At a time when individualized narratives have replaced structural explanations like social class to account for inequality, girls who are on the urban fringe are not only made invisible but are under-valued as contributing members to a future, individually oriented society. This article offers a visual disruption in order to re-value the stigmatized, working-class girl by applying the concept of use-value to identify the girls' redemption narratives as an agentic process that is expressed affectively. Drawing from an ethnography of urban, working-class girls who utilize social services, this article reveals how class as culture operated along with other classification systems to inscribe the girls as a problem. Recognizing this, each girl had a redemption tale to tell so as to recover a sense of self; the self-narratives revealed alternative value systems that provided collective and practical value to them.
Redemption, Value, and the Politics of Recognition
city residents create and maintain what Marx called “use values”—things of utility—and make them available for collective use by one another. These things can take a variety of forms—schools, public health facilities, housing, street space, or murals
Container economies in a European transshipment port
Hege Høyer Leivestad
asking whether the abstraction of heterogeneous use value leads to particular forms of alienation. Maersk's bedroom: Transshipment and the mathematics of containers In August of 2019, the Algeciras Bay Port Authority announced an investment of €7
After the commons—commoning!
important definitional point that the urban commons is defined by use values versus exchange values. This seems to make perfect sense but only in the most immediate meaning of the term. His complex analysis shows brilliantly that this is a relational and
Labor as a common denominator
This city is itself ‘ oeuvre ’, a feature which contrasts with the irreversible tendency towards money and commerce, towards exchange and products . Indeed the oeuvre is use value and the product exchange value. ( Lefebvre 1996: 66 ) On living
Maize production and the GM corn debates in Mexico
In the Mexican debates over genetically modified (GM) corn, critics reject the official narrative about risk expertise and the inefficiency of maize production. Corn is used to symbolize the Mexican countryside and traditional culture threatened by the forces of neo-liberal globalization. At times, however, both GM critics and proponents portray maize-based livelihoods as a culture of use-values beyond the reach of the market. This article explores these claims in relation to neo-liberal policies and their effect on small-scale cultivators. While critics draw our attention to how such policies exacerbate the difficulties faced by peasants, their notion of a corn culture obscures some of the changes taking place. Drawing on research in the Tehuacán Valley, where maize production is increasingly monetized and rejected by a younger generation, this article suggests that such agriculture is a dynamic practice, rather than a millennial culture, which interacts with processes of capital accumulation and state policy.
Abigail Baim-Lance and Cecilia Vindrola-Padros
Academic funding bodies are increasingly measuring research impact using accountability and reward assessments. Scholars have argued that frameworks attempting to measure the use-value of knowledge production could end up influencing the selection of research topics, limiting research agendas, and privileging linear over complex research designs. Our article responds to these concerns by calling upon insights from anthropology to reconceptualise impact. We argue that, to conduct socially beneficial studies, impact needs to be turned from a product to an inclusive process of engagement. Anthropology's epistemologically and methodologically rich tradition of ethnography offers a particularly apposite set of tools to achieve this goal. We present three concrete examples of how we have used ethnography to impact on the work we carry out, particularly in shaping multidisciplinary team-based research approaches.
Mathijs Pelkmans and Rhys Machold
This article aims to reinvigorate analytical debates on conspiracy theories. It argues that definitional attempts to set conspiracy theories apart from other theories are flawed. Blinded by the “irrational” reputation of conspiracy theories and deluded by the workings of institutionalized power such approaches fail to recognize that there are no inherent differences between the two categories. We argue that assessments of conspiracy theories should focus not on the epistemological qualities of these theories but on their interactions with the socio-political fields through which they travel. Because “conspiracy theory” is not a neutral term but a powerful label, attention to processes of labeling highlights these larger fields of power, while the theories’ trajectories illuminate the mechanisms by which truth and untruth are created. As such, this article offers a way forward for assessing both the truth and use value of conspiracy theories in the contemporary world.
Contested spaces and contested politics
The global Right to the City network challenges exclusionary effects of neoliberal urbanization by claiming citizens' rights for access to urban space and to the benefits of urban culture. Artists belong to one of the most vulnerable groups in the context of gentrification and urban exclusion. At the same time, their creative and expressive capacities put them in a privileged position to voice protest. Oscillating between counterhegemony, accommodation, and strategic collusion, a group of artist-activists from the city of Hamburg in Germany have been employing the means of empowered symbolism, activist art, and emancipatory knowledge in order to implement an alterpolitics of space. Their occupation of the historic Hamburg Gängeviertel has successfully repoliticized questions over urban use value and urban access, which had been purposefully excluded from the realm of the political in the revanchist, neoliberal city.
Kevin A. Yelvington
Academic social and cultural anthropology concerned with tourism has provided thick descriptions of the tourist exchange in a number of contexts, with exegeses devoted to illustrate the sexualized Other, the appropriation of landscape, the uses of the past in the present, and the detrimental effects of tourism structures on the ‘host’ communities. It has shown us how pilgrimages, beaches and museums become iconic and fetishized in the tourist’s gaze, how the landscape is appropriated and a geographical space is turned into a cultural place. Yet, for applied anthropologists concerned with the impacts of the world’s largest industry on local ‘toured’ populations and how the (unequal) tourism exchange is (unequally) constituted through material and symbolic historical processes, do the theories generated in the academic tradition provide a use-value? Do those anthropologists engaged in community-centred methods such as participatory action research, and working in theoretical traditions through praxis, approach their subject in the same ways as their nonapplied anthropological counterparts? Indeed, what can applied anthropologists, as such, and the consideration of applied projects, contribute to theory in anthropological research on tourism more generally?