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Rhythm – a World Language?

Sonja Windmüller

The article explores the idea and practice of rhythm as a subject as well as a perspective of cultural analysis that points to the physical dimension of culture, the social effects of bodily movements. Against holistic (and essentialist) conceptualisations of rhythm, the paper argues for a more detailed, multi-perspective approach, facing concrete phenomena in their specific and larger contexts, their functions and content and not least their interrelations and cross-references. The focus here is on a popular as well as questionable theoretical and practical model in a key area of rhythmic expressions: the model of rhythm as a (musical) “world language”. It can be shown how different, even (supposedly) competing concepts of rhythm are affiliated, how explicit and subliminalmodels and practices are adjoined by further meaning, and, finally, how they develop culture constituting qualities.

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Rhythms of Global Urbanisation

Exploring Cosmopolitan Competences

Emil Abossolo Mbo and Cassis Kilian

Since global interdependencies are a feature of urbanisation, Kwame Anthony Appiah's pleading for an education in 'cosmopolitan citizenship' is forward-looking. Given increasing mobility, handling different urban rhythms is as important as dealing with different languages. Actors explore how airports, supermarkets and cemeteries react to gait, respiration and heartbeat and how people adopt or impose rhythms. Such investigations might appear superficial from an academic perspective, but they bear resemblance to ethnographic fieldwork.

We (an actor and an anthropologist) refer to the shift from participant observation to collaboration proposed by George Marcus, and conjointly explore rhythmic aspects of urbanisation, which are difficult for scholars to grasp. Our aim is to expand anthropological concepts, methods and forms of representation. In reference to Paul Stoller, we consider acting methods a 'sensuous scholarship' and argue that rhythm allows us to explore preverbal aspects of feelings of belonging or alienation in the urban space.

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Rhythming Volatilities

Gleaning from and Salvaging for Capitalists

Sandro Simon

laments how global market volatilities weaken growth rates of poorer countries like Senegal ( Calderon et al 2019 ; Hnatkovska and Loayza 2003 ). To rhythm volatilities – here I use the term as an active verb – is about making productive use of such

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Weapons for Witnessing

American Street Preaching and the Rhythms of War

Kyle Byron

Now this is very profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than words. A sight, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it … — Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Vol. 3: 1923–1928 A man

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Shaping Edits, Creating Fractals

A Cinematic Case Study

James E. Cutting and Karen Pearlman

frames are shown in Figure 1 . Pearlman (2016) has also written about how editors shape the rhythm of films. James Cutting is a psychologist and cognitive scientist who, with his students, has empirically analyzed hundreds of popular films and written

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Durkheim's Effervescence and Its Maussian Afterlife in Medical Anthropology

Elisabeth Hsu

), in which Mauss famously noted that their social morphology was marked by a seasonal ‘rhythm’ of group dispersal and concentration which occurred in synchrony with the movements of the animals they hunted. The present article addresses three main

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Aske Juul Lassen

Building on an ethnographic study of older men playing billiards at an activity centre as well as document analysis of how the concept of activity has changed during the last sixty years, this article argues that active ageing policies have overlooked that activities are culturally significant forms of practice situated in socio-material collectives. Active ageing policies create a hierarchy amongst activities, wherein constant physical activity is at the core of a healthy old age. But in billiards, activity and passivity are meticulously composed into a rhythm that enables the players to engage for hours and that thus produces a collective practice. The article concludes that activity and passivity are entangled, and a game such as billiards contains qualities that could be translated into a revised active ageing policy.

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Temporal Rhythms as Outcomes of Social Practices.

Elizabeth Shove and Mika Pantzar

In this article we argue that rushhours, hot spots and experiences of time squeeze are temporal manifestations of relations between practices. In describing these relations we explore the relevance of a range of metaphors, including those of organic, self-sustaining networks. In contrast to time use studies, which suggest that social rhythms follow from interaction between individuals, we argue that temporal rhythms are usefully characterised as outcomes of processes in which practices figure as “living” rather than asstable entities. Although illustrated with reference to empirical studies of daily life in Finland, this is in essence a speculative paper designed to provoke debate about how webs of social practice constitute the temporalities of contemporary society.

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Editing and Cognition Beyond Continuity

Karen Pearlman

editors actually do, beyond preserving temporal and spatial continuity. It draws on analyses done of rhythm in film editing in Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing ( Pearlman 2016 ) 1 to describe the work of editors as cognitively complex artistry of

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Boredom, Rhythm, and the Temporality of Ritual

Recurring Fieldwork in the Brazilian Candomblé

Inger Sjørslev

Setting out from fieldwork experiences in the ritual of the Brazilian Candomblé, this article aims to understand temporality in different ways. The significance of 'unfocused presence' in the field is discussed by way of the concept of 'deep hanging out'. The boredom experienced by the fieldworker is analyzed in relation to sentiments expressed by the people involved in ritual and the fieldworker's changing emotions over time, as previous experiences influence how time spent waiting is perceived. In ritual as well as in the interaction between fieldworker and the people in the field, temporality is deeply related to sociality and the aesthetics of social rhythm. It is concluded that the fieldworker is drawn into the time-geography of the field in a joint chore ography of social interaction.