las emisiones históricas y la capacidad actual de prestar asistencia. Lo hace mediante la inclusión de sólo aquellas emisiones que corresponden a un ingreso superior a un 'umbral de desarrollo' definido. De acuerdo con el modelo GDR, este umbral implica el derecho al desarrollo que tienen las personas individuales, no los países en que viven. En este artículo presento una evaluación crítica del modelo propuesto con base en tres puntos principales. Primero, cuando el GDR genera obligaciones nacionales, colapsa significativamente diferentes consideraciones morales en un solo índice, presentando problemas teóricos y metodológicos. Segundo, el modelo se basa en una polémica y poco desarrollada concepción del derecho al desarrollo. Tercero, el enfoque exclusivo en las cuestiones individuales ignora sistemáticamente las irreductibles preocupaciones sociales. Concluyo esbozando un enfoque alternativo para equilibrar el desarrollo contra de las cargas del cambio climático.

French abstract: La très forte probabilité que les pauvres souffrent de façon disproportionnée des effets du changement climatique exige qu'un système qui aborde les coûts et les responsabilités du changement climatique intègre justement ces effets disproportionnés. C'est précisément ce que le système des Droits au Développement dans un Monde sous Contrainte Carbone (DDMCC - anglais GDR, Greenhouse Development Rights) essaie de faire. Ce modèle propose la répartition entre les pays des responsabilités/contraintes associés aux effets du changement climatique en assignant des obligations nationales sur la base de leurs émissions cumulées et de leur capacité actuelle à apporter une aide. Ce e approche inclut uniquement les émissions de gaz correspondant aux revenus dépassant un certain seuil de développement. D'après le modèle DDMCC, le seuil de développement considère un droit au développement qui revient aux personnes individuellement, et non aux pays dans lesquels elles vivent. Dans cet article, je dresse un bilan critique du modèle proposé sur la base de trois points principaux. Premièrement, le modèle DDMCC confond différentes considérations morales en un seul index quand il génère des obligations nationales, ce qui pose des problèmes à la fois théoriques et pratiques. Deuxièmement, il se base sur une conception du droit au développement suje e à polémique et trop peu développée. Troisièmement, l'accent mis exclusivement sur les préoccupations individuelles néglige systématiquement les préoccupations sociales pourtant incontournables. Je conclus en esquissant une approche alternative perme ant d'équilibrer les exigences du développement et les contraintes du changement climatique.

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Jan Berting

modern society each individual normally has different opportunities to belong to several groups with different identities. 4 Individualism and Collectivism After this short introduction to the concepts of collective representation and collective identity

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Islam and Pious Sociality

The Ethics of Hierarchy in the Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan

Arsalan Khan

, who have adopted an ethics of egalitarian individualism that places ultimate value on individual autonomy, authenticity, and agency. Tablighis understand this ethics of egalitarian individualism to be one characterized by hubris and willfulness, which

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Henry Skirball

individualism, singing ‘I did it my way’ with new terms, organizations and institutions such as Jewish Renewal, Secular Jewish worship, Shivyoni, Egalitarian, Partnership Minyanim, Goddess of the Sea, Machon Temurah, Romemu, Naveh Tehilah, Nigun HaLev, Shira