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Andrei V. Grinëv

Sailing ships played a significant role in the colonization of Alaska during the Russian period (1741–1867). However, classifying them is sometimes very difficult because the historical sources are very scarce and even contradictory. These difficulties lead to many errors in classification of specific vessels on the pages of scholarly literature. In addition, some authors have poor knowledge of maritime affairs. As a result, “frigatomania” is especially frequently encountered in Russian (occasionally in American) historiography. A correct classification of the ships allows us to better understand the scale of colonial expansion.

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Neglected Tropical Diseases

Creating a New Disease Grouping

Samantha Vanderslott

hygiene and tropical medicine vital for colonial rule, being sidelined on many levels (scientifically, financially, socially, and politically), and now being of central interest within global health policy. It is through processes of classification that

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Mobile Sepulchre and Interactive Formats of Memorialization

On Funeral and Mourning Practices in Digital Art

Maja Petrović-Šteger

The practical and imaginative possibilities offered by art works and art strategies have always been interesting for anthropological research. Analyzing an artistic endeavor that understands the dead as social software, the article investigates contemporary conceptualizations of death and grieving within modern informational economies. This article ethnographically considers the etoy “Mission Eternity Project“ which, among other artforms, has created a mobile sepulchre to investigate and challenge conventional practices of the disposal of the dead and of memorialization. The article seeks to generate terms for discussing how new artistic, digital and forensic technologies can reconfigure the more ordinary ways of dealing with the dead. The analysis is significantly informed by my previous anthropological work on practices of the collection, classification and DNA analysis of dead bodies in postconflict Serbia and Tasmania.

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A Visitor's Guide to Shamans and Shamanism

The Kunstkamera's Russian and Asian Ethnographic Collections in the Late Imperial Era

Marisa Karyl Franz

galleries. By examining these guidebooks, we can see the systems of classification and categorization used within the museums to organize and identify the materials on display and how these objects were presented to the public. This article focuses on the

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Introduction

The middle class-ification of Britain

Jeanette Edwards, Gillian Evans, and Katherine Smith

The articles collected in this special section of Focaal capture, ethnographically, a particular moment at the end of the New Labour project when the political consequences of a failure to address the growing sense of crisis among working-class people in post-industrial Britain are being felt. These new ethnographies of social class in Britain reveal not only disenchantment and disenfranchisement, but also incisive and critical commentary on the shifting and often surprising forms and experiences of contemporary class relations. Here we trace the emergence of controversies surrounding the category “white working class“ and what it has come to stand for, which includes the vilification of people whose political, economic and social standing has been systematically eroded by the economic policies and political strategies of both Conservative and New Labour governments. The specificities of class discourse in Britain are also located relative to broader changes that have occurred across Europe with the rise of “cultural fundamentalisms“ and a populist politics espousing neo-nationalist rhetorics of ethnic solidarity. This selection of recent ethnographies holds up a mirror to a rapidly changing political landscape in Britain. It reveals how post-Thatcherite discourses of “the individual“, “the market“, “social mobility“ and “choice“ have failed a significant proportion of the working-class population. Moreover, it shows how well anthropology can capture the subtle and complex forms of collectivity through which people find meaning in times of change.

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Avi Shoshana

This article proposes using the theoretical discussions of Deleuze and Guattari as a means of comprehending the various ways in which individuals speak about their ethnic identity. This is done through a case study of a state-run educational boarding school offered to subjects identified as 'ethnic' in Israel. The findings expose two ways of talking about ethnic identity: 'minor language' and 'major language'. What I term the 'major language of ethnicity' makes substantial use of state language and offers two hierarchical categories that serve as an archetype for classifying groups. The 'minor language of ethnicity', on the other hand, offers multiple local identifications and potential identity alternatives. The article suggests using dynamics at the foundation of these concepts to consider the position of the researcher and to expose existential 'lines of flight' and life inventions of subjects in everyday life.

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Gatherings of Mobility and Immobility

Itinerant “Criminal Tribes” and Their Containment by the Salvation Army in Colonial South India

Saurabh Arora

In retelling the history of “criminal tribe” settlements managed by the Salvation Army in Madras Presidency (colonial India) from 1911, I argue that neither the mobility–immobility relationship nor the compositional heterogeneity of (im)mobility practices can be adequately captured by relational dialecticism espoused by leading mobilities scholars. Rather than emerging as an opposition through dialectics, the relationship between (relative) mobility and containment may be characterized by overlapping hybridity and difference. This differential hybridity becomes apparent in two ways if mobility and containment are viewed as immanent gatherings of humans and nonhumans. First, the same entities may participate in gatherings of mobility and of containment, while producing different effects in each gathering. Here, nonhumans enter a gathering, and constitute (im)mobility practices, as actors that make history irreducibly differently from other actors that they may be entangled with. Second, modern technologies and amodern “institutions” may be indiscriminately drawn together in all gatherings.

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The social life of categories

Affirmative action and trajectories of the indigenous

Bengt G. Karlsson

In this article I examine the ways in which the term “indigenous peoples“ is reworked in a specific South Asian context. I focus on the new, hybrid category of “indigenous tribe“ in the Indian state of Meghalaya. I argue that we can think of the indigenous tribe category as a strategic conflation of two different regimes of rights or political assertions. The first relates to the existing nation-state framework for affirmative action as expressed in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, while the second relates to the emerging global framework for asserting the rights of indigenous peoples. While the benefits of asserting the status of indigenous tribes is obvious, for example, preventing other, nonindigenous tribes from owning land in the state, the long-term gains seems more doubtful. Both affirmative action programs and indigenous peoples frameworks are motivated by a moral imperative to redress historical injustices and contemporary social inequalities. To evoke them for other ends might eventually backfire. The larger point I seek to make, however, is that political categories tend to take on a life of their own, escaping their intended purposes and hence applied by people in novel and surprising ways.

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On Halbwachs's Sociology of Knowledge Program

The Two Hidden Categories of ‘La doctrine d'Émile Durkheim’

Jean-Christophe Marcel

’, because it is systematic and imposes itself on all. And if it imposes itself with this force, it is that these classifications have a useful role: to strengthen the conscience and the unity of the group. In all circumstances, knowledge consists of a set of

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Les deux catégories cachées de La Doctrine de Durkheim

Le programme de sociologie de la connaissance d'Halbwachs

Jean-Christophe Marcel

, 1903 ). S'il y a « délire », aux yeux des Occidentaux, il n'en est pas moins « bien fondé », car il est systématique, et s'impose chez tous. Et s'il s'impose avec cette force c'est que ces classifications ont un rôle utile : fortifier la conscience et l