In this article I explore links between fieldwork experience and different conceptions of time as they are encountered in what I term 'episodic fieldwork'. I use 'episodic' to emphasize the importance of absence and return for fieldwork relationships and the ethnographies that are founded on these relationships. I draw on Simmel's concept of sociability to explore the significance of the recurring updates that are so much a part of long-term and thus episodic fieldwork. Updating suggests participation, positionality, and transformation-as well as play and familiarity. The presumption of familiarity, which is at the heart of sociability, becomes a tool for exploring time and new social experiences and the ways in which chronology is interwoven with shifting social positions.
Mary P. Corcoran, Jane Gray, and Michel Peillon
This article aims to demonstrate the significant role children play in new suburban communities, and in particular, the extent to which their circuits of sociability contribute to social cohesion in the suburbs. The discussion is located within the field of sociology of childhood, which argues that children are active agents who help to create and sustain social bonds within their neighborhoods. Drawing on focus group discussions and short essays by children on “The place where I live,” we paint a picture of how suburban life is interpreted and experienced from a child's perspective. We argue that children develop a particular suburban sensibility that structures their view of their estate, the wider neighborhood, and the metropolitan core. Although children express considerable degrees of satisfaction with suburban life, they are critical of the forces that increasingly limit their access to suburban public space.
Language and Sociability in France from the Fourteenth to the Nineteenth Century
This article describes the social and linguistic processes underlying the formation of political language in France from the end of the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The author emphasizes the close relationship between the evolution of political language, as it can be traced through the many editions of dictionnaires and grammaires, and novel forms of sociability, from the medieval notion of friendship to revolutionary civism. The eighteenth century is considered a crucial moment in this process, given that during that period the thinkers of the Lumières, in their effort to harness civil society through language, forged the notion of a space of universal communication among men as a precondition for the invention of a political language specific to contemporary democracy.
Corporeal Sociability and the Language of Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France
Joseph D. Bryan
luxury produced “agreeable sensations,” the pleasurable experience of refined, sociable living. Adam Smith even grounded his understanding of moral sentiments and the sociability necessary in a commercial society on the notion of an impartial spectator, a
The Role of Domestic Space in the Social Inclusion and Exclusion of Refugees in Rural Denmark
Birgitte Romme Larsen
This article examines negotiations over social inclusion and exclusion that take place during everyday settlement processes among refugee families located in rural areas in Denmark. Using the case study of a Congolese household, the article shows how local codes of sociability are often concretized and materialized in domestic space in ways that turn the home sphere, with its daily routines and material culture, into a domain of vital importance for the social incorporation of refugee newcomers. This domestic domain is of particular significance in a country where, on the one hand, the integration programs of the welfare state are highly regulatory and tend to intervene deeply in refugees' private spheres and, on the other, cultural homogeneity is emphasized and regarded as closely related to equality.
Jeffrey H. Jackson
By the 1920s, the physical transformation in the urban space of Montmartre led two groups of artists to "secede" from the city of Paris, at least in spirit. Calling themselves the Commune Libre de Montmartre and the République de Montmartre, these painters, illustrators, poets, writers, and musicians articulated a distinctive community-based identity centered around mutual aid, sociability, and limiting urban development. They also reached out to the poor of the neighborhood through charity efforts, thus linking their fates with those of other area residents. Through these organizations, neighborhood artists came to terms with the changes taking place in the city of Paris in the 1920s by navigating between nostalgia and modernism. They sought to keep alive an older vision of the artists' Montmartre while adapting to the new conditions of the post-World War I city.
This article examines The Word of Faith, one of the largest congregations of "modern" charismatic Christians in post-Soviet Lithuania. The ethnographic focus is on the church's extensive network of trust, altruistic exchange, and sociability, known as bendravimas. These networks are theorized as a kind of civil society that allows its members to claim "ethical distinction" and enables them to take a critical stance toward the surrounding social milieu, perceived to be in moral disarray. The Word of Faith is discussed in relation to the national Catholic Church (its principal religious rival) and vis-à-vis broader Lithuanian society. The article suggests that it is concrete everyday practices deemed to be moral and civil, rather than abstract Christian precepts, that motivate Word of Faith believers to be "good people." It is also argued that such practices constitute important means for engendering and reproducing the charisma of this "modern" evangelical congregation.
The Dreyfus Affair in the Notebooks of Henri Vever
Willa Z. Silverman
This article analyzes representations of the Dreyfus Affair in the private diaries written between 1898 and 1901 by Henri Vever, a prominent Art Nouveau jeweler, art collector, and small-town mayor. The important place accorded the Affair in these “ordinary writings“ by an individual with no direct engagement in it offers an opportunity to assess how historical events become enmeshed with private life, mentalités, and sociability. Further, Vever's notebooks reveal position taking during the Affair as a complex phenomenon, in Vever's case influenced by circumstances encompassing his identity as both a native of Lorraine, marked by France's defeat in 1870, and a Republican notable and Parisian businessman. While Vever's notebooks corroborate some standard themes of Dreyfus Affair historiography, including the importance of the press and the eclipsing of the Affair by the 1900 World's Fair, they also nuance the idea of a rigid ideological division between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards.
Creating Situations and Spaces of a City's Counter-narrative
This article explores the creation of new structures of participation and counter imaginaries within the city between the poles of arts and politics. On the basis of two case studies, one situated in the non-institutionalised artistic field and one in the non-institutionalised political field, I will explore narratives of a 'topography of the possible' in the city of Salzburg. Aiming to outline collage pieces of a topography of the possible and of counter-narrative in and of the city – the city is looked at in terms of collage, understood as overlapping layers of the three spatial dimensions materiality (physical space), sociability (social space) and the imaginary (symbolic space). These are understood as differing but interrelated spatial dimensions, each one unfolding forms of collective appropriation of a city. The focus lies on the creation of social relations and collective imaginaries on the micro-level of cultural and political self-organised initiatives, looked at under terms of narration and storytelling. My ethnographic project asks for the creative potentiality of a city and for the creative power of social relations and collective imaginaries.
James Longhurst, Sheila Dwyer, John Lennon, Zhenhua Chen, Rudi Volti, Gopalan Balachandran, Katarina Gephardt, Mathieu Flonneau, Kyle Shelton, and Fiona Wilkie
debate on Britain’s attempts between the wars to create for its overseas possessions a sustainable naval self-defense. The Best Conference You Never Went To Colin Divall, ed., Cultural Histories of Sociabilities, Spaces and Mobilities (London: Pickering