One of the productive manners by which democratic theorists respond to the complexity of modern political institutions is by exploring different ways to conceptualize the meaning of the democratic demos ( Cohen 1999 ; Gould 2006 ; Williams 2009
Learning Japanese Psychiatry
How is the knowledge embedded in a global institution such as psychiatry integrated into taken-for-granted understandings and everyday medical practice in a non-Western setting such as Japan? How can ethnographic research address this question without simplifying institutional complexity and cross-cultural variations? This paper argues that the ethnography of apprenticeship can resolve these tensions between global and local sources of cultural knowledge. Recent work in cognitive anthropology and practice theory has demonstrated the value of examining apprenticeship as a window onto dynamics of institutional production and reproduction. As an ethnographic strategy, the study of apprenticeship makes the processes through which knowledge crosses cultural boundaries accessible to research. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research on the training of Japanese psychiatrists, I describe the institutional structure in which psychiatric knowledge becomes embedded in newly trained psychiatrists. This system, known as the ikyoku system, reproduces many characteristics of Japanese organizational patterns. Examining the details of this system offers additional insight into the particular way in which psychiatric knowledge becomes situated in contemporary Japanese society. The theory of apprenticeship, however, has a much broader potential for informing ethnographic research strategies for studying contemporary global institutions.
Wolfgang Merkel and Jean-Paul Gagnon
looks not only at input; it looks very much at institutional procedures as well (Buhlmann, Merkel et al. 2012) . In system-theoretical terminology we would call this a focus on throughput (see David Easton  for more on input/output and Vivien
SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing
What is the purpose of an organization? How does an institution enact or build its perceived capacity? These questions are hardly intriguing or new. Yet once we look past the bureaucratic tiers of regulatory policies and prescriptive practices that
Anthropological reflections on ‘Project 2012’ and The Offer
engendered considerable public debate around issues of fairness and access. It also launched intense activity in higher education institutions as they sought to adapt existing practices, structures and policies to the anticipated new reality. There was
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Finding Continuity in US Military Veterans’ Embodied Minds
technologies and the disciplinary techniques of institutions. Veterans’ experience of their injuries, their cognitive impairments and the rehabilitative options available at the VA are entangled with the experience of leaving an archetypal disciplinary
Culture, Institutions, and the Limits of Globalization
consumers and businesses. Domestic culture and institutions interact to constrain convergence towards a single model of doing business in the retail sector. The factors that benefit Wal-Mart’s market power in the United States and many other national retail
A Question of Authenticity
Based on fieldwork in Danish children's homes, this article examines how the idea of 'home' has emerged and become integrated in institutional practices. The ideal of hominess serves as a positive model for sociality in the institution, but at the same time it also produces dilemmas, paradoxes, and contradictions for both children and social workers. These dilemmas stem from the conflicting values of institution and home. Nevertheless, the two spheres should not be seen as spaces with incompatible logics; rather, they should be viewed as mutually dependent but competing ideas (and practices) that are inherent in the institutional value hierarchy. The article argues that the ideal of authenticity plays a central role in the way that hominess is perceived as a positive value in children's homes—and perhaps in institutions in general.
Catherine N. Butcher
policy and how certain features could be resources for hope used in constructing heterodox higher education institutions in other parts of the world. Berea and Deep Springs are small colleges and I am not suggesting that their model can be applied to all
On the Social Productivity of Ritual Forms
Pentecostal Christianity has in the last several decades demonstrated an ability to globalize with great speed and to flourish in social contexts of poverty and disorganization in which other social institutions have been unable to sustain themselves. This article asks why Pentecostalism should be so successful at institution building in harsh environments. I argue that this question is more fundamental than those scholars more often ask about the kinds of compensations that Pentecostalism provides for its adherents. I then draw on Collins's theory of interaction ritual chains to suggest that it is Pentecostalism's promotion of ritual to the center of social life that grounds its unusual institution-building capacity.