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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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‘De-kinning’

House, State Discourses and Relatedness in Modern China

Jialing Luo

became clear that, in this context, house and relatedness could be better understood in the sense of ‘de-kinning’ as part of China's modernising processes. If, following Signe Howell, ‘kinning’ is understood as ‘a shared creation of the family's destiny

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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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Moving-with-Others

Restoring Viable Relations in Emigrant Gambia

Paolo Gaibazzi

aspirant migrant but not as a candidate for boat migration; more importantly, his case is a powerful reminder that the majority of aspirant migrants do actually remain at home ( Gaibazzi 2015a ). Second, and related to this, rather than reproducing the

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Native Marriage “Soviet” and “Russian” Style

The Political Economy of Desire and Competing Matrimonial Emotions

Vera Skvirskaja

produce families that were a focus 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

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Introduction

Measuring Kinship, Negotiating Belonging

Tatjana Thelen and Christof Lammer

has shown diverse ‘signs of relatedness’ to be important in the processes of establishing kinship and that, in this sense, kinship is always ‘assisted’—not just when it is created through the use of reproductive technologies ( Goldfarb 2016: 51

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Five urgent questions related to regional water governance

Harlan Koff, Carmen Maganda, and Edith Kauffer

reasons, we have decided to present the editors’ note for this issue in the form of a roundtable discussion, which integrates reflections from members of the journal's editorial team. The discussion addresses some of the most pressing water-related issues

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Potato rope families

Sharing food and precarious kinship in a West African fishing town

Jennifer Diggins

This article examines the considerable material work men and women in coastal Sierra Leone invest in the attempt to nurture the webs of relations which, they hope, will catch them when their catches fail. From the raw fish handed to a stranger on the wharf to the intimate sharing of cooked rice at home, huge volumes of food circulate through Tissana's gift economy each day, in patterns that map each person's evolving network of friendships and romances. These networks of relationships are sometimes referred to locally as ‘potato rope families’, referring to their fast‐growing, ‘rhizomorphous’ forms. As the article progresses, I explore the ‘darker’ side of this flexible mode of reckoning social belonging. Huge anxiety is generated by the knowledge that, in the absence of gifts to hold them together, many of these intimate relations would atrophy and collapse as rapidly as they were formed. In other cases, a gift of rice is not only the substance of survival and kinship, but also a potent expression of power.

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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.