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In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De Leon sheds light on one of the most pressing political issues of our time-the human consequences of US immigration policy. The Land of Open Graves reveals the suffering and deaths that occur daily in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. Drawing on the four major fields of anthropology, De Leon uses an innovative combination of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic science to produce a scathing critique of "Prevention through Deterrence," the federal border enforcement policy that encourages migrants to cross in areas characterized by extreme environmental conditions and high risk of death. For two decades, this policy has failed to deter border crossers while successfully turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona into a killing field. In harrowing detail, De Leon chronicles the journeys of people who have made dozens of attempts to cross the border and uncovers the stories of the objects and bodies left behind in the desert. The Land of Open Graves will spark debate and controversy.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has defined the childhoods of an entire generation. Over the past twenty years, international NGOs and charities have devoted immense attention to the millions of African children orphaned by the disease. But in Crying for Our Elders, anthropologist Kristen Cheney argues that these humanitarian groups have misread the crisis. Moreover, she explains how the global humanitarian focus on orphanhood often elides the social and political circumstances that present the greatest adversity to vulnerable children in effect, actually deepening the crisis and thereby affecting children's lives as irrevocably as the disease itself. Through ethnographic fieldwork and collaborative research with children in Uganda, Cheney traces how the 'best interest' principle that governs development work targeting children often does more harm than good, stigmatizing orphans and leaving children in the post-antiretroviral era even more vulnerable to exploitation. She details the dramatic effects this has on traditional family support and child protection, and stresses child empowerment over pity. Crying for Our Elders advances current discussions on humanitarianism, children's studies, orphanhood, and kinship. By exploring the unique experience of AIDS orphanhood through the eyes of children, caregivers, and policymakers, Cheney shows that despite the extreme challenges of growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS, the post-ARV generation still holds out hope for the future.
In this accessible text, Mark Juergensmeyer, a pioneer in global studies, provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging field of global studies from regional, topical, and theoretical perspectives. Each of the twenty compact chapters in Thinking Globally features Juergensmeyer's own lucid introduction to the key topics and offers brief excerpts from major writers in those areas. The chapters explore the history of globalization in each region of the world, from Africa and the Middle East to Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and cover key issues in today's global era, such as: - Challenges of the global economy - Fading of the nation-state - Emerging nationalisms and transnational ideologies - Hidden economies of sex trafficking and the illegal drug trade - New communications media - Environmental crises - Human rights abuses Thinking Globally is the perfect introduction to global studies for students, and an exceptional resource for anyone interested in learning more about this new area of study.
This book offers an exciting new perspective on the origins of language. Language is conceptualized as a collective invention, on the model of writing or the wheel, and the book places social and cultural dynamics at the centre of its evolution: language emerged and further developed in human communities already suffused with meaning and communication, mimesis, ritual, song and dance, alloparenting, new divisions of labour and revolutionary changes in social relations. The book thus challenges assumptions about the causal relations between genes, capacities, social communication and innovation: the biological capacities are taken to evolve incrementally on the basis of cognitive plasticity, in a process that recruits previous adaptations and fine-tunes them to serve novel communicative ends. Topics include the ability brought about by language to tell lies, that must have confronted our ancestors with new problems of public trust; the dynamics of social-cognitive co-evolution; the role of gesture and mimesis in linguistic communication; studies of how monkeys and apes express their feelings or thoughts; play, laughter, dance, song, ritual and other social displays among extant hunter-gatherers; the social nature of language acquisition and innovation; normativity and the emergence of linguistic norms; the interaction of language and emotions; and novel perspectives on the time-frame for language evolution. The contributors are leading international scholars from linguistics, anthropology, palaeontology, primatology, psychology, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, archaeology, and cognitive science.
Written by world-renowned social anthropologist, Jean Lave, with an afterword by Brazilian anthropologist Ana Maria R. Gomes, this book weaves together ethnographic accounts of work and learning, apprenticeship and everyday life, through a critical theory of practice. Each chapter explores in different ways the proposition that learning is a collective, transformative process of change in the historically political complex relations of everyday life. At the same time, the book demonstrates the changing character of Lave's own research practice over two decades. Lave addresses work practices and everyday life and discusses the problem of context and decontextualization. Analyzing two decades of ethnographic studies of craft apprenticeship, she explores teaching as learning and examines the reciprocal effects of theories of everyday life and learning.
At a 2012 conference on social mobility, Ed Miliband said: 'If you want the American dream, go to Finland. For decades, the country best known for opportunity had been the United States, but that crown has now been taken by our Nordic neighbours.
When journalist Anu Partanen moved from her Scandinavian home to the US in 2008, she quickly went from being a confident, successful professional to a wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life buying a mobile, filing taxes, education and childcare were more complicated and stressful than anything she had encountered before. As Partanen got to know Americans better, she discovered that they shared her deep apprehension, and to learn why she looked closely at the differences between life in her Nordic home country and the US.
In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen focuses on four key relationships: between parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and the government and its citizens. She debunks the criticism that the Nordics are socialist nanny states, revealing instead that it is we who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy ependencies than we realise. Her conclusion: the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence. Filled with fascinating insights, advice and practical solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild society, rekindle optimism and restore true freedom to our lives, while pursuing the 'American' dream by following the Nordic way of life
This popular and engaging text, now revised in a second edition, offers readers a social perspective on food, food practices, and the modern food system. It engages readers' curiosity by highlighting several paradoxes: how food is both individual and social, reveals both distinction and conformity, and, in the contemporary global era, comes from everywhere but nowhere in particular. With updates and enhancements throughout, the new edition provides an empirically deep, multifaceted, and coherent introduction to this fascinating field. Each chapter begins with a vivid case study, proceeds through a rich discussion of research insights, and ends with discussion questions and suggested resources. Chapter topics include food's role in socialization, identity, health and social change, as well as food marketing and the changing global food system. The new edition gives more focused attention to labor (both paid and unpaid) in all aspects of the food system. In synthesizing insights from diverse fields of social inquiry, the book addresses issues of culture, structure, and social inequality throughout. Written in a lively style, this book will continue to be both accessible and revealing to beginning and intermediate students alike.
In the face of the destructive possibilities of resurgent nationalisms, unyielding ethnicities and fundamentalist religious affinities, there is hardly a more urgent task than understanding how humans can learn to live alongside one another. This fascinating book shows how people from various societies learn to live with social diversity and cultural difference, and considers how the concepts of identity formation, diaspora and creolization shed light on the processes and geographies of encounter. Robin Cohen and Olivia Sheringham reveal how early historical encounters created colonial hierarchies, but also how conflict has been creatively resisted through shared social practices in particular contact zones including islands, port cities and the `super-diverse' cities formed by enhanced international migration and globalization. Drawing on research experience from across the world, including new fieldwork in Louisiana, Martinique, Mauritius and Cape Verde, their account provides a balance between rich description and insightful analysis showing, in particular, how identities emerge and merge `from below'. Moving seamlessly between social and political theory, history, cultural anthropology, sociology and human geography, the authors point to important new ways of understanding and living with difference, surely one of the key challenges of the twenty-first century.
In a society that has seen epochal change over a few generations, what remains to hold people together and offer them a sense of continuity and meaning? In Songs for Dead Parents, Erik Mueggler shows how in contemporary China death and the practices surrounding it have become central to maintaining a connection with the world of ancestors, ghosts, and spirits that socialism explicitly disavowed. Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork in a mountain community in Yunnan Province, Songs for Dead Parents shows how people view the dead as both material and immaterial, as effigies replace corpses, tombstones replace effigies, and texts eventually replace tombstones in a long process of disentangling the dead from the shared world of matter and memory. It is through these processes that people envision the cosmological underpinnings of the world and assess the social relations that make up their community. Thus, state interventions aimed at reforming death practices have been deeply consequential, and Mueggler traces the transformations they have wrought and their lasting effects.
The spread of the Internet is remaking marriage markets, altering the process of courtship and the geographic trajectory of intimacy in the 21st century. For some Latin American women and U.S. men, the advent of the cybermarriage industry offers new opportunities for re-making themselves and their futures, overthrowing the common narrative of trafficking and exploitation. In this engaging, stimulating virtual ethnography, Felicity Amaya Schaeffer follows couples' romantic interludes at "Vacation Romance Tours," in chat rooms, and interviews married couples in the United States in order to understand the commercialization of intimacy. While attending to the interplay between the everyday and the virtual, Love and Empire contextualizes personal desires within the changing global economic and political shifts across the Americas. By examining current immigration policies and the use of Mexican and Colombian women as erotic icons of the nation in the global marketplace, she forges new relations between intimate imaginaries and state policy in the making of new markets, finding that women's erotic self-fashioning is the form through which women become ideal citizens, of both their home countries and in the United States. Through these little-explored, highly mediated romantic exchanges, Love and Empire unveils a fresh perspective on the continually evolving relationship between the U.S. and Latin America.
With the exception of a few iconic moments such as Rosa Parks's 1955 refusal to move to the back of a Montgomery bus, we hear little about what black women activists did prior to 1960. Perhaps this gap is due to the severe repression that radicals of any color in America faced as early as the 1930s, and into the Red Scare of the 1950s. To be radical, and black and a woman was to be forced to the margins and consequently, these women's stories have been deeply buried and all but forgotten by the general public and historians alike. In this exciting work of historical recovery, Dayo F. Gore unearths and examines a dynamic, extended community of black radical women during the early Cold War, including established Communist Party activists such as Claudia Jones, artists and writers such as Beulah Richardson, and lesser-known organizers such as Vicki Garvin and Thelma Dale. These women were part of a black left that laid much of the groundwork for both the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and later strains of black radicalism. Radicalism at the Crossroads offers a sustained and in-depth analysis of the political thought and activism of black women radicals during the Cold War period and adds a new dimension to our understanding of this tumultuous and violent time in United States history.
Radio is the most widespread electronic medium in the world today. As a form of technology that is both durable and relatively cheap, radio remains central to the everyday lives of billions of people around the globe. It is used as a call for prayer in Argentina and Appalachia, to organize political protest in Mexico and Libya, and for wartime communication in Iraq and Afghanistan. In urban centres it is played constantly in shopping malls, waiting rooms, and classrooms. Yet despite its omnipresence, it remains the media form least studied by anthropologists. Radio Fields employs ethnographic methods to reveal the diverse domains in which radio is imagined, deployed, and understood. Drawing on research from six continents, the volume demonstrates how the particular capacities and practices of radio provide singular insight into diverse social worlds, ranging from aboriginal Australia to urban Zambia. Together, the contributors address how radio creates distinct possibilities for rethinking such fundamental concepts as culture, communication, community, and collective agency.
In How to be a Human, Ruby Wax tries to come up with some answers to that niggling question about who we are. With the input of a monk (an expert on our inner lives) and a neuroscientist (an expert on the brain), Ruby explores how to find happiness in the modern world - despite the constant bombardment of bad news, the need to choose between 5,000 different types of toothpaste, and the loneliness of having hundreds of friends who we've never met and don't know us. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by scientific authority, How to be a Human is the only guide you need for building a healthy, happy relationship with yourself.
Abstract concepts are often embodied through metaphor. For example, we talk about moving through time in metaphorical terms, as if we were moving through space, allowing us to 'look back' on past events. Much of the work on embodied metaphor to date has assumed a single set of universal, shared bodily experiences that motivate our understanding of abstract concepts. This book explores sources of variation in people's experiences of embodied metaphor, including, for example, the shape and size of one's body, one's age, gender, state of mind, physical or linguistic impairments, personality, ideology, political stance, religious beliefs, and linguistic background. It focuses on the ways in which people's experiences of metaphor fluctuate over time within a single communicative event or across a lifetime. Combining theoretical argument with findings from new studies, Littlemore analyses sources of variation in embodied metaphor and provides a deeper understanding of the nature of embodied metaphor itself.
In almost every military intervention in its history, the US has made cultural mistakes that hindered attainment of its policy goals. From the counterproductive strategic bombing of Vietnam to the misguided accidental burning of the Koran in Afghanistan, the US has blundered around with little consideration of local cultural beliefs and almost no concern for the long-term effects on the host nation's society. Cultural anthropology--the so-called 'handmaiden of colonialism'--has historically served as an intellectual bridge between sovereign Western powers and local nationals. What light can it shed on the difficult intersection of the US military and foreign societies today? Each chapter in this book tells the story of an anthropologist who worked directly for the military, such as Ursula Graham Bower, the only woman to hold a British combat command during WWII. Each faced challenges including the negative outcomes of exporting Western political models to societies where they don't fit, and errors of perception that prevent understanding of indigenous societies. Ranging from the British colonial era in Africa to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Military Anthropology illustrates the conceptual, cultural and practical barriers encountered by military organisations.
'Subtle and self-reflexive. . . an excellent overview of the debates and issues that have shaped this hugely influential social science' - Guardian How does anthropology help us understand who we are? What can it tell us about culture, from Melanesia to the City of London? Why does it matter? For well over one hundred years, social and cultural anthropologists have traversed the world from urban Zimbabwe to suburban England, Beijing to Barcelona, uncovering surprising facts, patterns, predilections and, sometimes, the inexplicable, in terms of how humans organize their lives and articulate their values. By weaving together theories and examples from around the world, Matthew Engelke brilliantly shows why anthropology matters: not only because it allows us to understand other points of view, but also because in the process, it reveals something about ourselves too.
A fascinating look at the social experience of sharing a bed with another person.
New Perspectives on Racial Identity Development brings together leaders in the field to deepen, broaden, and reassess our understandings of racial identity development. Contributors include the authors of some of the earliest theories in the field, such as William Cross, Bailey W. Jackson, Jean Kim, Rita Hardiman, and Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, who offer new analysis of the impact of emerging frameworks on how racial identity is viewed and understood. Other contributors present new paradigms and identify critical issues that must be considered as the field continues to evolve. This new and completely rewritten second edition uses emerging research from related disciplines that offer innovative approaches that have yet to be fully discussed in the literature on racial identity. Intersectionality receives significant attention in the volume, as it calls for models of social identity to take a more holistic and integrated approach in describing the lived experience of individuals.This volume offers new perspectives on how we understand and study racial identity in a culture where race and other identities are socially constructed and carry significant societal, political, and group meaning.
What happens to migrants after they are deported from the United States and dropped off at the Mexican border, often hundreds if not thousands of miles from their hometowns? In this eye-opening work, Jeremy Slack foregrounds the voices and experiences of Mexican deportees, who frequently become targets of extreme forms of violence, including migrant massacres, upon their return to Mexico. Navigating the complex world of the border, Slack investigates how the high-profile drug war has led to more than two hundred thousand deaths in Mexico, and how many deportees, stranded and vulnerable in unfamiliar cities, have become fodder for drug cartel struggles. Like no other book before it, Deported to Death reshapes debates on the long-term impact of border enforcement and illustrates the complex decisions migrants must make about whether to attempt the return to an often dangerous life in Mexico or face increasingly harsh punishment in the United States.
Opening with the provocative query "what might an anthropology of
the secular look like?" this book explores the concepts, practices,
and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the major
historical shifts that have shaped secular sensibilities and
attitudes in the modern West and the Middle East.
For many people, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia evokes images of deserts, camels, and oil, along with rich sheikh in white robes, oppressed women in black veils, and terrorists. But when Loring Danforth traveled through the country in 2012, he found a world much more complex and inspiring than he could have ever imagined. With vivid descriptions and moving personal narratives, Danforth takes us across the Kingdom, from the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the country's national oil company on the Persian Gulf, to the centuries-old city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast with its population of undocumented immigrants from all over the Muslim world. He presents detailed portraits of a young woman jailed for protesting the ban on women driving, a Sufi scholar encouraging Muslims and Christians to struggle together with love to know God, and an artist citing the Quran and using metal gears and chains to celebrate the diversity of the pilgrims who come to Mecca. Crossing the Kingdom paints a lucid portrait of contemporary Saudi culture and the lives of individuals, who like us all grapple with modernity at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
Research and practice in the field of acculturation psychology is continually on the rise. Featuring contributions from over fifty leading experts in the field, this Handbook compiles and systemizes the current state of the art by exploring the broad international scope of acculturation. The collection introduces readers to the concepts and issues; examines various acculturating groups (immigrants, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, expatriates, tourists, refugees and asylum seekers); highlights the global contexts for acculturation in a variety of societies; and focuses on acculturation of a number of special groups, such as young people, the workplace, and outcomes for health and well-being. This comprehensive new edition addresses major world changes over the last decade, including the increase in global migration, religious clashes, and social networking, and provides updated theories and models so that beginners and advanced readers can keep abreast of new developments in the study of acculturation.
Presenting twenty-nine original chapters - each written by an expert in the field - this Handbook examines the history of kinship theory and the directions in which it has moved over the past few years. Using examples from across the globe (Africa, India, South America, Malaysia, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and North America), this Handbook highlights the power of kinship theory to address questions of broad anthropological significance. How have recent advances in reproductive medicine fundamentally altered our understanding of biological properties? How has globalization brought in its wake new ways of imagining human relatedness? What might recent shifts in state welfare policies tell us about those relations of power that define the difference between 'functional' versus 'dysfunctional' families? Addressing these and many other timely concerns, this volume presents the results of cutting edge research and demonstrates that the study of kinship is likely to remain at the core of anthropological inquiry.
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