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Disrupting the Invisibility of Working-Class Girls

Redemption, Value, and the Politics of Recognition

Stephanie Skourtes

At a time when individualized narratives have replaced structural explanations like social class to account for inequality, girls who are on the urban fringe are not only made invisible but are under-valued as contributing members to a future, individually oriented society. This article offers a visual disruption in order to re-value the stigmatized, working-class girl by applying the concept of use-value to identify the girls' redemption narratives as an agentic process that is expressed affectively. Drawing from an ethnography of urban, working-class girls who utilize social services, this article reveals how class as culture operated along with other classification systems to inscribe the girls as a problem. Recognizing this, each girl had a redemption tale to tell so as to recover a sense of self; the self-narratives revealed alternative value systems that provided collective and practical value to them.

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Pauline Gardiner Barber

This article addresses the politics of class, culture, and complicity associated with Philippine gendered-labor export. Several examples drawn from multisited ethnographic research explore two faces of class: migrant performances of subordination contrasted with militancy in the labor diaspora. With few exceptions, the literature on Philippine women in domestic service has emphasized disciplined subjectivities, the everyday dialectics of subordination. But class is also represented in these same relationships, understandings, and actions. Alternatively, the political expressions of Philippine overseas workers, and their supporters, is a feature of Philippine migration that is not often mentioned in writing concerned with migrant inequalities. This article proposes a reconciliation of these two faces of class expression by exploring how new media, primarily cell-phone technologies, enhance possibilities for organized and personal resistance by Filipino migrants, even as they facilitate migrant acquiescence, linked here to gendered subordination and class complicity, in the contentious reproduction of the migrant labor force.

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Marek Mikuš

This article reconsiders established anthropological knowledge about postsocialist “civil society” through an analysis of recent efforts of Serbian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to reduce their dependence on foreign donors and develop “local fund-raising” from individuals and businesses. These initiatives had to address widespread suspicion toward NGOs, which confirms earlier findings about their donor-driven origins and the class divide between them and the surrounding society. Nevertheless, the article shows that the fund-raising activists strove to overcome suspicion and indigenize civil society. While anthropologists tend to portray NGO workers as a transnationalized elite, they are more adequately described as a middle-class faction currently subject to a process of precarization. The article also shows how the NGO workers' strategies to overcome suspicion, drawing variously on the global models of rational philanthropy, populist modes of self-presentation, or pre-existing ties to new donors, obscured or reduced the relevance of the class divide.

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Penny McCall Howard

This article examines the "power and the pain of class relations" (Ortner 2006) through the experience of Scottish men working in the global shipping, offshore oil, and fishing industries: industries in which the nationality of workers has changed significantly since the 1980s. It combines recent anthropological literature on subjectivity and cosmopolitanism with a Marxist understanding of class as generated through differing relationships to production. The article describes how British seafarers have experienced the cosmopolitanization of their workplaces, as workers from Portugal, Eastern Europe, and the Philippines have been recruited by employers in order to reduce wages, working conditions, and trade union organization. Drawing on Therborn (1980), it concludes that the experiences gained through this process have led to the development of multiple and often contradictory subjectivities, which people draw on as they choose how to act in moments of crisis, and as they imagine possible futures.

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The 1956 Strike of Middle-Class Professionals

A Socio-political Alliance with the Right

Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

Israeli middle class. Gradually, the new Ashkenazi immigrants joined the veterans, attaining their social status. Thus, a rigid ethnic and intergenerational dichotomy was formed. In this commonly accepted dichotomous frame of reference, Mapai’s government

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Between Afropolitans and new Sankaras

Class mobility and the reproduction of academics in Burkina Faso

Michelle Engeler

present-day students dream. Furthermore, one of the concept’s critiques, which argues that the term promotes the rapacious consumerism of the African elites who represent that “mobile Afropolitan class” (raised by, e.g., Dabiri 2014 , 2016 ; Gehrmann

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Introduction

Ethnographic engagements with global elites

Paul Robert Gilbert and Jessica Sklair

distribution of income from labor and the unequal distribution of inherited wealth ( Yanagisako 2015: 490 ). Despite his attempt to steer “as far clear of a class analysis as possible in a study of wealth inequality in capitalist societies,” Piketty has, it

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A gendered ethnography of elites

Women, inequality, and social reproduction

Luna Glucksberg

reproduction of elites and inequalities through the lenses of both class and gender. Class and gender are intertwined, produced, and reproduced through one another, implicating the personal, intimate, and familial relations in which they exist, as well as the

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Elite ethnography in an insecure place

The methodological implications of “studying up” in Pakistan

Rosita Armytage

unique and particular challenges of hierarchy and access that are further complicated by the contrasting positionalities of the researcher and those they research. Beyond class and status, the researcher’s gender, age, and nationality intersect with those

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Jeanette Edwards

Local family historians in the north of England are not only intent on "finding" their ancestors but in adding "flesh" to the bones of genealogy. Many are as interested in the social life of their ancestors as they are in their family tree or pedigree and, through their research, they excavate particular social and classed histories which combine discourses of land, labor, love, and loss. As well as deepening a sense of the workings of class in England, their research renders class identity more contingent than other contemporary public and media-driven versions. This article argues that family history and genealogical research destabilizes readings of English class identities as fixed, bounded and inescapable by revealing the vagaries of fate and chance and by making explicit other relevant and overlapping social distinctions in the provenance of one's ancestors.