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Introduction

(De)materializing Kinship—Holding Together Mutuality and Difference

Kathryn E. Goldfarb and Caroline E. Schuster

we argue is also inherent within kinship? We contribute to the vibrant conversation in anthropology that has refocused attention on the shared substances of relatedness, 1 which has productively focused analysis on everyday practices, embodiment, and

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Relating Muscat to Mombasa

Spatial Tropes in the Kinship Narratives of an Extended Family Network in Oman

Zulfikar Hirji

This study calls for a reintegration of space and relatedness in anthropological theories of social formation. It is based on the examination of spatial tropes in the kinship narratives and discursive practices of an extended Swahili-speaking family network historically located between Oman and coastal East Africa.

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Intimate Events

The Correctness of Affective Transactions in Northeast Brazil

Matan Shapiro

Drawing on ethnographic research in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, this article proposes the concept of the 'intimate event' as a heuristic device in the cross-cultural study of kinship and relatedness. This theoretical construct refers to the retrospective recognition of affective transactions as meaningfully intimate, that recognition being an event which in Maranhão compels ethical reflection. Intimacy can be imagined as an aesthetic of practice that indicates when something simply feels right, and which then frames the correctness of both moral conformity and transgression in affective terms.

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Native Marriage “Soviet” and “Russian” Style

The Political Economy of Desire and Competing Matrimonial Emotions

Vera Skvirskaja

of enduring emotional bonds. The Emotional Dynamics of Relatedness and Power Relations in Arranged Marriage A specific emotional register of Soviet marriage Nenets style is related to its role in producing and maintaining emotional attachments and

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Françoise Bartiaux and Luis Reátegui Salmón

Based on empirical data on “green” practices according to household size, this article questions the role, if any, given to close personal relationships by social practice theories in sustaining or not daily life practices. Data are mainly drawn from an Internet survey conducted in Belgium in 2006 by WWF-Belgium on daily practices, related to food, energy consumption, mobility, and tourism. Results show that smaller households carry out more numerous “green” practices than larger ones. The concluding discussion underlines the relevance of including social interactions—namely within the household—into the conceptual framework derived from the social theories of practices, to take into account the rearticulating role of social interactions and domestic power claims when carrying out a practice or a set of practices, and when changing it.

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Fictitious Kinship

Intimacy, Relatedness and Boundaries in the Life of Hanoi's Migrant Domestic Workers

Minh T. N. Nguyen

This article argues that migrant domestic workers in Hanoi practise a form of fictitious kinship to carve out personal spaces away from their rural home. Biographical narratives of domestic workers who are unusually devoted to forging emotional ties with their employers indicate that they tend to have problematic private lives. Beyond emotional labour, the performance of fictitious kinship entails significant personal investment on the part of women, at times generating mutual feelings and relationships between them and certain members of the employers' household. These relationships are crucial to their personal transformations, helping them construct new identities and opening up possibilities for challenging the power hierarchy in their home. Yet such constructed kinship is treacherous and uncertain, not just because of its foundation is their commodified labour, subject to the rules of the market, but also due to the dangers of intimate encounters in the private sphere.

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Moving-with-Others

Restoring Viable Relations in Emigrant Gambia

Paolo Gaibazzi

The article argues for an intersubjective understanding of mobility among aspirant migrants in the Gambia. Among other factors, Gambian young men’s desire to reach Europe and other destinations may stem from an experience of dispersal and abandonment in migrant households. Emigration becomes a way of restoring the viability of relationships, in a socioeconomic sense of regenerating ties and flows between migrants and nonmigrants, as well as in an existential-kinetic sense of experiencing others as moving closer to oneself. By highlighting intersubjective mobility, the article contributes to widening the scope of an existential take on movement and stasis. It further revises popular and scholarly views on the role of families and migrants in shaping aspirations to emigrate.

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Large-Scale Hydrocarbon-Related Industrial Projects in Russia's Coastal Regions

The Risks Arising from the Absence of Strategic Environmental Assessment

Vassily Spiridonov

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia has monitored several large-scale hydrocarbon extraction and transportation projects on the Russian shelf, revealing the chaotic nature of this large-scale industrial activity. An analysis of the early stages of project implementation has shown that, contrary to the claims of project designers, the projects are starting to have diverse, tangible, and often negative impacts on the natural and human environments. Risks can be grouped as follows: the loss of or damage to unique natural and cultural phenomena, major accidents, and indirect and cumulative effects on the environment or human communities. The author argues that completion of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) before these projects began may have helped to significantly reduce these risks, and considers possibilities for institutional development of SEA in Russia, based on trans-sectoral partnership.

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David Collins

In 1991 I published an annotated bibliography of English language publications about Siberia and the Russian Far East. The following list is the first part of a chronological extension of the original bibliography to the present. However, because of space and time considerations, there will be no annotations; items to do with foreign relations and shorter than six pages are usually omitted. I would be very grateful for information about any items which have escaped my attention, so that they can be included in a subsequent retrospective section.

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David Collins

The following list continues the entries published in the previous issue of Sibirica. It includes items from late 1993 to 1995 and some earlier publications discovered since the list was published. I would be very grateful for information about any items which have escaped my attention, so that they can be included later.