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Amit Ron

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

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Apprenticeship and Global Institutions

Learning Japanese Psychiatry

Joshua Breslau

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.

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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 [1957] for more on input/output and Vivien

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Personal and Professional Encompassment in Organizational Capacity Building

SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing

Viktoryia Kalesnikava

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

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Student engagement in the management of accelerated change

Anthropological reflections on ‘Project 2012’ and The Offer

Anselma Gallinat

funding 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

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Thinking about Thinking

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Finding Continuity in US Military Veterans’ Embodied Minds

Anna Zogas

healing 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

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Wal-Mart Goes To Germany

Culture, Institutions, and the Limits of Globalization

Matthias Kaelberer

of German 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

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Matthew Schoene

How do institutional distrust and institutional participation influence various types of protest activity? Institutions, or shared and learned systems of behavior, are the building blocks of mass society and represent a bridge between public and

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Democracy in a Global Emergency

Five Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Afsoun Afsahi, Emily Beausoleil, Rikki Dean, Selen A. Ercan, and Jean-Paul Gagnon

renewing democratic imperatives in times of emergency. Lesson 1: COVID-19 has had Corrosive Effects on Already Endangered Democratic Institutions The politics of COVID-19 have understandably been conducted as ‘emergency politics’ ( Honig 2009 ). What

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The colour of family happiness

Adoption and the racial distribution of children in contemporary France

Sébastien Roux

In France, the notion of ‘race’ – which echoes both (post‐)colonialist discourses and a long history of state‐regulated racism – is itself usually publicly inexpressible, despite its implicit presence that nonetheless saturates public debates. However, in some specific cases, such as transnational adoption, the verbalisation of racial preferences and desires is encouraged by social workers and family experts as a means to prevent racism. This article aims to analyse the kind of practical institutional framing that produces and supports such verbalisation, and to explore its consequences with respect to the definition of racial hierarchies. Hence, instead of considering the preference of skin colour as a pre‐established parental desire that informs the racial distribution of children, I suggest focusing on the French case to analyse the racialisation of familial desires produced and the apparatus that frames adoption. Thus, by concentrating on the governance of family intimacy, this article aims to question the social dynamics that construct race as a meaningful performative category requiring professional expertise and action, that allow its public expression and that even facilitate the verbalisation of racial preferences in an institutional context supposedly defined by colour‐blindness.