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Tamara V. Litvinenko and Takeshi Murota

Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East have traditionally been seen as a vast storehouse of natural resource wealth to be developed for the benefit of the Russian Federation. This article investigates the social and ecological problems that face potentially rich but sparsely populated regions. The article is based on numerous field trips to the two regions between 2001 and 2007. We find that processes aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of resource utilization are weak and that the federal government takes too much tax gained from resource development from the locations where the resources are exploited. Consequently, local authorities cannot fund adequate social and environmental protection measures.

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“There’s nothing makeup cannot do”

Women Beauty Vloggers’ Self- Representations, Transformations, and #thepowerofmakeup

Michele White

Women beauty vloggers, or video bloggers, produce YouTube self-representations as a means of considering cosmetics, their appearance, and cultural expectations about femininity. These vloggers developed “the power of makeup” videos and related social media texts in order to critique makeup shaming and attempts to limit women’s representations and aesthetic choices. Their incomplete cosmetic applications are connected to and rework reality television makeovers and feminist considerations of beauty. Feminist scholars, including Bordo and Bartky, suggest that makeovers direct women to pursue transformations into better selves and to follow beauty experts’ directions. In contrast to these forms of control, beauty vloggers have more authority over their practices. They use the term “transformation” to describe applications that are not focused on ideal looks or ever-improvable selves, and reform beauty culture around participants’ interests and artistry rather than male heterosexual expectations. These women’s practices of self-definition challenge mainstream conceptions of art, makeup, and femininity.

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Extracción de petróleo y transformaciones socioterritoriales

Comunidad Emiliano Zapata, Veracruz, Mexico

Irvin Aguilar León

*Full Article is in Spanish

English abstract:

This article responds to the question: how do the inhabitants of a community perceive the transformations of their territory associated with oil extraction policy in Mexico that are defined and upheld by prevailing political-economic trends? Oil extraction in Mexico has only highlighted the importance of oil as a main element of the country’s economic development. This situation contributes to the invisibility of the harmful eff ects in the territories where extraction takes place. The article focuses on the analysis of seven socioterritorial transformations that took place in the socio-cultural, socio-economic, socio-political and socio-environmental context of the Emiliano Zapata community. The perception of the inhabitants regarding the oil extraction activities that take place in their community shows they have been negatively impacted by sociocultural and socio-environmental contexts.

Spanish abstract:

Este artículo tiene como objetivo responder a la pregunta: ¿cómo perciben los pobladores de una comunidad las transformaciones de su territorio asociadas a una política de extracción de petróleo en México, defi nida y adecuada con base en las tendencias político-económicas imperantes? La extracción de petróleo en México ha destacado la importancia del petróleo como elemento principal del desarrollo económico del país. Esta situación contribuye a invisibilizar los efectos nocivos en territorios donde tiene lugar su extracción. El artículo analiza siete transformaciones socioterritoriales ocurridas en el contexto sociocultural, socioeconómico, sociopolítico y socioambiental de la comunidad Emiliano Zapata. La percepción de los pobladores en torno a las actividades de extracción de petróleo que tienen lugar en su comunidad evidencia que han impactado negativamente su contexto sociocultural y socioambiental.

French abstract:

Cet article a pour objectif de répondre à la question suivante : comment les habitants d’une communauté mexicaine perçoivent-ils les transformations de leur territoire associées à une politique d’extraction pétrolière qui est défi nie et adaptée en fonction des tendances politiques et économiques actuelles ? L’auteur prend comme point de référence la politique d’extraction pétrolière au Mexique, à partir de l’expropriation pétrolière de 1937 et jusqu’à la dernière Réforme énergétique de 2013, période caractérisée essentiellement par l’importance du pétrole comme un élément de développement économique du pays. Cett e situation contribue à invisibiliser les eff ets nocifs dans les territoires d’extraction. L’article centre l’analyse autour de sept transformations sociales du territoire qui surgissent dans le contexte culturel, économique, politique et environnemental de la communauté Emiliano Zapata, qui se trouve au centre des opérations d’un gisement pétrolier.

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Development and Migration--Migration and Development

What Comes First? Global Perspective and African Experiences

Stephen Castles

Socio-economic change and human mobility are constantly interactive processes, so to ask whether migration or development comes first is nonsensical. Yet in both popular and political discourse it has become the conventional wisdom to argue that promoting economic development in the Global South has the potential to reduce migration to the North. This carries the clear implication that such migration is a bad thing, and poor people should stay put. This 'sedentary bias' is a continuation of colonial policies designed to mobilise labour for mines and plantations, while preventing permanent settlement in the cities. European policy-makers and academics are particularly concerned with flows from Africa, and measures taken by the European Union and its member states are often designed to reduce these - often in the guise of well-meaning development policies. By contrast, many migration scholars regard human mobility as a normal part of social transformation processes, and a way in which people can exercise agency to improve their livelihoods. This article examines these problems, first by providing a brief history of academic debates on international migration and development. It goes on to look at the politics of migration and development, using both EU policy and African approaches as examples. An alternative approach to migration and development is presented, based on a conceptual framework derived from the analysis of social transformation processes.

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Action Speaks Louder Than Words?

Trust, Trustworthiness and Social Transformation in Slovakia

Davide Torsello

This article argues that trust cannot be easily isolated as a form of social interaction without the risk of overseeing the nuance between practices and ideas. Using a case study of a rural community in post-socialist Slovakia, the author examines how trust and trustworthiness are built and applied under conditions of profound social transformation. Following mainstream anthropological approaches to post-socialism, he shows that this transformation has deeply affected the patterns of local social interaction. Moreover, following Slovakia's recent EU accession, increased social and work mobility have further complicated the picture. If trust remains a crucial idea underpinning individual social choices, cognitive constructions of trustworthiness tend to diverge from practices. This is due, among other factors, to the difficulty of calibrating spatial and temporal mental models of trustworthiness with trust as social action.

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Thomas Lenk and Volkmar Teichmann

This article analyses East German economic and social development of the last eight years, which, due to the reunification, represents a special case of the transformation processes occurring throughout the former socialist countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. Eight years after German reunification, an interim balance of the reform process in the new German states should be drawn up with an examination of West German financial contributions.

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Rethinking the Human and the Social

Towards a Multiverse of Transformations

Ananta Kumar Giri

Our understanding of the human and the social, as well as our realization of these, are in need of fundamental transformations, as our present day use of these are deeply anthropocentric, Eurocentric and dualistic. Human development discourse looks at the human in an adjectival way, so does the social quality approach to the category of the social: neither reflects the profound rethinking both the categories have gone through even in the Western theoretical imagination (for example, the critique of humanism in philosophy and the critique of socio-centrism in sociology). In this context, the present essay explores the ways these two categories are being rethought in Western theoretical imagination and discusses the non-anthropocentric and post-anthropocentric conceptualization and realization of the human, which resonates with non-socio-centric and post-social conceptions of society. The essay also opens these two categories to cross-cultural and planetary conversations and on the way rethinks subjectivity, sovereignty, temporality and spatiality. It pleads for a foundational rethinking of human security and social quality and for creative intertwining between the two with visions and practices of practical spirituality.

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Kristian Kristiansen

In this article I examine how long-term economic strategies in the Bronze Age of northern Europe between 2300 and 500 BCE transformed the environment and thus created and imposed new ecological constraints that finally led to a major social transformation and a "dark age" that became the start of the new long-term cycle of the Iron Age. During the last 30 years hundreds of well-excavated farmsteads and houses from south Scandinavia have made it possible to reconstruct the size and the structure of settlement and individual households through time. During the same period numerous pollen diagrams have established the history of vegetation and environmental changes. I will therefore use the size of individual households or farmsteads as a parameter of economic strength, and to this I add the role of metal as a triggering factor in the economy, especially after 1700 BCE when a full-scale bronze technology was adopted and after 500 BCE when it was replaced by iron as the dominant metal. A major theoretical concern is the relationships between micro- and macroeconomic changes and how they articulated in economic practices. Finally the nature of the "dark age" during the beginning of the Iron Age will be discussed, referring to Sing Chew's use of the concept (Chew 2006).

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Introduction

Migration, Development, and Social Transformation

Nina Glick Schiller and Thomas Faist

How should scholars interested in social analysis approach the topic of migration and development, and with what analytical tools, conceptual framework, or political stance? The topic of migration and development is becoming an important field of study, yet these questions are too rarely asked. In this special section, “Migration, Development, and Transnationalization: A Critical Stance,” all six authors, each in his or her own way, and from various intellectual and disciplinary starting points, argue that the assumptions and paradigms underlying the study of the asymmetrical but mutual transfers of resources that accompany migration are deeply flawed and continue to reflect the interests of the global North, the most powerful states, and the globe-spanning institutions that serve their interests. The articles explore the role that contradictory discourses about migration are playing as modes of explanation for growing inequalities and an expanding global regime of militarized surveillance. Moreover, the articles provide useful alternative perspectives to the current received wisdom about the relationship between migration and development.

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The Firedrake

Local Society and Train Transport in Zhejiang Province in the 1930s

Ding Xianyong

The Hangzhou-Jiangshan railway across Zhejiang province was built in the early 1930s, connecting the mountainous interior to the coastal area. The construction in the context of military strategy enjoyed high government attention and was implemented with personnel and a workforce brought into the area. Drawing on literary writings, archival documents, and oral histories, this article traces the range of attitudes, reactions, and activities among the inhabitants of rural towns and villages in the area of Quzhou and Jinhua as well as migrants who had left for cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. The name “redrake” created by locals captures attitudes of mingled apprehension in the fact that a dragon, which is always associated with water, becomes a re-creature; curiosity and excitement in the association with dragon lantern processions; and practical usefulness in the closeness to the train that is literally a “re-vehicle” in Chinese.