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Reflecting the “Field”

Two Vepsian Villages and three Researchers

Laura Siragusa and Madis Arukask

In this article we problematize the concept of the “field” in social research, stemming from and expanding the discussion presented in the introduction to this issue. We demonstrate that for social researchers a field site transcends the

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Beyond Economy and Religion

Resources and Socio-cosmic Fields in Odisha, India

Roland Hardenberg

called ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’ resources. Common-sense economic logic is still to be seen in many contributions to the subject. Bourdieu ([1971] 2000) , for example, postulates a distinct ‘religious field’ that works in exactly the same way as his

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Dmitry V. Arzyutov and Sergei A. Kan

One of the fundamental principles of anthropology is that it is based on fieldwork. 1 It is the field that “helps define anthropology as a discipline in both senses of the word, constructing a space of possibilities while at the same time drawing

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Zuzana Hrdličková

The expression “field trip” is well understood within educational circles. Students travel away from their normal environment to observe objects of interest and the authentic experience is supposed to increase their learning and retention of

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Not Soft Power, But Speaking Softly

‘Everyday Diplomacy’ in Field Relations during the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Jeremy Morris

-fascist’ coup in Kiev. I was sure this would affect fieldwork in some ways. As it turned out, I arrived back to the field shortly after the intensification of armed conflict in the east of Ukraine (June 2014), a few months after the annexation of the Crimean

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Space, power, and prestige in the academic field

A case-study of Russian scholars

Artyom Kosmarski

This article investigates Russia's relationship with the West in the 1990s and 2000s by analyzing changes in a specific segment of the contemporary global economy—the academic sphere. It traces how the social sciences and the humanities in Russia have evolved from relative insularity and hierarchy during the Soviet era to a more complex web of multiple local institutions, setting their own rules, alongside powerful international agents. Assuming that individual trajectories can make objective spatial structures visible, the article analyzes the biographies of three young Russian scholars, collected in 2004 and 2005 during a research project in the anthropology of science. Patterns of academic migration and intellectual exchange with the West are presented here as providing clues to the spatial structure of the Russian scientific field and its place in the global academic economy. The article concludes with a discussion whether these findings may be generalized to other spheres, and applied not only to Russia but to other post-Soviet states caught in-between the First and the Third Worlds.

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Laura Macía

This paper examines the decisions and motivations of graduate students in cultural anthropology when defining the field sites and topics of their final projects. The decisions among students at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia are contrasted with those at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. A review of recent final projects in both universities was conducted, along with a survey and some follow-up questions with students in both institutions. A main difference found is that students at los Andes are more willing to do applied fieldwork at 'home', while students at Pittsburgh are far more reluctant to do so and prefer to go to distant fields. This distinction is partly explained by the histories of the anthropologies practised in each locale, and of what have been considered 'proper' field sites in cultural anthropology. In particular, a vision of anthropology as an applied enterprise emerged at different historical moments in these two geo-political locations, and those visions are associated with quite different, opposed values today.

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Learning to Remember Slavery

School Field Trips and the Representation of Difficult Histories in English Museums

Nikki Spalding

Drawing on the fields of education, memory, and cultural studies, this article argues that as important cultural memory products, government-sponsored museum education initiatives require the same attention that history textbooks receive. It investigates the performance of recent shifts in historical consciousness in the context of museum field trip sessions developed in England in tandem with the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. Analysis of fieldwork data is presented in order to illustrate some of the complexities inherent in the way difficult histories are represented and taught to young people in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to citizenship education.

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Field Notes and Reading Notes

Studying with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in the 1990s

Nélia Dias

In this article, I reflect on the experience of attending Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s class Performance Studies Issues and Methods at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the 1990s. Recalling the classes and field trips to events and sites in New York City, and the emphasis that she placed on reading texts and taking field notes, I consider the lessons I learned for performance studies, anthropology, and museums, and also for teaching, research, and scholarship in general. Why did this practice of taking notes from the field, from books in particular, and the note-taking practice in general, play such a central role in Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s teaching? The steady and consistent focus both on theory and on the observation of social practices was a means of opening up new spaces for theoretical analysis or for a “performed theory,” to use Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s term.

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Clarifying Liquidity

Keynes and Marx, Merchants, and Poets

Rolf Hugoson

sciences; indeed, I will also remain on the field of the social metaphors and concepts. The everyday experience of water—often flowing, but sometimes forming clouds or ice—demonstrates liquids can be both clear and fluid. Physicists explore similar