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Developing a culture of marginality

Nepal's current classificatory moment

Sara Shneiderman

This article examines the complex relationships between marginalized communities, the state, and nonstate actors such as development agencies and social scientists in crafting the classificatory regimes that undergird affirmative action policies. Focusing on the current dynamics of “ethnic restructuring“ amid the broader political process of postconflict “state restructuring“ in Nepal, I suggest that international actors often unwittingly encourage the hardening of ethnic boundaries through development projects that target “marginalized“ populations defined in cultural terms. However, such interventions can also yield unexpected transformations in agentive ethnic consciousness. This ethnographic exploration of current classificatory processes in non-postcolonial Nepal provides an important counterpoint to material from the Indian context, where histories of colonial classification have debatably influenced contemporary categories-and their critique-to a significant extent.

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American dreams and Brazilian racial democracy

The making of race and class in Brazil and the United States

Sean T. Mitchell

The extensive literature critiquing the weakness of cross-class Afro-Brazilian solidarity is perhaps equaled in size by the structurally similar literature on the weakness of cross-race working-class solidarity in the United States. For many critics, marginalized or exploited people in Brazil and the United States do not have the political consciousness they ought to have, given apparently objective conditions. What if we started, instead, from E. P. Thompson's insight that class is a “cultural as much as an economic formation,” that it is “a relationship and not a thing,” acknowledging that political consciousness is the partially contingent result of culturally specific struggles and utopias, as much as of determinate historical conditions? Drawing on ethnographic research on conflicts between Afro-Brazilian villagers and Brazil's spaceport, supplemented by comparative data on the mobilization around inequalities in Brazil and in the United States, this article sketches a comparative anthropology of political consciousness that attempts to avoid the objectivizing pitfalls of the genre.

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Sustainable development

Still haven´t found what we’re looking for…

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Much debate has swirled around the United Nations’ (UN) 2000–2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On one hand, the MDGs established the fight against poverty in the global political consciousness. On the other hand, they maintained a traditional statistical approach to “development” that focused on indicators more than transformation. Critics (such as Blanco Sío-López, 2015; Martens, 2015) have contended that the MDGs reinforced power imbalances and the indicators included in the political program were unattainable by many developing states since the beginning.

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Commoning in New York City, Barcelona, and Paris

Notes and observations from the field

Ida Susser

Abstract

Based on fieldwork in New York City, Barcelona, and Paris, this article explores recent Occupy events and how these represent a claim for an urban commons, and the building of a new political consciousness. The article analyzes commoning in the three cities as a form of popular education that transforms space, time, and language. The reemergence of commoning is seen as a response to neoliberal policies, the creation of a temporary and insecure workforce (or precariat), and the need to develop different approaches to power and transformation. Although clearly reflective of historical experiences, commoning can be seen as a newly significant form of protest that brings together and creates a shared culture among fragmented progressive groups often divided by issues of identity and topic.

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Safi Mahmoud Mahfouz

of theatre in raising the political consciousness of the masses. He first cites the Egyptian poet laureate and dramatist Ahmed Shawqi’s The Death of Cleopatra (1927), a translation and adaptation, or ‘transadaptation’, of Shakespeare’s Antony and

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Gramsci in and beyond resistances

The search for an autonomous political initiative among a subaltern group in the Beninese savanna

Riccardo Ciavolella

engaging in these kinds of initiative could show how subaltern groups can switch from an “economic-corporate condition,” as determined by material and structural constraints, to become “historical subjects” (Q13) with a political consciousness of their

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Two Generations of New Basques

From Euskara as Counterculture to Euskara as the Classroom Language

Hanna Lantto

– they were all learning Basque. They spoke Spanish at home; the parents had not transmitted the language to them. With their political consciousness of that concrete moment in history, they changed the situation. The sons always have to kill their

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How Movements Are Mediated

The Case of the Hungarian Student Network in 2012–2013

Bálint Takács, Sára Bigazzi, Ferenc Arató, and Sára Serdült

and sustaining old reflexes, the Student Network has attempted to draw on new, wider concepts and values in order to deconstruct current social relations and introduce or “prefigure” a new kind of political consciousness. This new perspective formed

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Communities of Practice at the Cidade do Saber

Plural Citizenship and Social Inclusion in Brazil

Carla Guerrón Montero

pedagogical approach. Instructors navigate between structured and less structured approaches ( Stein and Rankin 1998 ), partly because many have had experience with social mobilisation and political consciousness. Thus, it is not uncommon that a course on

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Inventing Eco-Cycle

A Social Enterprise Approach to Sustainability Education

Sandy Smith-Nonini

Mutation of Social Energy’ (1983) where he observed how political consciousness forged in activists tends to continue even when a given movement loses energy. One positive outcome from the BBGA was that an African American woman leader (who I had recruited