Nation as Network

Author: Victoria Bernal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226144818
Release Date: 2014-08-19
Genre: COMPUTERS

How is the internet transforming the relationships between citizens and states? What happens to politics when international migration is coupled with digital media, making it easy for people to be politically active in a nation from outside its borders? In Nation as Network, Victoria Bernal creatively combines media studies, ethnography, and African studies to explore this new political paradigm through a striking analysis of how Eritreans in diaspora have used the internet to shape the course of Eritrean history. Bernal argues that Benedict Anderson’s famous concept of nations as “imagined communities” must now be rethought because diasporas and information technologies have transformed the ways nations are sustained and challenged. She traces the development of Eritrean diaspora websites over two turbulent decades that saw the Eritrean state grow ever more tyrannical. Through Eritreans’ own words in posts and debates, she reveals how new subjectivities are formed and political action is galvanized online. She suggests that “infopolitics”—struggles over the management of information—make politics in the 21st century distinct, and she analyzes the innovative ways Eritreans deploy the internet to support and subvert state power. Nation as Network is a unique and compelling work that advances our understanding of the political significance of digital media.

Crude Chronicles

Author: Suzana Sawyer
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822385752
Release Date: 2004-05-17
Genre: History

Ecuador is the third-largest foreign supplier of crude oil to the western United States. As the source of this oil, the Ecuadorian Amazon has borne the far-reaching social and environmental consequences of a growing U.S. demand for petroleum and the dynamics of economic globalization it necessitates. Crude Chronicles traces the emergence during the 1990s of a highly organized indigenous movement and its struggles against a U.S. oil company and Ecuadorian neoliberal policies. Against the backdrop of mounting government attempts to privatize and liberalize the national economy, Suzana Sawyer shows how neoliberal reforms in Ecuador led to a crisis of governance, accountability, and representation that spurred one of twentieth-century Latin America’s strongest indigenous movements. Through her rich ethnography of indigenous marches, demonstrations, occupations, and negotiations, Sawyer tracks the growing sophistication of indigenous politics as Indians subverted, re-deployed, and, at times, capitulated to the dictates and desires of a transnational neoliberal logic. At the same time, she follows the multiple maneuvers and discourses that the multinational corporation and the Ecuadorian state used to circumscribe and contain indigenous opposition. Ultimately, Sawyer reveals that indigenous struggles over land and oil operations in Ecuador were as much about reconfiguring national and transnational inequality—that is, rupturing the silence around racial injustice, exacting spaces of accountability, and rewriting narratives of national belonging—as they were about the material use and extraction of rain-forest resources.

Between Arab and White

Author: Sarah Gualtieri
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520255340
Release Date: 2009-05-06
Genre: History

"Direct and accessible. A tour de force of research that demonstrates seemingly unlikely origins, evolutions, and contradictions of social identities."—George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark and American Studies in a Moment of Danger

Contemporary Cultures Global Connections

Author: Victoria Bernal
Publisher: Cognella Academic Publishing
ISBN: 1609273273
Release Date: 2011-06-29
Genre: Ethnology

The anthology "Contemporary Cultures, Global Connections: Anthropology for the 21st Century," brings together work by cultural anthropologists who study contemporary life. While many readers in the discipline draw on what is considered classic material about exotic peoples living in isolation in far-off locations, this book presents excellent examples of what anthropologists are researching and writing about right now. The selections reflect the reality that most anthropologists today focus on cities, technology, media, government policies, corporations, migration, and other institutions and processes that shape life in the modern world. "Contemporary Cultures, Global Connections" will be useful to scholars and students not only in anthropology but in other disciplines because of the growing interest in ethnography as a tool for understanding social values, institutions, and behavior. The chapters trace relationships and processes that cross regional and cultural boundaries to produce both similarities and differences. The authors address issues of knowledge production, representation, racialization, and constructions of gender. Combining theoretical depth and empirical scope, the 27 chapters in the anthology challenge readers to critically reflect on common assumptions about society and human nature. "Contemporary Cultures, Global Connections: Anthropology for the 21st Century" is a path-breaking collection for use in teaching cultural anthropology and interdisciplinary fields such as global studies, international studies, and gender studies. Victoria Bernal is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She has carried out ethnographic research in Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, and cyberspace. She is the author of "Cultivating Workers: Peasants and Capitalism in a Sudanese Village." Her numerous articles explore issues of gender, migration, Islamic revival, cyberspace, nationalism, diaspora, violence, and civil society.

Ethnopolitics in Cyberspace

Author: Robert A. Saunders
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781461633419
Release Date: 2010-12-28
Genre: Political Science

Defying predictions that the Internet would eventually create a world where nations disappeared in favor of a unified 'global village,' the new millennium has instead seen a proliferation of nationalism on the Web. Cyberspace, a vast digital terrain built upon interwoven congeries of data and sustained through countless public/private communication networks, has even begun to alter the very fabric of national identity. This is particularly true among stateless nations, diasporic groups, and national minorities, which have fashioned the Internet into a shield again the assimilating efforts of their countries of residence. As a deterritorialized medium that allows both selective consumption and inexpensive production of news and information, the Internet has endowed a new generation of technology-savvy elites with a level of influence that would have been impossible to obtain a decade ago. Challenged nations-from Assyrians to Zapotecs-have used the Web to rewrite history, engage in political activism, and reinvigorate moribund languages. This book explores the role of the Internet in shaping ethnopolitics and sustaining national identity among four different national groups: Albanians outside of Albania, Russians in the 'near abroad,' Roma (Gypsies), and European Muslims. Accompanying these case studies are briefer discussions of dozens of other online national movements, as well as the ramifications of Internet nationalism for offline domestic and global politics. The author discusses how the Internet provides new tools for maintaining national identity and improves older techniques of nationalist resistance for minorities. Bringing together research and methodologies from a range of fields, Saunders fills a gap in the social science literature on the Internet's central role in influencing nationalism in the twenty-first century. By creating new spaces for political discourse, alternative avenues for cultural production, and novel means of social organization, the Web is remaking what it means to be part of nation. This insightful study provides a glimpse of this exciting and sometimes disturbing new landscape.

Law and Disorder in the Postcolony

Author: Jean Comaroff
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226114101
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Genre: Social Science

Are postcolonies haunted more by criminal violence than other nation-states? The usual answer is yes. In Law and Disorder in the Postcolony, Jean and John Comaroff and a group of respected theorists show that the question is misplaced: that the predicament of postcolonies arises from their place in a world order dominated by new modes of governance, new sorts of empires, new species of wealth—an order that criminalizes poverty and race, entraps the “south” in relations of corruption, and displaces politics into the realms of the market, criminal economies, and the courts. As these essays make plain, however, there is another side to postcoloniality: while postcolonies live in states of endemic disorder, many of them fetishize the law, its ways and itsmeans. How is the coincidence of disorder with a fixation on legalities to be explained? Law and Disorder in the Postcolony addresses this question, entering into critical dialogue with such theorists as Benjamin, Agamben, and Bayart. In the process, it also demonstrates how postcolonies have become crucial sites for the production of contemporary theory, not least because they are harbingers of a global future under construction.

Invisible Users

Author: Jenna Burrell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262300681
Release Date: 2012-05-04
Genre: Technology & Engineering

The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country's elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties--activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind. Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region's famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of "big gains" that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region. Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.

Diaspora and Imagined Nationality

Author: Kole Ade-Odutola
Publisher:
ISBN: 1594609268
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Social Science

Among other things, information and telecommunications technology has made it possible to expand the meaning of community without propinquity. This book shows that despite the ongoing Diasporization of Africans as a result of the world's most recent encounters with globalization, epistemic communities are in formation. These communities are composed of people who remain concerned about their countries of origin, and those who study those countries, engaged in conversation with people located there on matters of common concern and interest. The book in particular considers the nature, forms, content, and meanings of conceptualizations of nation, as well as discourses of nationalism by Nigerians at home and abroad, and consequences of these discussions and debates on clarifying what it means to be a nation. It is well-researched, thought-provoking, and constitutes a significant contribution to Nigerian, African, and Communication Studies.This book is part of the African World Series, edited by Toyin Falola, Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History, University of Texas at Austin.

Governing Gaza

Author: Ilana Feldman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822389132
Release Date: 2008-06-10
Genre: Social Science

Marred by political tumult and violent conflict since the early twentieth century, Gaza has been subject to a multiplicity of rulers. Still not part of a sovereign state, it would seem too exceptional to be a revealing site for a study of government. Ilana Feldman proves otherwise. She demonstrates that a focus on the Gaza Strip uncovers a great deal about how government actually works, not only in that small geographical space but more generally. Gaza’s experience shows how important bureaucracy is for the survival of government. Feldman analyzes civil service in Gaza under the British Mandate (1917–48) and the Egyptian Administration (1948–67). In the process, she sheds light on how governing authority is produced and reproduced; how government persists, even under conditions that seem untenable; and how government affects and is affected by the people and places it governs. Drawing on archival research in Gaza, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London, as well as two years of ethnographic research with retired civil servants in Gaza, Feldman identifies two distinct, and in some ways contradictory, governing practices. She illuminates mechanisms of “reiterative authority” derived from the minutiae of daily bureaucratic practice, such as the repetitions of filing procedures, the accumulation of documents, and the habits of civil servants. Looking at the provision of services, she highlights the practice of “tactical government,” a deliberately restricted mode of rule that makes limited claims about governmental capacity, shifting in response to crisis and operating without long-term planning. This practice made it possible for government to proceed without claiming legitimacy: by holding the question of legitimacy in abeyance. Feldman shows that Gaza’s governments were able to manage under, though not to control, the difficult conditions in Gaza by deploying both the regularity of everyday bureaucracy and the exceptionality of tactical practice.

Theorizing NGOs

Author: Inderpal Grewal
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 0822355515
Release Date: 2014-03-14
Genre: Social Science

Theorizing NGOs examines how the rise of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) has transformed the conditions of women's lives and of feminist organizing. Victoria Bernal and Inderpal Grewal suggest that we can understand the proliferation of NGOs through a focus on the NGO as a unified form despite the enormous variation and diversity contained within that form. Theorizing NGOs brings together cutting-edge feminist research on NGOs from various perspectives and disciplines. Contributors locate NGOs within local and transnational configurations of power, interrogate the relationships of nongovernmental organizations to states and to privatization, and map the complex, ambiguous, and ultimately unstable synergies between feminisms and NGOs. While some of the contributors draw on personal experience with NGOs, others employ regional or national perspectives. Spanning a broad range of issues with which NGOs are engaged, from microcredit and domestic violence to democratization, this groundbreaking collection shows that NGOs are, themselves, fields of gendered struggles over power, resources, and status. Contributors. Sonia E. Alvarez, Victoria Bernal, LeeRay M. Costa, Inderpal Grewal, Laura Grünberg, Elissa Helms, Julie Hemment, Saida Hodžic, Lamia Karim, Sabine Lang, Lauren Leve, Kathleen O'Reilly, Aradhana Sharma

Globalization s Impact on Cultural Identity Formation

Author: Ahmet Atay
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739185063
Release Date: 2015-10-30
Genre: Social Science

Globalization’s Impact on Cultural Identity Formation examines the range of factors that affect the cultural identity formation of diasporic, queer bodies in the context of globalization. Atay utilizes cyber-ethnography, a critical research method, to investigate these aspects of identity as presented in mediated realities, such as web pages, chat rooms, blogs, and webcams.

Kabul Carnival

Author: Julie Billaud
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812246964
Release Date: 2015-03-18
Genre: Social Science

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the plight of Afghan women under Taliban rule was widely publicized in the United States as one of the humanitarian issues justifying intervention. Kabul Carnival explores the contradictions, ambiguities, and unintended effects of the emancipatory projects for Afghan women designed and imposed by external organizations. Building on embodiment and performance theory, this evocative ethnography describes Afghan women's responses to social anxieties about identity that have emerged as a result of the military occupation. Offering one of the first long-term on-the-ground studies since the arrival of allied forces in 2001, Julie Billaud introduces readers to daily life in Afghanistan through portraits of women targeted by international aid policies. Examining encounters between international experts in gender and transitional justice, Afghan civil servants and NGO staff, and women unaffiliated with these organizations, Billaud unpacks some of the paradoxes that arise from competing understandings of democracy and rights practices. Kabul Carnival reveals the ways in which the international community's concern with the visibility of women in public has ultimately created tensions and constrained women's capacity to find a culturally legitimate voice.

Diaspora Online

Author: Ruxandra Trandafoiu
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857459442
Release Date: 2013-04-30
Genre: Social Science

After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, millions of Romanians emigrated in search of work and new experiences; they became engaged in an interrogation of what it meant to be Romanian in a united Europe and the globalized world. Their thoughts, feelings and hopes soon began to populate the virtual world of digital and mobile technologies. This book chronicles the online cultural and political expressions of the Romanian diaspora using websites based in Europe and North America. Through online exchanges, Romanians perform new types of citizenship, articulated from the margins of the political field. The politicization of their diasporic condition is manifested through written and public protests against discriminatory work legislation, mobilization, lobbying, cultural promotion and setting up associations and political parties that are proof of the gradual institutionalization of informal communications. Online discourse analysis, supplemented by interviews with migrants, poets and politicians involved in the process of defining new diasporic identities, provide the basis of this book, which defines the new cultural and political practices of the Romanian diaspora.

Diasporas

Author: Professor Kim Knott
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 9781848138711
Release Date: 2013-04-04
Genre: Social Science

Featuring essays by world-renowned scholars, Diasporas charts the various ways in which global population movements and associated social, political and cultural issues have been seen through the lens of diaspora. Wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, this collection considers critical concepts shaping the field, such as migration, ethnicity, post-colonialism and cosmopolitanism. It also examines key intersecting agendas and themes, including political economy, security, race, gender, and material and electronic culture. Original case studies of contemporary as well as classical diasporas are featured, mapping new directions in research and testing the usefulness of diaspora for analyzing the complexity of transnational lives today. Diasporas is an essential text for anyone studying, working or interested in this increasingly vital subject.

Archives of the Insensible

Author: Allen Feldman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226277332
Release Date: 2015-12-08
Genre: Art

In "Archives of the Insensible" anthropologist Allen Feldman presents a genealogical critique of the sensibilities and insensibilities of contemporary warfare. Feldman subjects the law to a strip search, interrogating diverse trials and revealing the intersecting forms of bodily and psychic subjugation that they display. Throughout, ethnographic specificities are treated philosophically and political philosophy is treated ethnographically through deconstructive description. Among the cases he examines are the interrogation of Ashraf Salim at the Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantanamo; the kangaroo court of American soldiers who murdered Gul Mudin, an Afghani noncombatant; Gerhard Richter s forensic paintings of the disputable suicides of a Red Brigade cell in Stammheim prison; Radovan Karadzic s forensic allegations against the corpses attributed to his shelling of a market in Sarajevo; the trial of the police officers who beat Rodney G. King and the latter s judicial lynching by video montage; Jean Luc Godard s film class at Sarajevo where visual facts are indicted for no longer speaking for themselves; and Jacques Derrida standing naked before his cat while awaiting apocalyptic judgment. Through his analysis of these and several other cases, Feldman shows how state power arises "ex nihilo "in the chasm between violent events themselves and the space where political meaning is made. He aims to reverse sovereign logic, the whole task of which is to transform what Foucault called the enigmatic dispersion of human events into certified facts on which state violence is grounded. In contrast, Feldman relies on the disorientation that arises from micrological description as theory in an attempt to retard the hyperaccelerated time of war and media."