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Discourses of Choice and Experiences of Constraint

Analyses of Girls' Use of Violence

Marion Brown

Girls who use violence are marginalized as the worst of the mean girls, disrupting conventional femininity codes and causing panic in the streets. Twenty two girls participated in a qualitative study in Nova Scotia about what it means to be a girl and use violence. Interpretations presented here suggest that their reasoning can be contextualized through an analysis of neoliberalism, racism, heterosexism and classism, as they navigate discourses of choice and experiences of constraint.

Open access

Fadi Amer

notion of an embodied subject, whose corporeality provides the foundation for the intrinsic value of choice and freedom; and by which they may realise the fullest extents of their agency, thus undoing the metaphysical knot. Beyond its scholarly interest

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'Jewish' Ethnic Options in Germany between Attribution and Choice

Auto-ethnographical Reflections at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Victoria Bishop Kendzia

This article explores the issue of ethnic attributions versus options pertaining to Jewishness in Germany. The methodology is a combination of standard ethnographic fieldwork with Berlin-based high-school students before, during and after visits to the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) and auto-ethnography detailing and analysing my own experiences in and outside of the research sites. My goal is to illustrate particularities of interactions in sites like the JMB by contrasting the way in which Jewishness is handled in and outside of the standardised research situation. Further, the material points to continuities between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. My analysis aims to open up further, productive discussion on this point.

Free access

Åsa Boholm, Annette Henning, and Amanda Krzyworzeka

This article, part of a set of three articles, calls for a critical reexamination of a plethora of phenomena relating to choice and decision making, occasionally addressed by anthropologists, but more regularly studied by economists, political scientists, psychologists, and organization scholars. By means of a bird's-eye research overview, we identify certain weak spots pertaining to a formalistic unicentral view of human rationality, and argue that ethnographic approaches casting light on cultural contexts for thought, reason, and action can explain how choices are framed and constituted from horizons of perceptions and expectations. A positive account of socially and culturally embedded decision making heralds a mode of anthropology with a broad, integrating capacity to address public policy and administration and their interactions with everyday experience and practice.

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'It's Got to Be the Patient's Decision'

Practicing Shared Decision-making in the U.K. Renal Units

Ikumi Okamoto

In modern medicine, patient choice and involvement in treatment decision-making are increasingly recognised as an important issue in improving the quality of healthcare, and in recent years the concept of shared decision-making has attracted attention as a new approach in the medical encounter. This model is particularly appropriate in life-threatening situations in which no best treatment exists and there are trade-offs between benefits and risk of available treatments. In this article, I demonstrate how clinical uncertainty makes shared decision-making difficult in practice, using the case of elderly patients with end-stage renal failure based on data collected by interviewing renal healthcare professionals in the U.K. I then propose the possibility of 'patient choice' becoming a burden for some elderly patients and the institutionalisation of shared decision-making, and discuss the importance of building a good relationship between healthcare professionals and patients to facilitate shared decision-making.

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Migration Destination Choice as a Criterion of Self-Identification

The Case of Young People Leaving Noril’sk and Dudinka

Nadezhda Zamyatina

specific behavioral patterns and motivations. The objective of this paper is thus to demonstrate that the choice in the direction of migration is shaped not by simple economic conditions and opportunities or solely by the social networks of the prospective

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Tatiana Bulgakova

Since the early 1990s, religious landscape in Siberia has been rapidly changing and becoming more complicated because of the activities of foreign missionaries. The options for individual religious choice have increased, being at the same time

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Of choice, chance and contingency

‘Career strategies’ and tactics for survival among Yoruba women traders*

Andrea Cornwall

Women's economic empowerment has come to play an increasingly prominent role in the policies of mainstream development agencies. This article draws on fieldwork amongst small‐scale traders in southwestern Nigeria to suggest that the capacity of traders to exercise ‘choice’ is more complex than development narratives suggest. Deploying de Certeau's (1984) distinction between strategies and tactics, the article argues that making clear‐cut, choices is dependent on having the power to realise them: power that many women in this as in other settings, including those with considerable buying and spending power, are not in a position to fully exercise. Women's struggles for success and survival in this context, the article argues, are waged in domains where their positions as agents are relational, situational, and above all, provisional. As members of families, associations and hearth‐holds, their abilities to make active, purposive, choices are constantly reconfigured in relation to these others. ‘Empowerment’ may be defined by mainstream development agencies as a destination, but looking more closely at the experiences of poor women in this setting reveals journeys along pathways that may be pitted with obstacles, in which chance and contingency may play as much of a part as deliberate choice, and for which tactics are needed for survival as well as success. A central argument in this article, then, is for the need to factor contingency into representations of women's working lives in development discourse, which in turn calls for an approach that can accommodate the mediation of agency and the tensions between autonomy and connectedness that course through women's lives.

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James J. Fiumara

Nitzan Ben Shaul, Cinema of Choice: Optional Thinking and Narrative Movies

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Is Jewish Identity a Matter of Choice?

The Case of Young Jews in Contemporary Poland

Marius Gudonis

In the current wave of academic and media interest on the apparent renaissance of a Jewish community in Poland after 1989, it has become customary to define the new generation of Polish Jews by the element of choice in their identity construction. Such a distinction is poignant in the light of Poland’s troubled postwar history. Following the tragedy of the Shoah, in which ninety percent of the 3.3 million prewar Jewish population perished, those who survived and remained in the country were almost entirely polonised. After 1947, manifestations of Jewishness were increasingly curtailed as part of the Stalinist drive to create an ethnically homogenous nation.