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Thousands of pregnant women pass through our nation's jails every year. What happens to them as they carry their pregnancies in a space of punishment? In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor. Using her ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an ob-gyn in a women's jail, Carolyn Sufrin explores how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. Focusing on the experiences of incarcerated pregnant women as well as on the practices of the jail guards and health providers who care for them, Jailcare describes the contradictory ways that care and maternal identity emerge within a punitive space presumed to be devoid of care. Sufrin argues that jail is not simply a disciplinary institution that serves to punish. Rather, when understood in the context of the poverty, addiction, violence, and racial oppression that characterize these women's lives and their reproduction, jail can become a safety net for women on the margins of society.
The workers who migrate from Lesotho to the mines and cities of
neighboring South Africa have developed a rich genre of sung oral
poetry--word music--that focuses on the experiences of migrant
life. This music provides a culturally reflexive and consciously
artistic account of what it is to be a migrant or part of a
migrant's life. It reveals the relationship between these Basotho
workers and the local and South African powers that be, the
"cannibals" who live off of the workers' labor. David Coplan
presents a moving collection of material that for the first time
reveals the expressive genius of these tenacious but
Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets provides an ethnographic study of varmakkalai, or "the art of the vital spots," a South Indian esoteric tradition that combines medical practice and martial arts. Although siddha medicine is officially part of the Indian Government's medically pluralistic health-care system, very little of a reliable nature has been written about it. Drawing on a diverse array of materials, including Tamil manuscripts, interviews with practitioners, and his own personal experience as an apprentice, Sieler traces the practices of varmakkalai both in different religious traditions-such as Yoga and Ayurveda-and within various combat practices. His argument is based on in-depth ethnographic research in the southernmost region of India, where hereditary medico-martial practitioners learn their occupation from relatives or skilled gurus through an esoteric, spiritual education system. Rituals of secrecy and apprenticeship in varmakkalai are among the important focal points of Sieler's study. Practitioners protect their esoteric knowledge, but they also engage in a kind of "lure and withdrawal"--a performance of secrecy--because secrecy functions as what might be called "symbolic capital." Sieler argues that varmakkalai is, above all, a matter of texts in practice; knowledge transmission between teacher and student conveys tacit, non-verbal knowledge, and constitutes a "moral economy." It is not merely plain facts that are communicated, but also moral obligations, ethical conduct and tacit, bodily knowledge. Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets will be of interest to students of religion, medical anthropologists, historians of medicine, indologists, and martial arts and performance studies.
The book describes the Ankarana plateau and its cave network in Madagascar, depicting the natural environment of the Plateau as well as the natural processes which created the cave network of more than 100km with many galleries, some are very large and draped with different cave formations and underground rivers are inhabited with crocodiles and giant eels.This place is famous for its surface landscape formed with tsingy, natural needles formed by the weathering of limestone. The Ankarana is surrounded by native Madagascan rain forest inhabited with lemurs and it was a natural shelter for the Ankarana people whose kings were buried in caves. The cave system has been partially explored since the sixties and exploration is still in progress. The book includes several maps (geology, topography, hydrology), the survey of the caves and a brief description of the Ankarana Kingdom.
A modern nation in a state of total disorder, Colombia is an
international flashpoint--wracked by more than half a century of
civil war, political conflict, and drug-trade related
violence--despite a multibillion dollar American commitment that
makes it the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
Native feminist scholars focus on intimate Arab familiar relationships and discuss gendering of the self in the Arab community. In biographical and autobiographical, ethnographical, and literary accounts, they identify key family relationships and explore them in terms of shaping and defining gender in relation to others.
The Mayans Among Us conveys the unique experiences of Central American indigenous immigrants to the Great Plains, many of whom are political refugees from repressive, war-torn countries. Ann L. Sittig, a Spanish instructor, and Martha Florinda Gonzalez, a Mayan community leader living in Nebraska, have gathered the oral histories of contemporary Mayan women living in the state and working in meatpacking plants. Sittig and Gonzalez initiated group dialogues with Mayan women about the psychological, sociological, and economic wounds left by war, poverty, immigration, and residence in a new country. Distinct from Latin America's economic immigrants and often overlooked in media coverage of Latino and Latina migration to the plains, the Mayans share their concerns and hopes as they negotiate their new home, culture, language, and life in Nebraska. Longtime Nebraskans share their perspectives on the immigrants as well. The Mayans Among Us poignantly explores how Mayan women in rural Nebraska meatpacking plants weave together their three distinct identities: Mayan, Central American, and American.
Each year more than five hundred new books appear in the field of North American Indian history. There exists, however, no means by which scholars can easily judge which are most significant, which explore new fields of inquiry and ask new questions, and which areas are the subject of especially strong inquiry or are being overlooked. New Directions in American Indian History provides some answers to these questions by bringing together a collection of bibliographic essays by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, religionists, linguists, economists, and legal scholars who are working at the cutting edge of Indian history.
This volume responds to the label "new directions" in two ways. First, it describes what new directions have been pursued recently by historians of the Indian experience. Second, it points out some new directions that remain to be pursued.
Part One, "Recent Trends," contains six essays reviewing the following six areas where there has been significant interest and activity: quantitative methods in Native American history, by Melissa L. Meyer and Russell Thornton; American Indian women, by Deborah Welch; new developments in Metis history, by Dennis F.K. Madill; recent developments in southern plains Indian history, by Willard Rollings; Indians and the law, by George S. Grossman; and twentieth-century Indian history, by James Riding In.
Part Two, "Emerging Trends," contains essays on aspects of Indian history that remain undeveloped: language study and Plains Indian history, by Douglas R. Parks; economics and American Indian history, by Ronald L. Trosper; and religious changes in Native American societies, by Robert A. Brightman. These latter essays present a critique of current scholarship and sketch an agenda for future inquiry. Taken together, the nine essays in this book will help students at all levels to evaluate recent scholarship and tap the immense contemporary literature on American Indian history.
Rituals combining healing with spirit possession and court-like proceedings are found around the world and throughout history. A person suffers from an illness that cannot be cured, for example, and in order to be healed performs a ritual involving a prosecution and a defense, a judge and witnesses. Divine beings then speak through oracles, spirits possess the victim and are exorcized, and local gods intervene to provide healing and justice. Such practices seem to be the very antithesis of modernity, and many modern, secular states have systematically attempted to eliminate them. What is the relationship between healing, spirit possession, and the law, and why are they so often combined? Why are such rituals largely absent from modern societies, and what happens to them when the state attempts to expunge them from their health and justice systems, or even to criminalize them? Despite the prevalence of rituals involving some or all of these elements, this volume represents the first attempt to compare and analyze them systematically. The Law of Possession brings together historical and contemporary case studies from East Asia, South Asia, and Africa, and argues that despite consistent attempts by modern, secular states to discourage, eliminate, and criminalize them, these types of rituals persist and even thrive because they meet widespread human needs.
Living Black breaks the stereotype of poor African American neighborhoods as dysfunctional ghettos of helpless and hopeless peopleDespite real poverty, the community described in Living Black-the historic North End of Champaign, Illinois-is truly a neighborhood, with a vibrant social life, wide-ranging friendships, and strong ties between youth and adults and among multiple generations of community residents, lending a hand to neighbors in need. But it operates on its own terms-valuing nonjudgmental attitudes and individualism, and stressing acceptance of the consequences of personal behavior. Teenage mothers aren't derided, adolescents who drop out of school aren't ridiculed, and parolees and ex-cons aren't scorned. The North End was settled in the late nineteenth century by descendants of slaves who were seeking employment at the local university. Anthropologist Mark Fleisher offers a window into its daily life at the end of the twentieth century, particularly through the stories of Mo and Memphis Washington, who fight to sustain a stable home for their children, and of Burpee, a local man who has returned to the North End to rebuild his life after years of crime and punishment in Chicago. Living Black is based on six years of Fleisher's firsthand participant observation in the North End. Earlier studies of the North End, conducted by black graduate students at the University of Illinois in the 1930s and 1960s, indicate that the community Fleisher found in the 1990s carried forward out of slavery a culture of resilience, intergenerational social and economic support, an ability to cope with and adjust to conditions of privation, and a climate of positive interracial relationships between the North End's black residents and the predominantly white university community and local law enforcement agencies.
"My world seems upside down. I have grown up but I feel like I'm moving backward. And I can't do anything about it." (Esperanza). Over two million of the nation's eleven million undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States since childhood. Due to a broken immigration system, they grow up to uncertain futures. In Lives in Limbo, Roberto G. Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college-goers, like Ricardo, who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and Dream Act organizing but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation, and the early-exiters, like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connections in high school and started navigating dead-end jobs, immigration checkpoints, and a world narrowly circumscribed by legal limitations. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the fact that higher education is touted as the path to integration and success in America. Mining the results of an extraordinary twelve-year study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, Lives in Limbo exposes the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.
In this viscerally intense, ethnographically based work, Claudia Seymour relates the heart-wrenching stories of young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo--young people who live on the front lines of conflict, in neighborhoods and villages destroyed by war, and on the streets in conditions of poverty and destitution. Seymour, a former child protection adviser and human rights investigator for the United Nations, chronicles her personal journey, which begins with the will to do good yet ends with the realization of how international aid can contribute to greater harm than good. The idea of protection and universalized human rights is turned on its head as Seymour uncovers the complicities and hypocrisies of the aid world. In the promotion of "inalienable human rights," aid organizations ignore the complex historical and socioeconomic dynamics that lead to the violations of such rights. Offering a new perspective, The Myth of International Protection reframes how the world sees the DRC and urges global audiences to consider their own roles in fueling the DRC's seemingly endless violence.
With the renaissance of market politics on a global scale, precarious work has become pervasive. This edited collection explores the spread across a number of economic sectors and countries worldwide of work that is invariably insecure, dirty, low-paid, and often temporary and/or part-time. The first part of this cross-disciplinary book analyses the different forms of precarious work that have arisen over the past thirty years in both the Global North and South. These transformations are captured in ethnographically orientated chapters on sweatshops, day labour, homework, Chinese construction workers' unpaid contract work, the introduction of insecure contracting into the Korean automotive industry, and the insecurity of Brazilian sugarcane cutters. The case studies all shed light upon how the nature of work and the workplace are changing under the pressures of neoliberal capitalism and what this means for workers. In the second part the editors and contributors then detail some of the ways in which precarious workers are seeking to improve their own situations through their efforts to counter the growth of precarity under neoliberal capitalism, efforts that involve collectively exploring forms of resistance to work restructuring and the failures of traditional trade unions to fully engage with precarious work's growth. Illustrating the impacts of the expansion of precarious work, this book will appeal to students, academics and those generally interested in the issues of the global economy, the reworking of labour markets, the impacts of neoliberal capitalism and ethnographies of the working poor in various parts of the world.
This text serves as a general introduction and index to Huron culture. It is a compilation of the ethnographic data contained in 17th-century descriptions of the Huron Indians by Samuel de Champlain, Gabriel Sagard and various French Jesuits.
Even in our hyper-connected world, there are tribes scattered across the far reaches of the globe who still live much the same way that their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Having had minimal contact with the outside world, these peoples currently live in harmony and unison with the environment around them. But as technology grows and the human population expands, the way of life of these tribes becomes increasingly threatened with every passing day. In The Rainforest Survivors, veteran overseas reporter Paul Raffaele recounts his time spent with three unique jungle tribes--the peace-loving Congo Pygmies, New Guinea's tree-dwelling Korowai cannibals, and the Amazon's ferocious Korubo. Over months spent living in these three communities, Raffaele experienced firsthand wisdom and mysterious rites forged over many millennia. Resonating with high adventure and remarkable characters, The Rainforest Survivors details the daily lives of these relatively unknown peoples and provides key political and environmental context, showing how outside forces are closing in on them and threatening to change forever their ways of life. Enthralling and unforgettable, this compelling book is the important portrait of indigenous peoples living the way they have for centuries.
An inside look at what it means to be pro-regime in Iran, and the debates around the future of the Islamic Republic. More than half of Iran's citizens were not alive at the time of the 1979 Revolution. Now entering its fifth decade in power, the Iranian regime faces the paradox of any successful revolution: how to transmit the commitments of its political project to the next generation. New media ventures supported by the Islamic Republic attempt to win the hearts and minds of younger Iranians. Yet members of this new generation-whether dissidents or fundamentalists-are increasingly skeptical of these efforts. Iran Reframed offers unprecedented access to those who wield power in Iran as they debate and define the future of the Republic. Over ten years, Narges Bajoghli met with men in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ansar Hezbollah, and Basij paramilitary organizations to investigate how their media producers developed strategies to court Iranian youth. Readers come to know these men-what the regime means to them and their anxieties about the future of their revolutionary project. Contestation over how to define the regime underlies all their efforts to communicate with the public. This book offers a multilayered story about what it means to be pro-regime in the Islamic Republic, challenging everything we think we know about Iran and revolution.
In these pages, for the first time in any language, the author offers a comprehensive description and analysis of the clothing of the people pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. It is a highly productive approach to the culture--and the culture ties--of the Aztecs of Mexico, the Tlaxcalans, the Tarascans of Michoacan; the Mixtecs of Oaxaca, the mysterious "Borgia Group," and the lowland Mayas of Yucatan. These were the "great high cultures" that flourished just before European contact.
In her book, Patricia Anawalt describes through text and more than 350 illustrations and charts what the Indians of Middle America were wearing when Cortes and his conquistadors arrived in the New World in 1519. The costumes reveal a great deal about those who wore them. To the peoples of Middle America, dress was identity; even a god had to don his proper attire. To the Aztecs and their neighbors, for example, the wearing of appropriate clothing was strictly controlled by both custom and law. An individual's attire immediately identified not only culture affiliation but rank and status as well. Since each group dressed in a distinctive and characteristic manner, a great deal of ethnographic and historical information can be gleaned from a study of what those groups wore.
Of course, the costumes themselves have decayed into the earth from whose bounty they were created. Unlike Egypt, whose arid atmosphere helped assure centuries-long preservation, Middle America, with its moisture and cyclic climate, holds today little but the durable stone and mineral remains of its great civilizations.
We do, however, have vivid depictions of the costumes in the native codices and the conquistadors' accounts. The codices are histories and calendric and religious documents, executed in pictographic writing and drawings, that recorded and guided the people's lives. The conquistadors' accounts were official and semiofficial reports to their rulers and countrymen in Europe. Together these bodies of works constitute a priceless heritage of Mesoamerica. Many of the codices now repose in the great libraries and museums of Europe.
From twenty-four of these documents, as well as a very few extant wall murals, the author has compiled, analyzed, and compared hundreds of clothing examples. She has organized and grouped the costumes by type of construction and described their practical and ceremonial purposes. From the many illustrations, some here faithfully reproduced in the colors of the originals, we gain a vivid impression of the intimate, day-to-day lives of the men, women, and children, as well as the rituals and ceremonies around which their religious and political life centered.
From design and stylistic similarities the author has been able to identify many cross-cultural ties among the groups--in some instances providing new documentary evidence of relations between groups. We know that these native civilizations, far from evolving in isolation, had many enriching contacts with each other long before they were scattered and decimated by the armies of the Conquest.
The wealth of information in these pages makes it an invaluable
contribution to our understanding of the Civilization of the
American Indian of pre-Hispanic Times.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
Study of the future is an important new field in anthropology. Building on a philosophical tradition running from Aristotle through Heidegger to Schatzki, this book presents the concept of 'orientations' as a way to study everyday life. It analyses six main orientations - anticipation, expectation, speculation, potentiality, hope, and destiny - which represent different ways in which the future may affect our present. While orientations entail planning towards and imagining the future, they also often involve the collapse or exhaustion of those efforts: moments where hope may turn to apathy, frustrated planning to disillusion, and imagination to fatigue. By examining these orientations at different points, the authors argue for an anthropology that takes fuller account of the teleologies of action.
Leili could not have imagined that arriving late to Islamic morals class would change the course of her life. But her arrival catches the eye of a young man, and a chance meeting soon draws Leili into a new circle of friends and artists. Gathering in the cafes of Tehran, these young college students come together to create an underground play that will wake up their generation. They play with fire, literally and figuratively, igniting a drama both personal and political to perform their play-just once. From the wealthy suburbs and chic coffee shops of Tehran to subterranean spaces teeming with drugs and prostitution to spiritual lodges and saints' tombs in the mountains high above the city, Last Scene Underground presents an Iran rarely seen. Young Tehranis navigate their way through politics, art, and the meaning of home and in the process learn hard lessons about censorship, creativity, and love. Their dangerous discoveries ultimately lead to finding themselves. Written in the hopeful wake of Iran's Green Movement and against the long shadow of the Iran-Iraq war, this unique novel deepens our understanding of an elusive country that is full of misunderstood contradictions and wonder.
As policing has recently become a major topic of public debate, it is also a growing area of ethnographic research. Writing the World of Policing brings together an international roster of scholars who have conducted fieldwork studies of law enforcement in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods on five continents. How, they ask, can ethnography illuminate the work and role of the police in society? Are there important aspects of policing that are not captured through its usual approach through interviews and statistics? And how does the study of law enforcement enlighten the practice of ethnography in general? Can such inquiry into policing enrich our understanding of the epistemological and ethical challenges of this method? Beyond these questions of crucial interest for both criminology and the social sciences, Writing the World of Policing provides a timely discussion of one of the most problematic institutions in contemporary societies.
The hunter-gatherers of southern Africa known as 'Bushmen' or 'San' are not one single ethnic group, but several. They speak a diverse variety of languages, and have many different settlement patterns, kinship systems and economic practices. The fact that we think of them as a unity is not as strange as it may seem, for they share a common origin: they are an original hunter-gatherer population of southern Africa with a history of many thousands of years on the subcontinent. Drawing on his four decades of field research in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, Alan Barnard provides a detailed account of Bushmen or San, covering ethnography, archaeology, folklore, religious studies and rock-art studies as well as several other fields. Its wide coverage includes social development and politics, both historically and in the present day, helping us to reconstruct both human prehistory and a better understanding of ourselves.
Catastrophes ranging from the travesties of financial markets and the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well to the tsunami that struck northern Japan and the levees breaking in New Orleans are examples of the limits of knowledge. Author Randy Martin insists that the expertise erected to prevent these natural and social disasters failed in each case. In Knowledge LTD, Martin explores how both the limits of knowledge and the social constructions of culture reflect the way we organize social life in the face of disasters and their aftermath. He examines this crisis of knowledge as well as the social movements that rose up in its wake. Martin not only treats derivatives as financial contracts for pricing risk, but also shows how the derivative works in economic terms, where the very unity of the economy is undone. Knowledge LTD ultimately points to a more comprehensive reordering of the once separate spheres of economy, polity, and culture. Martin provides a new way of understanding the social significance of the all-pervasive derivative logic.
What would an artefact-based anthropology look like if it were not about material culture? And could such a project aspire, not to create a new sub-genre within the discipline, but to reconfigure anthropologys analytic methodologies more generally? Thinking Through Things is an ambitious foray by a group of young anthropologists who share common concerns about the place of objects and materiality in their interpretive struggles. More than simply a critique of existing anthropological reasoning, the volume puts forward a positive programme for the re-fashioning of anthropological endeavours. Testing the limit of the persistent analytical assumption that meanings are fundamentally distinct from their material manifestations, Thinking Through Things attempts to explore the consequences of an apparently counter-intuitive analytic possibility: that artifacts might be treated as sui generis meanings.
In almost every human society some people get more and others get less. Why is inequity the rule in these societies? In The Origins of Unfairness, philosopher Cailin O'Connor firstly considers how groups are divided into social categories, like gender, race, and religion, to address this question. She uses the formal frameworks of game theory and evolutionary game theory to explore the cultural evolution of the conventions which piggyback on these seemingly irrelevant social categories. These frameworks elucidate a variety of topics from the innateness of gender differences, to collaboration in academia, to household bargaining, to minority disadvantage, to homophily. They help to show how inequity can emerge from simple processes of cultural change in groups with gender and racial categories, and under a wide array of situations. The process of learning conventions of coordination and resource division is such that some groups will tend to get more and others less. O'Connor offers solutions to such problems of coordination and resource division and also shows why we need to think of inequity as part of an ever evolving process. Surprisingly minimal conditions are needed to robustly produce phenomena related to inequity and, once inequity emerges in these models, it takes very little for it to persist indefinitely. Thus, those concerned with social justice must remain vigilant against the dynamic forces that push towards inequity.
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