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Bringing into View

Knowledge Fields and Sociolegal Phenomena

Narmala Halstead

A new colleague in a recent email communication about this journal posed the question of whether the term ‘legal’ was being put in opposition to ‘illegal’: was there an illegal anthropology? My response must be left in part to the views of

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Siseko H. Kumalo

The historical debate, in African philosophy, on personhood has been characterised by radical and moderate communitarianism seen through the scholarship of Menkiti (1984) and Gyekye (1997) and continues contemporarily with scholars considering its implications on contemporary conceptions of rights.

Responding to Chemhuru’s compatibilist view that, he maintains, safeguards and guarantees individual rights, I showcase how his conception of the community as prior to the individual betrays his project. Using the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to contextualise rights discourse in Afro-communitarianism, Chemhuru avers that once collective rights have been gained, individuals can claim their rights. I critique this position to suggest that Chemhuru undermines his own project of compatibilism through placing the community prior to the individual. Using the Civil Union Act (2006) as a legislative framework that safeguards and guarantees individual human rights, I test Chemhuru’s compatibilist view. I conclude by highlighting the divergences between constitutionalism and Afro-communitarianism.

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Katalin Solymosi

Using the concept that landscapes are ideas formed by viewers about their physical surroundings, this article examines visitors' landscape perceptions of two peripheral regions of Europe: Gyimes in the Romanian Eastern Carpathians, and Las Hurdes in the Northern Extremadura of Spain. Both are characterized by exceptional, historically-evolved cultural landscapes and a population that culturally or ethnically differs from the national mainstream surrounding them. Based on literature review, expert consultations, and a questionnaire survey conducted in the research areas, I conclude that due to historical developments, socio-economic settings, and ethnic differences, the outsiders' view of these landscapes can be strongly distorted. In the tourist, misinformation and wishful thinking create a “mental map” that does not represent reality. I also note that along with having a possible impact on inhabitants' landscape perception and their strong regional identity, the outsiders' view might influence policy decisions and therefore the general development of a region.

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Déjà Views

How Americans Look at France

Edward C. Knox

As the (un)diplomatic debates over Iraq in the first months of this year and the attendant media coverage amply attested, the well-known lovers’ quarrel between America and France, an “I Love You, Moi Non Plus”2 mixture of frustration and admiration, gratitude and annoyance, is now into its third century and still going strong, as France and the French clearly continue to inspire strong feelings in Americans.

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Street View

A Corrective to the City from Above in The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Joe Benge

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, United States, 2011, produced by Chad Freidrichs, Jaime Freidrichs, Brian Woodman, and Paul Fehler, directed by Chad Freidrichs, written by Chad Freidrichs and Jaime Freidrichs.

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Gideon M. Kressel, Sasson Bar-Zvi, and Aref Abu-Rabia

Human beliefs in resurrection and life after death, based on lasting exchanges between earth and heaven that prevail in human societies ubiquitously, are presented here and analysed with regard to the customs and rituals of the Negev Bedouin. The article looks at patterns of the mourning process and the different social functions and outcomes of that process. The influence of mystics and the Bedouin's views on death are discussed. Pre-Islamic burial practices and grave visits that reflect both legend and tradition are shown to be on the verge of change as they collide with proper Islam and modernity.

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Dalit Simchai

This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one's self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.

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Rivka Gordon

In her essay On Violence (1970), Hannah Arendt criticizes what she calls Sartre’s ‘new faith’ of violence. She argues that his call to the oppressed peoples to turn to a violent struggle to achieve freedom from colonialisation is an idea that was not known in the history of revolutions. In addition, Sartre’s glorification of violence is totally opposed to the Hegelian and Marxian tradition, and to any ‘leftist humanism’. Therefore, Sartre should be included, she holds, among ‘the new militants’ or ‘the new preachers of violence’ of the New Left. To support her views, Arendt criticizes passages in Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason and in his preface to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.

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Mauro Sarrica, Sonia Brondi, and Paolo Cottone

This article examines the contents of the representations of sustainable energy in Italy from 2009 to 2011. In particular it explores the representations of energy, energy systems, and users. The article's starting point was the assumption that critical points may change the relationship between communities and the represented issues, and that new representations may be dialogically elaborated following relevant societal events. Political debates and newspaper articles dealing with sustainable energy were subjected to content analyses. Results show that the representations bear witness to the prevalence of economic and strategic approaches and a view of citizens whereby, even when involved in decentralized systems, they are required to stay passive. Alternative contents seem not to challenge the hegemonic view of energy. A clear trend toward sustainability is lacking, suggesting the absence of a continuing motivation to look at energy taking into account the civic growth of the population.

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Raficq Abdulla

How do people of faith reconcile their own faith path with the reality and validity of pluralism? How to be faithful to one's own tradition and also be open to the faith of the other? What are the enabling or disabling issues that make it easier or more difficult for members of different faiths to work or sometimes even to co-exist together?