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Commercializing Hospitality

A New Concept for Residents of Viengxay, Laos

Wantanee Suntikul

Recently, small numbers of independent tourists and small groups have begun to visit the remote and poor region of Viengxay in northern Laos. This article is based on focus-group interviews and on-site observation in thirteen villages in Viengxay, intended to explore the perceptions and expectations of locals regarding their roles as hosts in this emerging tourism context. It discusses the ways in which locals are developing attitudes and practices of hospitality towards tourists. These practices are emerging under the influence of factors such as native cultural traditions, individual and communal expectations and attitudes towards tourism, as well as historical factors arising from the area's history of war and political isolation. Although locals intuitively treat tourists according to their society's 'traditional' treatment of guests, this treatment is also modified to reflect an appreciation that tourists are a specific type of guest for which the rules of hospitality may need to be reinterpreted. Locals' perceptions of tourists and behaviour in their relations with tourists are evolving as a result of growing contact between locals and tourists and the concomitantly changing expectations from and understanding of the tourism industry. This article articulates common themes for conceptualising the ways in which hospitality practices in the Viengxay villages are emerging from interaction and conflict of these various aspects.

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Amir Ben Porat

This article reviews the history of Israeli football from 1948 to the present and argues that Israeli football is ‘made in Israel’ according to the particular historical opportunities that determine the ‘relative autonomy’ of the game in a given period. The first part deals with a period (the 1950s) in which football was subject to politics, the dominant force in Israeli society at the time. During that period, Israeli football was organized by three sports federations, each affiliated with a different political camp. The second part deals with the period from 1990 to the present, in which football clubs were privatized and players became commodities. The contrast between these two periods highlights how the political-economic milieu set effective limits on the structure and practice of Israeli football.

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Jari Lyytimäki

How can humor illustrate critical trends related to social, economic, and ecological sustainability? This article is based on a case study that focused on the film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) and two related short films—Rare Exports Inc. (2003) and Rare Exports: Official Safety Instructions (2005). These fantasy films employ irony and dark humor that reverse the popular impressions related to Santa Claus and his elves and, more generally, exotic northern nature and culture. By representing the gentle Santa Claus as a savage hybrid creature brutally punishing those not adhering to certain social norms, these films break several conventional dichotomies between good and evil, human and animal, and society and nature. The use of dark humor and irony may compromise attempts to create public understanding based on best available scientific knowledge, but it also opens up complementary and potentially fruitful ways to discuss sustainability issues. Irony provides opportunities to identify and criticize unsustainable trends and to challenge and disclose dichotomies that may otherwise remain unnoticed.

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Beyond the Myth of Lesbian Montmartre

The Case of Chez Palmyre

Leslie Choquette

entrepreneurs and performers in Montmartre’s transition from a bedroom town for boulevard prostitutes and bohemian artists into the mecca of modern commercialized mass culture known as “Gay Paree.” The Moulin Rouge, opened for the World’s Fair of 1889 by

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Berlin's Potsdamer Platz as an Interactive Textbook

Space, Perspective, and Critical Research Skills

Maria Stehle

This article investigates the potential of one of the most contested and debated spaces of German Studies research, the Postdamer Platz in Berlin, as an interactive "textbook." By employing the notion of "play" the areas around the commercialized Postdamer Platz can be "read" and explored as contradictory, chaotic, messy, and haunted by ghosts of the past, despite—or possibly amplified by—the newly constructed, glossy surfaces of global media and capitalism that form a center for the German capital. I consider the subversive possibilities as well as the limits of this playful approach to teaching, exploring, and learning about commercialized urban centers in the twenty-first century.

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The Genetic Commons

Resisting the Neo-liberal Enclosure of Life

Stephen B. Scharper and Hilary Cunningham

The notion of a ‘genetic commons’ is a broad-based, multi-faceted response to a particular constellation of technological, cultural, economic, political, ethical, and legal developments of the past three decades. Prompted principally by advances in biotechnology and the heretofore unprecedented patenting of life forms, the genetic commons movement seeks to critique and resist the commodification and commercialization of ‘nature’ and to establish a cosmological and political space outside of, and protected from, neo-liberal capitalist processes.

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Game, Set, Match

Israeli Soccer, Fans, and Media Outlets

Yair Galily and Alex Nirenburg

This study traces, conceptually and historically, how the relationship between Israeli soccer, its fans, and the varied means of communications has evolved over the last century. We contend that these symbiotic relations, including their effects on soccer devotees, can be divided into four sub-epochs, each having a tremendous effect, not only on the development of soccer and media, but on other interrelated processes. Consequently, we argue that the development of soccer (association football), can be adequately understood only by presenting it in its historical context. The processes of state formation, population growth, urbanization, commercialization and, most germane for present purposes, the development of soccer-media-fan relations, are not isolated but rather interdependent, and therefore of significant importance when discussing soccer and media in the Israel context.

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Egalitarianism and Community in danish housing Cooperatives

Proper Forms of Sharing and Being Together

Maja Hojer Bruun

The Danish concept of faellesskab (community) is explored in this article. Faellesskab covers different kinds of belonging and notions of proper togetherness in Danish society, ranging from neighborhood relations at the local level to membership in society at the national level. In investigating the ideals and practices of faellesskab in housing cooperatives, the article shows how people establish connections between these different scales of sociality. It argues that the way people live together in housing cooperatives, in a close atmosphere of egalitarian togetherness, is a cultural ideal in modern Denmark. The more recent commercialization of cooperative property has, however, caused concern. While some believe that faellesskab can still be practiced in the small enclaves of autonomous cooperatives, others fear that this ideal is threatened by economic inequalities.

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Arthur Mason

This article examines the practices through which Cambridge Energy Research Associates disseminates natural gas market analysis among senior-level decision makers in the Alaska state government. Cambridge Energy is a global consulting firm that provides knowledge on the future of energy markets. The US natural gas market has recently undergone a revolutionary transformation as a consequence of changing regulation. This has led to expansion in the services of consulting firms such as Cambridge Energy, who produce analysis on the uncertainties affecting the future. In fall 2000, with a rise in energy prices and renewed interest in commercializing Arctic natural gas, Alaska Governor Tony Knowles awarded a contract to Cambridge Energy to assist with market analysis slated to lead to construction of Alaska's natural gas pipeline. Drawing on ethnographic research at key sites of decision making, I show how domestication of analyses in state and news media discourses serves to govern Arctic gas development.

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Sabine von Mering, Luke B. Wood, J. Nicholas Ziegler, John Bendix, Marcus Colla, and Alexander Dilger

Dolores L. Augustine, Taking on Technocracy: Nuclear Power in Germany, 1945 to the Present (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018)

Michael Meng and Adam R. Seipp, Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017)

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017)

Constantin Goschler, ed. Compensation in Practice: The Foundation ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and Future’ and the Legacy of Forced Labour during the Third Reich (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017)

Albert Earle Gurganus, Kurt Eisner: A Modern Life (Rochester: Camden House, 2018)

Claudia Sternberg, Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni, and Kalypso Nicolaïdis, The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost? (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018)