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A gendered ethnography of elites

Women, inequality, and social reproduction

Luna Glucksberg

Introduction: A gendered, critical ethnography of elites This article answers the call of this theme section—for an anthropology of elites that is both ethnographic and attuned to political economic critique—by looking ethnographically at the

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Elite ethnography in an insecure place

The methodological implications of “studying up” in Pakistan

Rosita Armytage

methodologically innovative approach to understanding forms of collectivity and cohesion that bind elites into wider social groupings, and the quotidian spaces in which political and economic crises are made and managed. Yet undertaking ethnography with elites also

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Hmong Christian elites as political and development brokers

Competition, cooperation and mimesis in Vietnam’s highlands

Seb Rumsby

This article focuses on the role of new Hmong religious leaders – predominantly young men – who have played an important role in spreading Protestant Christianity across Vietnam’s highlands over the past 30 years. These pastors and evangelists have directly challenged the authority of previously established Hmong local elites, whose legitimacy rested on traditional religious authority and/or state patronage, causing significant social conflict along the way. Some new Christian pioneers have gained local elite status as political and development brokers for their community, enjoying a potent combination of spiritual authority, strong external networks and financial success. As such, international religious networks can function as alternative patrons to the state for well‐placed Hmong Christian elites to tap into and redistribute to their communities – to varying degrees. Contextualising such leadership dynamics within wider anthropological scholarship of upland Southeast Asia affirms the ‘pioneering ethos’ of local elites in challenging, complying with or mimicking state forms of governance in their attempts to draw in and channel external potency. This highlights the degree of political manoeuvring space available to non‐state actors in a supposedly authoritarian state, as well as ongoing tensions and controversies facing pastors who negotiate ambiguous relationships with powerful external forces.

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Christophe Charle

Thanks to a comparison of social and educational characteristics of elites in France, Germany and UK at the end of the nineteenth century, this contribution shows the specificities of the French case: a mixture of persistent traditional elites, akin to British and German ones, and the growing domination of a more recent economic and meritocratic bourgeoisie pushing for liberalism and democracy. Nevertheless, evolutions in the same direction as France are also perceptible in the two monarchies and give birth to a new divergence when after WWI the democratization of elites go faster in UK and Germany than in France where the law bourgeoisie remain dominant and blocks the reforms asked by more popular or petit bourgeois groups present in the political parties on the left.

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Ethnographic engagements with global elites

Paul Robert Gilbert and Jessica Sklair

: 494 ; see Glucksberg, this issue; Sklair, this issue). But all this should not be news to anthropology. In the periodic attempts that have been made to carve out a subfield that might be called the anthropology of elites ( Abbink and Salverda 2013

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Promises of Proximity as Articulated by Changing Moral Elites

Anders Sevelsted

meaning of voluntarism in relation to social provision as articulated by what I propose to call a “moral elite,” namely the groups that at various points in time have had the ability to shape the content of the concept through their access to specialized

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Stephen M. Lyon

political landscape. For rural elite landowner politics, descent-based dynasties are an important element in the formula for successful reproduction of the equivalent of the political party, but they introduce potential rigidity that can compromise

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Elites and their Representation

Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives

Jean-Pascal Daloz

The term “elite” was introduced in the seventeenth century to describe commodities of an exceptional standard and the usage was later extended to designate social groups at the apex of societies. The study of these groups was established as part of the social sciences in the late nineteenth century, mainly as a result of the work of three sociologists: Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca and Roberto Michels. The core of their doctrine is that at the top of every society lies, inevitably, a small minority which holds power, controls the key resources and makes the major decisions. Since then, the concept of elite(s) has been used in several disciplines such as anthropology, history or political science, but not necessarily in reference to this “classical elite theory.” The concept is strongly rejected, however, by many “progressive” scholars—precisely because of its elitist denotation.

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The Wisdom of the People and the Elite

John McCormick and Leo Strauss on Machiavelli

Max J. E. Morris

interests of the elite. However, with the exception of Catherine Zuckert (2017 , 2019 ), few scholars have drawn on Leo Strauss's interpretation of Machiavelli as a basis for critiquing McCormick's account. Scholars who might be expected to grapple with

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Paul Robert Gilbert

concern about class or elites in the anthropological literature on inequality and development in Bangladesh. The postindependence political settlement in which political leaders in Dhaka entered relationships of patronage with landowners ( jotedars ), who