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During recent years, attempts have been made to move beyond the Eurocentric perspective that characterized the social sciences, especially anthropology, for over 150 years. A debate on the "anthropology of anthropology" was needed, one that would consider other forms of knowledge, modalities of writing, and political and intellectual practices. This volume undertakes that challenge: it is the result of discussions held at the first organized encounter between Iranian, American, and European anthropologists since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It is considered an important first step in overcoming the dichotomy between "peripheral anthropologies" versus "central anthropologies." The contributors examine, from a critical perspective, the historical, cultural, and political field in which anthropological research emerged in Iran at the beginning of the twentieth century and in which it continues to develop today.
Dealing with some of the major themes in film narratives, this book draws on the theories of French psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva. It looks at how narratives have changed over time, and considers the sources of our variable reactions to themes and representations of horror, strangers, and love. In addition to a selection of contemporary mainstream films, the major films for analysis are New Zealand "New Wave" films such as Alison Maclean's Kitchen Sink and Crush; Vincent Ward's Vigil; and Jane Campion's Sweety, An Angel at My Table, and The Piano.
Have you ever felt a sudden rush of recognition that you've been in a place before? What causes a déjà vu? Why do dogs look like their owners? What's up with insect swarms? What's the science behind showing your tongue? Do you keep drier by walking or running through a rainstorm? In this updated and expanded edition of The Science of Everyday Life, bestselling author Jay Ingram explains these and many more weird and fascinating mysteries. .
What happens to our pop culture when it meets another culture head-on - especially one that according to some is completely at odds with our own? In THE SHEIKH'S BATMOBILE, pop-cultural commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual two-year odyssey. His mission is to see what becomes of his, and North America's, obsessions - pop songs and sitcoms, Hollywood movies and shoot-em-up video games, muscle cars and punk music-when they make their way into the Muslim world. Over the course of his journey, Poplak is body slammed by WWE fans in Afghanistan, hangs out with hip-hop artists in Palestine, head bangs to heavy metal in Cairo, discovers a world of extreme makeovers in Beirut, bowls with the chief of police in small-town Kazakhstan, and encounters a mysterious Texan building rocket-propelled batmobiles for a clientele of sheikhs. With uproarious humour and keen cultural insight, Poplak asks some vital questions: How is American pop culture consumed and reinterpreted in the Islamic world? What does that say about how we are viewed by young Muslims? And can Homer Simpson bridge the differences that are tearing our world apart?
A Shakespearian tragedy in the heart of the Derbyshire moors: a young woman whose face doesn't fit; a child left without a mother; a love that lasts long after death.
Around the planet, Indigenous people are using old and new technologies to amplify their voices and broadcast information to a global audience. This is the first portrait of a powerful international movement that looks both inward and outward, helping to preserve ancient languages and cultures while communicating across cultural, political, and geographical boundaries. Based on more than twenty years of research, observation, and work experience in Indigenous journalism, film, music, and visual art, this volume includes specialized studies of Inuit in the circumpolar north, and First Nations peoples in the Yukon and southern Canada and the United States.
As tourism service standards become more homogeneous, travel destinations worldwide are conforming yet still trying to maintain, or even increase, their distinctiveness. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Arusha, Tanzania, this book offers an in-depth investigation of the local-to-global dynamics of contemporary tourism. Each destination offers examples that illustrate how tour guide narratives and practices are informed by widely circulating imaginaries of the past as well as personal imaginings of the future.
A great deal of attention continues to focus on Berlin's cultural and political landscape after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but as yet, no single volume looks at the divided city through an interdisciplinary analysis. This volume examines how the city was conceived, perceived, and represented during the four decades preceding reunification and thereby offers a unique perspective on divided Berlin's identities. German historians, art historians, architectural historians, and literary and cultural studies scholars explore the divisions and antagonisms that defined East and West Berlin; and by tracing the little studied similarities and extensive exchanges that occurred despite the presence of the Berlin Wall, they present an indispensible study on the politics and culture of the Cold War.
While social scientists, beginning with Weber, envisioned a secularized world, religion today is forthrightly becoming a defining feature of life all around the globe. The complex connections between religion and politics, and the ways in which globalization shapes these processes, are central themes explored in this volume by leading scholars in the field of religion. Does the holism of numerous past and present day cosmologies mean that religions with their holistic orientations are integral to human existence? What happens when political ideologies and projects are framed as transcendental truths and justified by Divine authority? How are individual and collective identities shaped by religious rhetoric, and what are the consequences? Can mass murder, deemed terrorism, be understood as a form of ritual sacrifice, and if so, what are the implications for our sensibilities and practices as scholars and citizens? Using empirical material, from historical analyses of established religions to the everyday strife of marginalized groups such as migrants and dissident movements, this volume deepens the understanding of processes that shape the contemporary world.
The rapid postwar economic growth in the Southeast Asia region has led to a transformation of many of the societies there, together with the development of new types of anthropological research in the region. Local societies with originally quite different cultures have been incorporated into multi-ethnic states with their own projects of nation-building based on the creation of "national cultures" using these indigenous elements. At the same time, the expansion of international capitalism has led to increasing flows of money, people, languages and cultures across national boundaries, resulting in new hybrid social structures and cultural forms. This book examines the nature of these processes in contemporary Southeast Asia with detailed case studies drawn from countries across the region, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. At the macro-level these include studies of nation-building and the incorporation of minorities. At the micro-level they range from studies of popular cultural forms, such as music and textiles to the impact of new sects and the world religions on local religious practice. Moving between the global and the local are the various streams of migrants within the region, including labor migrants responding to the changing distribution of economic opportunities and ethnic minorities moving in response to natural disaster.
A decade after the collapse of communism, this volume presents a historical reflection on the perplexing nature of the East German dictatorship. In contrast to most political rhetoric, it seeks to establish a middle ground between totalitarianism theory, stressing the repressive features of the SED-regime, and apologetics of the socialist experiment, emphasizing the normality of daily lives. The book transcends the polarization of public debate by stressing the tensions and contradictions within the East German system that combined both aspects by using dictatorial means to achieve its emancipatory aims. By analyzing a range of political, social, cultural, and chronological topics, the contributors sketch a differentiated picture of the GDR which emphasizes both its repressive and its welfare features. The sixteen original essays, especially written for this volume by historians from both east and west Germany, represent the cutting edge of current research and suggest new theoretical perspectives. They explore political, social, and cultural mechanisms of control as well as analyze their limits and discuss the mixture of dynamism and stagnation that was typical of the GDR.
Child prostitution became one of the key concerns of the international community in the 1990s. World congresses were held, international and national laws were changed and concern over "cemmercially sexually exploited children" rose dramatically. Rarely, however, were the children who worked as prostitutes consulted of questioned in this process, and the voices of these children brought into focus. This book is the first to address the children directly, to examine their daily lives, their motivations and their perceptions of what they do. Based on 15 months of fieldwork in a Thai tourist community that survived through child prostitution, this book draws on anthropological theories on childhood and kinship to contextualize the experiences of this group of Thai child prostitutes and to contrast these with the stereotypes held of them by those outside their community.
Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) never completed his Doctoral thesis on prayer. Yet his scarcely mentioned introduction (Books I and II) of 176 pages and privately printed in 1909, can be seen as some of his most important work. His argument that much of prayer is a social act will be of great interest to anthropologists, sociologists and theologians. Here, the first English translation to be published, is preceded by a general introduction by W.S.F.Pickering and finally a specific commentary on Mauss's use of ethnographic material.
Shamanism has always been of great interest to anthropologists. More recently it has been "discovered" by westerners, especially New Age followers. This book breaks new ground byexamining pristine shamanism in Greenland, among people contacted late by Western missionaries and settlers. On the basis of material only available in Danish, and presented herein English for the first time, the author questions Mircea Eliade's well-known definition of the shaman as the master of ecstasy and suggests that his role has to be seen as that of a master of spirits. The ambivalent nature of the shaman and the spirit world in the tough Arctic environment is then contrasted with the more benign attitude to shamanism in the New Age movement. After presenting descriptions of their organizations and accounts by participants, the author critically analyses the role of neo-shamanic courses and concludes that it is doubtful to consider what isoffered as shamanism.
Notions of magic and healing have been changing over past years and are now understood as reflecting local ideas of power and agency, as well as structures of self, subjectivity and affect. This study focuses on contemporary urban Russia and, through exploring social conditions, conveys the experience of living that makes magic logical. By following people's own interpretations of the work of magic, the author succeeds in unraveling the logic of local practice and local understanding of affliction, commonly used to diagnose the experiences of illness and misfortune.
Spurred by wars and a drive to urbanize, Africans are crossing borders and overwhelming cities in unprecedented numbers. At the center of this development are young refugee men who migrate to urban areas. This volume, the first full-length study of urban refugees in hiding, tells the story of Burundi refugee youth who escaped from remote camps in central Tanzania to work in one of Africa's fastest-growing cities, Dar es Salaam. This steamy, rundown capital would seem uninviting to many, particularly for second generation survivors of genocide whose lives are ridden with fear. But these young men nonetheless join migrants in "Bongoland" (meaning "Brainland") where, as the nickname suggests, only the shrewdest and most cunning can survive. Mixing lyrics from church hymns and street vernacular, descriptions of city living in cartoons and popular novels and original photographs, this book creates an ethnographic portrait of urban refugee life, where survival strategies spring from street smarts and pastors' warnings of urban sin, and mastery of popular youth culture is highly valued. Pentecostalism and a secret rift within the seemingly impenetrable Hutu ethnic group are part of the rich texture of this contemporary African story. Written in accessible prose, this book offers an intimate picture of how Africa is changing and how refugee youth are helping to drive that change.
In the years since World War II, Poland has developed one of Europe's most distinguished film cultures. However, in spite of the importance of Polish cinema this is a domain in need of systematic study. This book is the first comprehensive study of Polish cinema from the end of the 19th century to the present. It provides not only an introduction to Polish cinema within a socio-political and economic context, but also to the complexities of East-Central European cinema and politics.
The events of the Arab Spring presented a dramatic reconstitution of politics and the public sphere through their aesthetic and performative uses of public space. Mass demonstrations have become a new global political form, grounded in the localization of globalizing processes, institutions, and relationships. This volume delves beneath the seemingly chaotic nature of events to explore the structural dynamics underpinning popular resistance and their support or suppression. It moves beyond what has usually been defined as Arab Spring nations to include critical views on Bahrain, the Palestinian territories, and Turkey. The research and analysis presented explores not just the immediate protests, but also the historical realization, appropriation, and even institutionalization of these critical voices, as well as the role of international criminal law and legal exceptionalism in authorizing humanitarian interventions. Above all, it questions whether the revolutions have since been hijacked and the broad popular uprisings already overrun, suppressed, or usurped by the upper classes.
December 13, 2007 marks the 70th anniversary of the fall of the Chinese city of Nanking to the Japanese army. The "Nanking Atrocity" of winter 1937-8, also known as the "Nanking Massacre," lies at the core of bitter disputes over history, wartime victimization, and postwar restitution that preclude amicable Sino-Japanese relations to this day. This volume, which is both history and historiography, offers the most recent scholarship about what actually happened in Nanking and places those findings in the context of how Chinese and Japanese writers have attributed mutually incompatible meanings to the event ever since; an event that is coined, on the Chinese side, as "the forgotten Holocaust," after the subtitle of Iris' Chang's 1997 bestseller, The Rape of Nanking, uncritically adopted by Western public opinion, a gross distortion according to the contributors of this volume. However, the authors also deflate Japanese exculpatory narratives which, serving their own ideological agendas, holds that Nanking was a combat operation against unlawful belligerents, which produced only a few dozen innocent victims. This volume presents new facts and fresh interpretations with the overriding aim to "complicate the picture" and to debunk myths, expose fallacies, and rectify misconceptions that obstruct a clear understanding of the issues and prevent ultimate reconciliation between China and Japan.
Like many other indigenous groups, the Huaorani of eastern Ecuador are facing many challenges as they attempt to confront the globalization of capitalism in the 21st century. In 1991, they formed a political organization as a direct response to the growing threat to Huaorani territory posed by oil exploitation, colonization, and other pressures. The author explores the structures and practices of the organization, as well as the contradictions created by the imposition of an alien and hierarchical organizational form on a traditionally egalitarian society. This study has broad implications for those who work toward "cultural survival" or try to "save the rainforest."
What kind of experience is incarceration? How should one define its constraints? The author, who conducted extensive fieldwork in a maximum-security jail in Papua New Guinea, seeks to address these questions through a vivid and sympathetic account of inmates' lives. Prison Studies is a growing field of interest for social scientists. As one of the first ethnographic studies of a prison outside western societies and Japan, this book contributes to a reinterpretation of the field's scope and assumptions. It challenges notions of what is punitive about imprisonment by exploring the creative as well as negative outcomes of detention, separation and loss. Instead of just coping, the prisoners in Papua New Guinea's Last Place find themselves drawing fresh critiques and new approaches to contemporary living.
As the crisis in Israel does not show any signs of abating, this remarkable collection, edited by an Israeli and a Palestinian scholar and with contributions by Palestinian and Israeli women, offers a vivid and harrowing picture of the conflict and of its impact on daily life, especially as it affects women's experiences that differ significantly from those of men. The (auto)biographical narratives in this volume focus on some of the most disturbing effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a sense of dislocation that goes well beyond the geographical meaning of the word; it involves social, cultural, national and gender dislocation, including alienation from one's own home, family, community, and society. The accounts become even more poignant if seen against the backdrop of the roots of the conflict, the real or imaginary construct of a state to save and shelter particularly European Jews from the horrors of Nazism in parallel to the other side of the coin: Israel as a settler-colonial state responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian nation.
Colonial Genocide has been seen increasingly as a stepping-stone to the European genocides of the twentieth century, yet it remains an under-researched phenomenon. This volume reconstructs instances of Australian genocide and for the first time places them in a global context. Beginning with the arrival of the British in 1788 and extending to the 1960s, the authors identify the moments of radicalization and the escalation of British violence and ethnic engineering aimed at the Indigenous populations, while carefully distinguishing between local massacres, cultural genocide, and genocide itself. These essays reflect a growing concern with the nature of settler society in Australia and in particular with the fate of the tens of thousands of children who were forcibly taken away from their Aboriginal families by state agencies. Long considered a relatively peaceful settlement, Australian society contained many of the pathologies that led to the exterminatory and eugenic policies of twentieth century Europe.
Both dramatic and musical theater are part of the tradition that has made Austria - especially Vienna - and the old Habsburg lands synonymous with high culture in Central Europe. Many works, often controversial originally but now considered as classics, are still performed regularly in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, or Krakow. This volume not only offers an excellent overview of the theatrical history of the region, it is also an innovative, cross-disciplinary attempt to analyse the inner workings and dynamics of theater through a discussion of the interplay between society, the audience, and performing artists.
The concept of "cultural transmission" is central to much contemporary anthropological theory, since successful human reproduction through social systems is essential for effective survival and for enhancing the adaptiveness of individual humans and local populations. Yet, what is understood by the phrase and how it might best be studied is highly contested. This book brings together contributions that reflect the current diversity of approaches - from the fields of biology, primatology, palaeoanthropology, psychology, social anthropology, ethnobiology, and archaeology - to examine social and cultural transmission from a range of perspectives and at different scales of generalization. The comprehensive introduction explores some of the problems and connections. Overall, the book provides a timely synthesis of current accounts of cultural transmission in relation to cognitive process, practical action, and local socio-ecological context, while linking these with explanations of longer-term evolutionary trajectories.
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