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Ontography and Alterity

Defining Anthropological Truth

Martin Holbraad

This article holds that deeply entrenched assumptions about the nature, provenance, and value of truth can be brought into view and examined critically when set against the backdrop of a radically different set of concepts and practices that are associated with truth seeking in contemporary Afro-Cuban divination. Drawing briefly on an ethnographic analysis of the ways in which Cuban cult practitioners use oracles, the article seeks to formulate a radically alternative concept of truth. This viewpoint eschews common premises about the role of 'representation' in the pursuit of truth in favor of a notion of truth as 'conceptual redefinition'. If the ethnography of divination in Cuba forces the analyst radically to reformulate the concept of truth, what effect might this new approach have on the project of anthropology itself?

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For or against commoning?

Ida Susser

current capitalist regimes, through housing movements, in anti-antiblack insurgency, redefinitions of the tax code, and generally in the squares movement. At the same time, we are careful to avoid the romanticization of the idea of the commons. While

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Chava Brownfield-Stein

things, are undergoing a process of redefinition and feminization. With respect to military-police relations, I address three key dimensions of the processes occurring in this hybrid operational environment: the legal dimension, the technological

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Plural Modernity

Changing Modern Institutional Forms—Disciplines and Nation-States

Filipe Carreira da Silva and Mónica Brito Vieira

The article begins with the assumption that modernity is undergoing a profound change. The focus is on the structural transformation of two typical modern institutional regimes: the academic discipline and the territorial nation-state. Their demise as the predominant institutional forms in the realms of science and politics signals the end of the modern project—or at least the need for its profound redefinition. It is suggested that such a redefinition entails a radical conceptual shift in the social sciences and that the meta-theoretical expression of this shift can be designated as 'dialogical pluralism'. At a theoretical level, both modernization theories and the recent program of 'multiple modernities' are rejected. A plural modernity, with several distinct varieties, seems a more promising perspective.

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La protection de l'environnement à Téhéran

Monographie d'une Organisation Non Gouvernementale téhéranaise

Anahita Grisoni

Cette contribution trouve ses origines dans un travail d’enquête mené à Téhéran au printemps 2005 et qui s’intitule ‘La protection de l’environnement à Téhéran comme facteur de redéfinition de l’espace’. Dans cette étude, j’avais tenté de mettre en relation, à travers le concept d’espace, les aspects politiques, socio- logiques et géographiques des mutations physiques et symboliques de la capitale iranienne.

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The Prime, Decline, and Recalling of Rural Cycling

Bicycle Practices in 1920s' and 1930s' Finland Remembered in 1971-1972

Tiina Männistö-Funk

The article studies rural cycling in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s through a folklore survey conducted in 1971-1972. Written memories enable a rare insight in the disappeared practices of bicycle use in the countryside. Comparing the role of the bicycle in the remembered time and the time of remembering, the article furthermore scrutinizes the role of historical narratives in the cultural constructions of the bicycle. Instead of demonstrating a linear, universal decline in the face of motorization, changes in bicycle use and redefinitions of the bicycle are linked to fundamental societal changes.

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Muslim transnationalism in Indo-Guyana

Localized globalization and battles over a cultural Islam

Johannes Gerrit de Kruijf

Contemporary cultural processes, comprising tendencies toward transformation and reproduction, are inevitably affected by the (re)formative force of globalization. Increased mobility and intensified interconnectedness have expanded our ability to recreate culture, enforce a redefinition of social realities, and transform power structures. Globalization has thus also had an effect on religious realms. Religious concepts, practices, and organizations everywhere are increasingly subject to transnational forces. This article looks at the intersection of these forces and the local powers that determine religious developments by analyzing contemporary Indo-Guyanese Islam as a manifestation of this connection. Rather than stressing globalization's universalizing propensities, it investigates how local conditions determine the relationship between growing interconnectedness and the development of Muslim faith, practice, and collectivity. It is argued that globalization stirs opposing processes of deculturalization and reculturalization in Guyana because of the economic, social, religious, political, and historical context in which local Muslims consume the fruits of transnationalization.

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"It is Japan, but yet there is a difference somehow"

Editorial Change and Yezo in Isabella Bird's Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

Andrew Elliott

Substantially broadening the scope of previous scholarship on Isabella Bird's Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, this article draws attention to the editorial reworking that transformed the two-volume text (1880) into the abridged popular edition (1885), arguing that it is the latter that marks itself more successfully as a "travel" - not "touristic" - account. Moreover, in its redefinition of Yezo (Ezo, Hokkaido) as a climactic destination, many of the instabilities and anxieties of the Honshu travels are herein managed. While this process is quite clearly contingent on an assertion of Bird's difference from the Ainu, particularly in her adopted role as ethnologist/ethnographer, it is effected most successfully through the transfer of tropes of "savagery" from Ainu to Japanese.

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Democracy Needs Rebellion

A Democratic Theory Inspired by Albert Camus

Markus Pausch

Democracy has come under pressure in many countries in recent years. Authoritarian tendencies, populism and the cult of leadership threaten pluralistic societies in Europe and other parts of the world. But democracy is more than just a method of finding a majority; it is inextricably linked to the fight against oppression and injustice in all contexts of life. Especially in times of democratic crisis, it is necessary to focus on its core aspects. The political thinking of French philosopher and writer Albert Camus, who died in 1960, offers the basis for a redefinition of democracy that is linked to and dependent on rebellion. From his reflections, a radical theory of democracy can be derived that is based on the absurdity of the world, its incompleteness, revolt and resistance to authoritarianism, on doubt, dialogue and foreignness.

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Corporate Sustainability

An Academic Review

Varhese Joy


This is a review of the concept corporate sustainability. Being the most widely discussed and deliberated topic in the management and corporate literature, this concept has been defined by many academic scholars with their own specific approach. This article makes an attempt to review these approaches and will examine them in the context of the principles of the social quality approach (SQA). The progress and relevance of the United Nation's 2030 sustainable development is also reviewed. The conceptual and methodological redefinition given by SQA scholars and the reasons for their rejection of the tripartite approach to defining sustainability provided in the UN Brundtland Report is also discussed in order to provide a basis for further research into the issue of sustainability and how it relates to the SQA.