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Connecting and Disconnecting

Exploring Prisoners’ Relations with the Outside World in Myanmar

Andrew M. Jefferson and Tomas Max Martin

people's efforts to relate at the prison/society interface. The thick meaning of the thanakha paste is a vivid example of what we call connectivity, a process of connecting that goes beyond classic understandings of the separateness of prison and society

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Mirjam de Bruijn

Chadian youth. After Howard Rheingold’s (2002) publication of Smart Mobs , others that related protest and political movement to ICTs and connectivity soon followed. Sokari Ekine’s (2010) edited collection SMS Uprising and Adam Branch and Zachariah

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Yu Luo, Tim Oakes, and Louisa Schein

What makes for an imaginary of remoteness that in turn produces economic yield? This article explores the interplay of remoteness and connectivity in Guizhou, a Chinese province that has long been constructed as rugged, lacking in civilisation, inaccessible and effectively immune to control. Situated in China's southwest, largely populated by minority peoples, the province has been iconic of the ‘remote’ across centuries of Chinese history, despite the region having no international border. In this article, an American anthropologist, an anthropologist from Guizhou and an American geographer interrogate the shifting valences of remoteness during and since the period of Mao. We interrogate Guizhou's remoteness as simultaneously derogated and celebrated and consider the emergence of a ‘post‐alteric imaginary’ reflecting contemporary realignments of state–populace, urban–rural and Han–minority. Infrastructure development is read alongside tourism development as we probe the synergy between national imaginaries that distance Guizhou and local strategies of self‐fashioning and branding.

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The return of remoteness

Insecurity, isolation and connectivity in the new world disorder

Martin Saxer and Ruben Andersson

Remoteness has returned to world politics. Instead of the flat world’ once proclaimed by leading liberal voices, the world map today looks more rugged and uneven than it has in a long time. While some areas are smoothly connected to global capital and cultural flows, others are becoming more marginalised and ‘distant’, at least from the viewpoint of global centres of power. In this introduction, we build an analytical approach to remoteness as a social and political process rather than a primordial condition. We emphasise three key aspects of remoteness: its deep entanglement with forms of connectivity; its economic usefulness; and its amenability to ‘remote control’. In considering these aspects, we bring anthropology's long heritage of studying ‘marginal’ societies to bear on the political resurgence of remoteness in a new world disorder of proliferating global dangers, lucrative frontier economies and heritage‐making.

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Remoteness is power

Disconnection as a relation in northern Chad

Julien Brachet and Judith Scheele

Remoteness is as much about a position in topological as in topographical space. Remote areas might look inaccessible from the outside, but, for Ardener (Ardener, E. 1989. , M. Chapman (ed.). Oxford: Blackwell), feel open and vulnerable from the inside, as their connectivity with the outside world is never fully controlled by locals. Drawing on material gathered in northern Chad, we argue that this lack of conceptual reciprocity can also lead to the opposite: a trope of permanent aggression, based on the local endorsement of external negative stereotypes. From the outside, the ‘locals’ are seen to be archetypical raiders, thieves and uncouth. From the inside, people concur in these descriptions to a surprising degree, insisting on their disorder, unpredictability and violence. This endorsement of alterity grants northern Chad a particular place in Saharan history, geography and ethnography.

Open access

Felix Girke

the Face of Connectivity Digital media allows us to remain connected to the field indefinitely, without much logistical effort and with negligible costs. This seems, at first, a humane affordance regarding the social relationships we have developed

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Staying Tuned

Connections beyond ‘the Field’

Geoffrey Hughes and Anna-Maria Walter

introduction of Internet-enabled electronic devices. 1 The generational shift that we are witnessing—before and after social media connectivity—has in turn profoundly transformed the experience of initiatory long-term fieldwork for the current cohort of

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Cementing Relations

The Materiality of Roads and Public Spaces in Provincial Peru

Penelope Harvey

This article sets out to analyze how concrete is implicated in the transformation of public space in provincial Peru. While concrete enhances a state's capacity to produce reliable, predictable structures, there are also significant limits in relation to its connective capacity in both the material and social domains. Ethnographic attention to the relational dynamics of concrete reveals how its promise to operate as a generic, homogeneous, and above all predictable material is constantly challenged by the instability and heterogeneity of the terrains to which it is applied. The image of power that concrete affords is thus a compromised one, as the stability and predictability of this substance is secure only insofar as it is surrounded by and embedded in specific relationships of care.

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When Facebook Is the Internet

A Halfie Anthropologist Grapples with Evolving Social Media Connectivity

Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo

issues and amid shifting political currents, such connectivity can pose risks to the anonymity and security of both researcher and her interlocutors. I demonstrate these points through an account of my evolving engagement with Facebook (FB). In the

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The Amāra on the Square

Connective Agency and the Aesthetics of the Egyptian Revolution

Ayman El-Desouky

masses through verbal, visual, performative, and spatial configurations of the everyday, amounting to a new aesthetic of connective agency aided by collective and cultural memory. 1 The bursting of the masses onto the streets in January 2011 and again