Through an ethnographic exploration of Pehuenche conceptualizations of doubles and of greeting and funerary practices in Southern Chile, this article considers the ontological relevance of sensorial perception as a main operator for stabilizing the tension between autonomy and dependence on otherness. The article aims to establish how relations between ‘real people’ or che, in Pehuenche daily life, do not precede mutual sensorial perception; instead, they can be seen as the result of such perceptions. In so doing, and building upon the concept of ‘potential affinity’ as a persisting relational principle of relatedness, I show how the minimal unit of analysis of sensorial perception is not composed of separated unities. Rather, it is an assemblage of multiple capacities involving both visible and invisible relational entities.
This afterword offers a commentary on the concept of relations discussed in the introduction and the individual contributions to this special issue by critically reflecting on the key concepts that have emerged in it. It contributes to the discussion with a reflection on the use of the term parente in Amazonia, showing how its exclusive use in inter-ethnic contexts indicates a play of perspective in the way that relations between different groups of people are experienced.
A Relational Perspective on Marriage Exchange and Sociality in Rural Gambia
Based on 21 months of field research on the northern bank of the Gambia River, this study deals with ceremonial exchange and sociality among rural Wolof speakers. In exploring the procurement and distribution of bridal trousseaus, I examine the process of exchange that shapes and limits these potentially endless affinal networks and analyze the social forms that arise from these complex sets of transfers. It is argued that redistributions of objects and money do not establish definite boundaries around units based on categorical exclusion and inclusion, but rather gradual distinctions of social proximity. In effect, I question the appropriateness of the concept of the 'cutting' of networks in this West African setting, proposing instead that 'fading' paints a clearer picture of the particular ways in which affinal networks are limited and relationships are rendered recognizable.
Fire dancers in Southern Thailand, almost exclusively young, intra-/international migrant men from rural Thailand and Myanmar, are paid to entertain tourists at nightly beach parties. An unacknowledged economy fueled largely by tips, fire dancing is fast becoming an iconic symbol of Thailand’s young backpacker tourism sector but is not considered an acceptable form of labor or a valued artistic practice, because tourist beach spaces are perceived as sites of immorality, excessive drinking, and sexuality. Male fire dancers, then, come to be known as young social deviants who do not belong in the national imaginary and thus must maneuver around a complex politics of belonging with vast differences in social and economic power. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this article examines how belonging is negotiated among Burmese fire dancers working in Thailand, and how experiences of belonging are shaped by spatialized gendered moralities and masculinities that operate within the fire dancing scene.
Materializing Affinity in Japanese Foster and Adoptive Care
Kathryn E. Goldfarb
In contemporary Japan, non-biological family ties are not easily legible as kinship. This article examines how parents of adopted and fostered children in Japan mobilize material similarity to represent their kinship relationships as existing objectively in the world, untainted by socially suspect desires. Material resemblance is taken up as a semiotic framework through which people self-reflexively interpret the signs that are understood as relatedness, what I call ‘kinship technologies’. Focusing on two local categories used to conceptualize non-biological kinship (kizuna and en), this article explores how long-lasting relational ties are embodied through caring proximity and physical similarity. However, difference always lingers within similarity: the borderlines between family and non-family; made connections or inherent, ineffable ties; and observable markers of otherness, such as race and ethnicity.
Assent and Dissent in U.S. Culture, 1830-1940
Travel accounts invariably juxtapose the country visited, the cultural practices of its inhabitants and its sites and institutions with the corresponding phenomena in the country of origin. This frequently gives rise to, or reflects, ethical dilemmas since the process of cross-cultural representation involved naturally prompts an assessment of the cultural assets and the liabilities of the country of origin. The following article concerns itself with American accounts of travels to the ‘Old World’, especially to Germany and other parts of Central Europe, with reflections on United States society as a result of the encounter with the ‘Fatherland’ or certain aspects of other national cultures in Europe. This article sheds light on the significance of Germany to American travellers and its importance for the cultural debate in the United States. It examines the increasing attention paid to Germany because of its rise to a cultural centre in Europe. It also takes into consideration the ever growing number of immigrants to the United States from Germany and deals with the complex differentiation between German-speaking people. It further notes the awareness of American observers of the denominational divide between predominantly Protestant northern Germany and its Catholic south, which until the Great War included the German-speaking parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The various subregions of Germany elicited different reactions from the visitors depending on their own religion and cultural background. The study also pays special attention to American travellers from the Southern States, whose well-documented reactions to their European journeys deserve special consideration as they have been less frequently analyzed than those of their Northern compatriots.
Slow Cinema and the Virtues of the Long Take in Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
affinity as they are all based on an aesthetic of slowness and concomitant notions of idleness. At this point I think we need further conceptual distinctions to disentangle simple boredom from its common-sensical, value-laden implications. What I mean by
Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra
context of reading, this representation of masculine authority as deceitful, insecure and morally questionable has affinities with the representation of male figures in Tuqan’s A Mountainous Journey . However, while Agamemnon praises Iphigenia’s wit and
The AfD in Comparative Perspective
which readily allows comparison among a large number of parties, and across several different dimensions of policy and ideological beliefs. The article observes that the AfD shares a close affinity with radical-right parties in Europe, but it also
Court trials and subsequent executions in 1692 of nineteen accused witches in Salem are important events in America’s history that are often studied. Today, ‘Witch City’ draws over sixty thousand visitors at Hallowe’en. While members of the Pagan/Wiccan community honour the accused, well known writers – Arthur Miller and Elie Weisel – publicly acknowledge the Salem witch trials as a lesson. ‘Agents of memory’ imagine they have individual and collective affinities with Salem, the place, its people, and the historical event. These agents develop different explanations for why these events occurred and see in them disparate meanings, thereby directing, shaping and influencing the ways in which the Salem witch trials are remembered.