Doubt Conflict Mediation

Author: Laura Bear
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 1118903870
Release Date: 2014-05-19
Genre: Social Science

Doubt, Conflict, Mediation is an interdisciplinary examination and reassessment of standard assumptions in social theory about modern time. Rethinks capitalist and neo-liberal conceptions of time from both a sociological and anthropological perspective Blends innovative and rich ethnographic studies from around the world with clear theoretical approaches Examines the timescapes of a variety of institutions and social movements, such as biotech laboratories, civic organizations, planning offices, global sea-trade, urban squatting, and state bureaucracies

Back to the Postindustrial Future

Author: Felix Ringel
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785337994
Release Date: 2018-03-26
Genre: Social Science

How does an urban community come to terms with the loss of its future? The former socialist model city of Hoyerswerda is an extreme case of a declining postindustrial city. Built to serve the GDR coal industry, it lost over half its population to outmigration after German reunification and the coal industry crisis, leading to the large-scale deconstruction of its cityscape. This book tells the story of its inhabitants, now forced to reconsider their futures. Building on recent theoretical work, it advances a new anthropological approach to time, allowing us to investigate the postindustrial era and the futures it has supposedly lost.

Infrastructures and Social Complexity

Author: Penelope Harvey
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317224341
Release Date: 2016-10-04
Genre: Social Science

Contemporary forms of infrastructural development herald alternative futures through their incorporation of digital technologies, mobile capital, international politics and the promises and fears of enhanced connectivity. In tandem with increasing concerns about climate change and the anthropocene, there is further an urgency around contemporary infrastructural provision: a concern about its fragility, and an awareness that these connective, relational systems significantly shape both local and planetary futures in ways that we need to understand more clearly. Offering a rich set of empirically detailed and conceptually sophisticated studies of infrastructural systems and experiments, present and past, contributors to this volume address both the transformative potential of infrastructural systems and their stasis. Covering infrastructural figures; their ontologies, epistemologies, classifications and politics, and spanning development, urban, energy, environmental and information infrastructures, the chapters explore both the promises and failures of infrastructure. Tracing the experimental histories of a wide range of infrastructures and documenting their variable outcomes, the volume offers a unique set of analytical perspectives on contemporary infrastructural complications. These studies bring a systematic empirical and analytical attention to human worlds as they intersect with more-than-human worlds, whether technological or biological.

The Underbelly of the Indian Boom

Author: Stuart Corbridge
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317610465
Release Date: 2016-02-05
Genre: Social Science

As India emerges as a major economic power, producing dollar billionaires rising at the rate of 17 per year, more than 800 million Indians eke out a living on less than two dollars a day. This book takes the reader to the underbelly of the Indian boom, an India that is not shining but is struggling to survive. From the Indo-Soviet Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh, where an aristocracy of labour is increasingly being replaced by a more vulnerable contract labour force, we move to the banks of the Hoogly River. Here, Norwegian shipping companies exploit a precarious labour force that is as vulnerable to the vagaries of global finance and its crisis as the elderly, especially women and wage-workers, who live in the slums of Chennai. Also in Tamil Nadu, but this time in Tiruppur, we find that the garment and textile industries boom has nurtured new regimes of debt bondage among industrial workers. Though public concern about the vulnerability in which poor people find themselves has resulted in new nation-wide schemes framed in the language of rights, we find in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh that the practical workings of these schemes are dependent on the regional political systems in which they are enmeshed. We end in the belly of the Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgency, denounced by the Indian government as the country’s greatest security challenge, where the poor are being mobilised to rise against the injustices of the Indian state. This book was originally published as a special issue of Economy and Society.

Two Lenins

Author: Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Publisher: Malinowski Monographs
ISBN: 0997367539
Release Date: 2017-11-17
Genre: History

Highly innovative and theoretically incisive, Two Lenins is the first book-length anthropological examination of how social reality can be organized around different yet concurrent ideas of time. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov grounds his theoretical exploration in fascinating ethnographic and historical material on two Lenins: the first is the famed Soviet leader of the early twentieth century, and the second is a Siberian Evenki hunter--nicknamed "Lenin"--who experienced the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s. Through their intertwined stories, Ssorin-Chaikov unveils new dimensions of ethnographic reality by multiplying our notions of time. Ssorin-Chaikov examines Vladimir Lenin at the height of his reign in 1920s Soviet Russia, focusing especially on his relationship with American businessperson Armand Hammer. He casts this scene against the second Lenin--the hunter on the far end of the country, in Siberia, at the far end of the century, the 1990s, who is tasked with improvising postsocialism in the economic and political uncertainties of post-Soviet transition. Moving from Moscow to Siberia to New York, and traveling form the 1920s to the 1960s to the 1990's, Ssorin-Chaikov takes readers beyond a simple global history or cross-temporal comparison, instead using these two figures to enact an ethnographic study of the very category of time that we use to bridge different historical contexts.

How Modernity Forgets

Author: Paul Connerton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139480192
Release Date: 2009-07-30
Genre: Social Science

Why are we sometimes unable to remember events, places and objects? This concise overview explores the concept of 'forgetting', and how modern society affects our ability to remember things. It takes ideas from Francis Yates classic work, The Art of Memory, which viewed memory as being dependent on stability, and argues that today's world is full of change, making 'forgetting' characteristic of contemporary society. We live our lives at great speed; cities have become so enormous that they are unmemorable; consumerism has become disconnected from the labour process; urban architecture has a short life-span; and social relationships are less clearly defined - all of which has eroded the foundations on which we build and share our memories. Providing a profound insight into the effects of modern society, this book is a must-read for anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and philosophers, as well as anyone interested in social theory and the contemporary western world.

The Anthropology of Time

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Berg Pub Limited
ISBN: 0854968903
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Science

Time - relentless, ever-present but intangible and the single element over which human beings have no absolute control - has long proved a puzzle. The author examines the phenomenon of time and asks such fascinating questions as how time impinges on people, to what extent our awareness of time is culturally conditioned, how societies deal with temporal problems and whether time can be considered a `resource' to be economized. More specifically, he provides a consistent and detailed analysis of theories put forward by a number of thinkers such as Durkheim, Evans-Pritchard, Lévi-Strauss, Geertz, Piaget, Husserl and Bourdieu. His discussion encompasses four main approaches in time research, namely developmental psychology, symbolic anthropology (covering the bulk of post-Durkheimian social anthropology) `economic' theories of time in social geography and, finally, phenomenological theories. The author concludes by presenting his own model of social/cognitive time, in the light of these critical discussions of the literature.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Author: Gisa Weszkalnys
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781782383185
Release Date: 2013-10-15
Genre: Social Science

A benchmark study in the changing field of urban anthropology, Berlin, Alexanderplatz is an ethnographic examination of the rapid transformation of the unified Berlin. Through a captivating account of the controversy around this symbolic public square in East Berlin, the book raises acute questions about expertise, citizenship, government and belonging. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city administration bureaus, developers’ offices, citizen groups and in Alexanderplatz itself, the author advances a richly innovative analysis of the multiplicity of place. She reveals how Alexanderplatz is assembled through the encounters between planners, citizen activists, social workers, artists and ordinary Berliners, in processes of popular participation and personal narratives, in plans, timetables, documents and files, and in the distribution of pipes, tram tracks and street lights. Alexanderplatz emerges as a socialist spatial exemplar, a ‘future’ under construction, an object of grievance, and a vision of robust public space. This book is both a critical contribution to the anthropology of contemporary modernity and a radical intervention in current cross-disciplinary debates on the city.

Lines of the Nation

Author: Laura Bear
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231140029
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

Lines of the Nation radically recasts the history of the Indian railways, which have long been regarded as vectors of modernity and economic prosperity. From the design of carriages to the architecture of stations, employment hierarchies, and the construction of employee housing, Laura Bear explores the new public spaces and social relationships created by the railway bureaucracy. She then traces their influence on the formation of contemporary Indian nationalism, personal sentiments, and popular memory. Her probing study challenges entrenched beliefs concerning the institutions of modernity and capitalism by showing that these rework older idioms of social distinction and are legitimized by forms of intimate, affective politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic research in the company town at Kharagpur and at the Eastern Railway headquarters in Kolkata (Calcutta), Bear focuses on how political and domestic practices among workers became entangled with the moralities and archival technologies of the railway bureaucracy and illuminates the impact of this history today. The bureaucracy has played a pivotal role in the creation of idioms of family history, kinship, and ethics, and its special categorization of Anglo-Indian workers still resonates. Anglo-Indians were formed as a separate railway caste by Raj-era racial employment and housing policies, and other railway workers continue to see them as remnants of the colonial past and as a polluting influence. The experiences of Anglo-Indians, who are at the core of the ethnography, reveal the consequences of attempts to make political communities legitimate in family lines and sentiments. Their situation also compels us to rethink the importance of documentary practices and nationalism to all family histories and senses of relatedness. This interdisciplinary anthropological history throws new light not only on the imperial and national past of South Asia but also on the moral life of present technologies and economic institutions.

Where Are The Unions

Author: Doctor Sian Lazar
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 9781783609918
Release Date: 2017-03-15
Genre: Political Science

The start of the twenty-first century has been marked by global demands for economic justice. From the pink tide and Arab spring to Occupy and anti-austerity, the last twenty years have witnessed the birth of a new type of mass mobilisation. Where Are The Unions? compares, for the first time, the challenges faced by movements in Latin America, the Arab world and Europe. Workers’ strikes and protests were a critical part of these events, yet their role has been significantly underestimated in many of the subsequent narratives. This book focuses on the complex interactions between organised workers, the unemployed, self-employed, youth, students and the state, and critically assesses the concept of the ‘precariat’. With contributions from across four continents, this is the most comprehensive look at the global context of mass mobilisation in the twenty-first century.

Navigating Austerity

Author: Laura Bear
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804795548
Release Date: 2015-08-19
Genre: Social Science

Navigating Austerity addresses a key policy question of our era: what happens to society and the environment when austerity dominates political and economic life? To get to the heart of this issue, Laura Bear tells the stories of boatmen, shipyard workers, hydrographers, port bureaucrats and river pilots on the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges that flows into the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Through their accounts, Bear traces the hidden currents of state debt crises and their often devastating effects. Taking the reader on a voyage along the river, Bear reveals how bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and workers navigate austerity policies. Their attempts to reverse the decline of ruined public infrastructures, environments and urban spaces lead Bear to argue for a radical rethinking of economics according to a social calculus. This is a critical measure derived from the ethical concerns of people affected by national policies. It places issues of redistribution and inequality at the fore of public and environmental plans. Concluding with proposals for restoring more just long term social obligations, Bear suggests new practices of state financing and ways to democratize fiscal policy. Her aim is to transform sovereign debt from a financial problem into a widely debated ethical and political issue. Navigating Austerity contributes to policy studies as well as to the understanding of today's global injustices. It also develops new theories about the significance of state debt, speculation and time for contemporary capitalism. Sited on a single body of water flowing with rhythms of circulation, renewal and transformation, this ambitious and accessible book will be of interest to specialists and general readers.

The Anthropology of Citizenship

Author: Sian Lazar
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 1118412915
Release Date: 2013-11-11
Genre: Social Science

The Anthropology of Citizenship introduces the theoretical foundations of and cutting edge approaches to citizenship in the contemporary world, in local, national and global contexts. Key readings provide a cross-cultural perspective on citizenship practices, and an individual citizen’s relationship with the state. Introduces a range of exciting and cutting edge approaches to citizenship in the contemporary world Provides key readings for students and researchers who wish to gain an understanding of citizenship practices, and an individual’s relationship with the state in a global context Offers an anthropological perspective on citizenship, the self and political agency, with a focus on encounters between citizens and the state in education, law, development, and immigration policy Provides students with an understanding of the theoretical foundations of citizenship, as characterized by liberal and civic republican ideas of political belonging and exclusion Explores how citizenship is constructed at different scales and in different spaces Twenty-five key writings identify what is a new and vibrant subfield within politics and anthropological research

Knowing How to Know

Author: Narmala Halstead
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857450692
Release Date: 2008-05-30
Genre: Social Science

This volume examines some crucial issues in the conduct of fieldwork and ethnography and provides new insights into the problems of constructing anthropological knowledge. How is anthropological knowledge created from fieldwork, whose knowledge is this, who determines what is of significance in any ethnographic context, and how is the fieldsite extended in both time and place? Nine anthropologists examine these problems, drawing on diverse case studies. These range from the dilemmas of the religious refashioning of the ethnographer in contemporary Indonesia to the embodied knowledge of ballet performers, and from ignorance about post-colonial ritual innovations by the anthropologist in highland Papua to the skilled visions of slow food producers in Italy. It is a key text for new fieldworkers as much as for established researchers. The anthropological insights developed here are of interdisciplinary relevance: cultural studies scholars, sociologists and historians will be as interested as anthropologists in this re-evaluation of fieldwork and the project of ethnography.

Time Blind

Author: Kevin K. Birth
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319341323
Release Date: 2017-01-05
Genre: Social Science

This book explores how modern concepts of time constrain our understanding of temporal diversity. Time is a necessary and pervasive dimension of scholarship, yet rarely have the cultural assumptions about time been explored. This book looks at how anthropology--a discipline known for the study of cultural, linguistic, historical, and biological variation and differences--is blind to temporalities outside of the logics of European-derived ideas about time. While the argument focuses primarily on anthropology, its points can be applied to other fields in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.