Ecofeminism and Rhetoric
Critical Perspectives on Sex, Technology, and Discourse
Vakoch, D. A. (ed)
By drawing on the complex interplay of ecology and feminism, ecofeminists identify links between the domination of nature and the oppression of women. This volume introduces a variety of innovative approaches for advancing ecofeminist activism, demonstrating how words exert power in the world. Contributors explore the interconnections between the dualisms of nature/culture and masculine/feminine, providing new insights into sex and technology through such wide-ranging topics as canine reproduction, orangutan motherhood and energy conservation. Ecofeminist rhetorics of care address environmental problems through cooperation and partnership, rather than hierarchical subordination, encouraging forms of communication that value mutual understanding over persuasion and control. By critically examining ways that theory can help deconstruct domineering practices—exposing the underlying ideologies—a new generation of ecofeminist scholarship illuminates the transformative capacity of language to foster emancipation and liberation.
Civilizations Beyond Earth
Extraterrestrial Life and Society
Vakoch, D. A. & Harrison, A. A. (eds)
Astronomers around the world are pointing their telescopes toward the heavens, searching for signs of intelligent life. If they make contact with an advanced alien civilization, how will humankind respond? In thinking about first contact, the contributors to this volume present new empirical and theoretical research on the societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Archaeologists and astronomers explore the likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, using scientific insights to estimate such elusive factors as the longevity of technological societies. Sociologists present the latest findings of novel surveys, tapping into the public’s attitudes about life beyond Earth to show how religion and education influence beliefs about extraterrestrials. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, journalism, and religious studies offer innovative solutions for bridging the cultural gap between human and extraterrestrial civilizations, while recognizing the tremendous challenges of communicating at interstellar distances. At a time when new planets are being discovered around other stars at an unprecedented rate, this collection provides a much needed guide to the human impact of discovering we are not alone in the universe.
Subjects: General Anthropology Sociology Archaeology
The Hegemonic Male
Masculinity in a Portuguese Town
Vale de Almeida, M.
The construction of masculinity is becoming a field of growing interest because it is opening up new and fascinating perspectives, thus adding a further dimension to Gender Studies. However, so far the analysis has focused mostly on homosexuality. By contrast, the author examines social processes and relations that constitute hegemonic masculinity, the central model that attempts to subordinate alternative masculinities, and which is the model of male domination, compulsory monogamy, heterosexuality and reproduction. It is fascinating to follow the author as he gradually unfolds this kind of masculinity in its nearly pure state. Moreover, he involves the reader in his critical reflections on the material and invites him or her to give some thought to such wider questions as whether the hegemonic male is more resistant to change in oral cultures than in urban settings, or up to which point the agents of domination are also its victims. In fact, the author concludes that the hegemonic male is an ideal model practically unattainable by any single man, which exerts over all men a strong controlling power and often forces on them ritualization of everyday behavior that leads to an impoverishment of their lives.
Subjects: Gender Studies General Anthropology
An Earth-colored Sea
'Race', Culture and the Politics of Identity in the Post-Colonial Portuguese-Speaking World
Vale de Almeida, M.
Although the post-colonial situation has attracted considerable interest over recent years, one important colonial power – Portugal – has not been given any attention. This book is the first to explore notions of ethnicity, "race", culture, and nation in the context of the debate on colonialism and postcolonialism. The structure of the book reflects a trajectory of research, starting with a case study in Trinidad, followed by another one in Brazil, and ending with yet another one in Portugal. The three case studies, written in the ethnographic genre, are intertwined with essays of a more theoretical nature. The non-monographic, composite – or hybrid – nature of this work may be in itself an indication of the need for transnational and historically grounded research when dealing with issues of representations of identity that were constructed during colonial times and that are today reconfigured in the ideological struggles over cultural meanings.
Subjects: Colonialism General Anthropology
The Dance of Nurture
Negotiating Infant Feeding
Van Esterik, P. & O'Connor, R. A.
Breastfeeding and child feeding at the center of nurturing practices, yet the work of nurture has escaped the scrutiny of medical and social scientists. Anthropology offers a powerful biocultural approach that examines how custom and culture interact to support nurturing practices. Our framework shows how the unique constitutions of mothers and infants regulate each other. The Dance of Nurture integrates ethnography, biology and the political economy of infant feeding into a holistic framework guided by the metaphor of dance. It includes a critique of efforts to improve infant feeding practices globally by UN agencies and advocacy groups concerned with solving global nutrition and health problems.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies
Power in Practice
The Pragmatic Anthropology of Afro-Brazilian Capoeira
Varela, S. G.
Considering the concept of power in capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian ritual art form, Varela describes ethnographically the importance that capoeira leaders (mestres) have in the social configuration of a style called Angola in Bahia, Brazil. He analyzes how individual power is essential for an understanding of the modern history of capoeira, and for the themes of embodiment, play, cosmology, and ritual action. The book also emphasizes the great significance that creativity and aesthetic expression have for capoeira’s practice and performance.
Subjects: General Anthropology Performance Studies
The Monumental Nation
Magyar Nationalism and Symbolic Politics in Fin-de-siècle Hungary
From the 1860s onward, Habsburg Hungary attempted a massive project of cultural assimilation to impose a unified national identity on its diverse populations. In one of the more quixotic episodes in this “Magyarization,” large monuments were erected near small towns commemorating the medieval conquest of the Carpathian Basin—supposedly, the moment when the Hungarian nation was born. This exactingly researched study recounts the troubled history of this plan, which—far from cultivating national pride—provoked resistance and even hostility among provincial Hungarians. Author Bálint Varga thus reframes the narrative of nineteenth-century nationalism, demonstrating the complex relationship between local and national memories.
Subject: 18th/19th Century History
Reynard the Fox
Cultural Metamorphoses and Social Engagement in the Beast Epic from the Middle Ages to the Present
Varty, K. (ed)
There are many stories featuring the villainous hero Reynard the Fox in many languages told over many centuries, goingback as far as the early 12th century. All these stories are comic and much of the humour depends on parody and satire resulting in mockery, sometimes the subversion of certain kinds of serious literature, of political and religious institutions and practices, of scholarly argument and moralizing, and of popular beliefs and customs. The contributors to this volume, all of them experts in one or more of the Reynard stories and their backgrounds, focus on the transformation of these tales through various media and to what extent they reflect differences in the cultural, class, and generational background of their tellers.
Subjects: General Cultural Studies General History
Beyond an Anthropology of Critique
Venkatesan, S. & Yarrow, T. (eds)
Over the last two decades, anthropological studies have highlighted the problems of ‘development’ as a discursive regime, arguing that such initiatives are paradoxically used to consolidate inequality and perpetuate poverty. This volume constitutes a timely intervention in anthropological debates about development, moving beyond the critical stance to focus on development as a mode of engagement that, like anthropology, attempts to understand, represent and work within a complex world. By setting out to elucidate both the similarities and differences between these epistemological endeavors, the book demonstrates how the ethnographic study of development challenges anthropology to rethink its own assumptions and methods. In particular, contributors focus on the important but often overlooked relationship between acting and understanding, in ways that speak to debates about the role of anthropologists and academics in the wider world. The case studies presented are from a diverse range of geographical and ethnographic contexts, from Melanesia to Africa and Latin America, and ethnographic research is combined with commentary and reflection from the foremost scholars in the field.
Subjects: Development Studies General Anthropology
Rights in Exile
Verdirame, G. & Harrell-Bond, B.
Of the estimated 12 million refugees in the world, more than 7 million have been confined to camps, effectively "warehoused," in some cases, for 10 years or more. Holding refugees in camps was anathema to the founders of the refugee protection regime. Today, with most refugees encamped in the less developed parts of the world, the humanitarian apparatus has been transformed into a custodial regime for innocent people. Based on rich ethnographic data, Rights in Exile exposes the gap between human rights norms and the mandates of international organisations, on the one hand, and the reality on the ground, on the other. It will be of wide interest to social scientists, and to human rights and international law scholars. Policy makers, donor governments and humanitarian organizations, especially those adopting a "rights-based" approach, will also find it an invaluable resource. But it is the refugees themselves who could benefit the most if these actors absorb its lessons and apply them.
The Romani Movement
Minority Politics and Ethnic Mobilization in Contemporary Central Europe
The collapse of communism and the process of state building that ensued in the 1990s have highlighted the existence of significant minorities in many European states, particularly in Central Europe. In this context, the growing plight of Europe’s biggest minority, the Roma (Gypsies), has been particularly salient. Traditionally dispersed, possessing few resources and devoid of a common “kin state” to protect their interests, the Roma have often suffered from widespread exclusion and institutionalized discrimination. Politically underrepresented and lacking popular support amongst the wider populations of their host countries, the Roma have consequently become one of Europe’s greatest “losers” in the transition towards democracy.
Against this background, the author examines the recent attempts of the Roma in Central Europe and their supporters to form a political movement and to influence domestic and international politics. On the basis of first-hand observation and interviews with activists and politicians in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, he analyzes connections between the evolving state policies towards the Roma and the recent history of Romani mobilization. In order to reach a better understanding of the movement’s dynamics at work, the author explores a number of theories commonly applied to the study of social movements and collective action.
Croatian Film Today
Vidan, A. & Crnković, G. P. (eds)
The Croatian film scene has remained largely inaccessible until now. In this first comprehensive volume on the subject recognized scholars explore not only its recent history, since the establishment of the Croatian state, but also revisit its development during the Yugoslav period. By introducing readers to the complex political and artistic circumstances, the authors approach animation, documentary, and feature films, through questions of style and vision, social engagement, industry, national identity, gender, audience, and domestic and international reception. In depth interviews with some of the most prominent Croatian film directors provide insights into their artistic practices while also serving as first-hand testimonials to both socialist and transitional cultural environments. Encompassing a rich selection of films with a broad palette of themes and styles, the review section provides an indispensible guide through a little known world.
Subject: Film Studies
The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland
If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the present moment, as Pierre Nora puts it: “Through the past, we venerate above all ourselves.” This book examines how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society. Using the memorialization of the Troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland as a case study, this book investigates how non-state, often proscribed, organizations have filled a societal vacuum in the creation of public memorials. In particular, these groups have sifted through the past to propose “official” collective narratives of national identification, historical legitimation, and moral justifications for violence.
Subjects: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Navigating Terrains of War
Youth and Soldiering in Guinea-Bissau
Through the concept of "social navigation," this book sheds light on the mobilization of urban youth in West Africa. Social navigation offers a perspective on praxis in situations of conflict and turmoil. It provides insights into the interplay between objective structures and subjective agency, thus enabling us to make sense of the opportunistic, sometimes fatalistic and tactical ways in which young people struggle to expand the horizons of possibility in a world of conflict, turmoil and diminishing resources.
Subject: General Anthropology
Technocrats in Office
Virgilio, A. di & Radaelli, C. M. (eds)
In 2012, the spotlight was on Prime Minister Monti and his government of non-elected ministers. Early in the year, the new government’s economic policy was effective in stopping the international downgrading of the country’s credit rating. However, in terms of the entire year, the success of the Monti government appears less definitive. There were no clear achievements in terms of growth, and the structural features of the economy remained weak. Monti successfully initiated some reforms and policy changes, but there were failures as well. Furthermore, the “odd majority” (made up of the PdL, PD, and UdC) that supported Monti in Parliament performed more weakly than the government. The parties were to change the electoral law, reform the parliamentary institutions, cut costs, and reduce the privileges of the political class, but failed. Their inaction was accompanied by a series of scandals and crimes, all of which facilitated the emergence of new political forces, such as the Five Star Movement. When Monti eventually resigned in December 2012, President Napolitano called for new elections, and the parties redefined their proposals and lists. At the end of the year, the political and economic conditions of the country remained fragile.
Subject: Postwar History
Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist
...and Other Tales in the Anthropology of Adventure
Vivanco, L. & Gordon, R. (eds)
Adventure is currently enjoying enormous interest in public culture. The image of Tarzan provides a rewarding lens through which to explore this phenomenon. In their day, Edgar Rice Burrough’s novels enjoyed great popularity because Tarzan represented the consummate colonial-era adventurer: a white man whose noble civility enabled him to communicate with and control savage peoples and animals. The contemporary Tarzan of movies and cartoons is in many ways just as popular, but carries different connotations. Tarzan is now the consummate “eco-tourist:” a cosmopolitan striving to live in harmony with nature, using appropriate technology, and helpful to the natives who cannot seem to solve their own problems. Tarzan is still an icon of adventure, because like all adventurers, his actions have universal qualities: doing something previously untried, revealing the previously undiscovered, and experiencing the unadulterated. Prominent anthropologists have come together in this volume to reflect on various aspects of this phenomenon and to discuss contemporary forms of adventure.
Shaping and Contesting Environmentalism in Rural Costa Rica
Vivanco, L. A.
Since the 1970s and 1980s, Monte Verde, Costa Rica has emerged as one of the most renowned sites of nature conservation and ecotourism in Costa Rica, and some would argue, Latin America. It has received substantial attention in literature and media on tropical conservation, sustainable development, and tourism. Yet most of that analysis has uncritically evaluated the Monte Verde phenomenon, using celebratory language and barely scratching the surface of the many-faceted socio-cultural transformations provoked by and accompanying environmentalism. Because of its stature, Monte Verde represents an ideal case study to examine the socio-cultural and political complexities and dilemmas of practicing environmentalism in rural Costa Rica. Based on many years of close observation, this book offers rich and original material on the ongoing struggles between environmental activists and of collective and oppositional politics to Monte Verde’s new “culture of nature.”
Becoming a Subject
Political Prisoners during the Greek Civil War, 1945-1950
Focusing on the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), the last major conflict in Europe before the end of the Cold War, this study examines the political prisoners whose fate encapsulates the dramatic conflicts and contradictions of that dark era. New sources such as prisoners' letters, memoirs, and official reports, the author describes the life of the prisoners and the effect the prison administration and the prisoners' collective had on their personality. Drawing comparisons to political prisoners in Germany and Spain, the author sheds new light on our understanding of the ideologies and policies and their effect on individuals, which marked European history in the 20th century.
Subject: Postwar History
Between Utopia and Disillusionment
A Narrative of the Political Transformation in Eastern Europe
Scholarly interpretations of the collapse of communism and developments thereafter have tended to be primarily concerned with people’s need to rid themselves of the communist system, of their past. The expectations, dreams, and hopes that ordinary Eastern Europeans had when they took to the streets in 1989, and have had ever since, have therefore been overlooked – and our understanding of the changes in post-communist Europe has remained incomplete. Focusing primarily on five key areas, such as the heritage of 1989 revolutions, ambivalence, disillusionment, individualism, and collective identities, this book explores the expectations and goals that ordinary Eastern Europeans had during the 1989 revolutions and the decade thereafter, and also the problems and disappointments they encountered in the course of the transformation. The analysis is based on extensive interviews with university students and young intellectuals in the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Estonia in the 1990s, which in themselves have considerable value as historical documents.
Subject: Postwar History
Portraits of Hope
Armenians in the Contemporary World
Voss, Huberta von (ed)
Elie Wiesel called the genocide of the Armenians during the First World War ‘the Holocaust before the Holocaust’. Around one and a half million Armenians - men, women and children – were slaughtered at the time of the First World War. This book outlines some of the historical facts and consequences of the massacres but sees it as its main objective to present the Armenians to the foreign reader, their history but also their lives and achievements in the present that finds most Armenians dispersed throughout the world. 3000 years after their appearance in history, 1700 years after adopting Christianity and almost 90 years after the greatest catastrophe in their history, these 50 ‘biographical sketches of intellectuals, artists, journalists, and others…produce a complicated kaleidoscope of a divided but lively people that is trying once again, to rediscover its ethnic coherence. Armenian civilization does not consist solely of stories about a far-off past, but also of traditions and a national conscience suggestive of a future that will transcend the present.’ [from the Preface]
Subjects: 20th Century History General Cultural Studies
Class and Other Identities
Gender, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Writing of European Labour History
Voss, L. Heerma van & Linden, M. van der (eds)
With the onset of a more conservative political climate in the 1980s, social and especially labour history saw a decline in the popularity that they had enjoyed throughout the 1960s and 1970s. This led to much debate on its future and function within the historical discipline as a whole. Some critics declared it dead altogether. Others have proposed a change of direction and a more or less exclusive focus on images and texts. The most constructive proposals have suggested that labour history in the past concentrated too much on class and that other identities of working people should be taken into account to a larger extent than they had been previously, such as gender, religion, and ethnicity. Although class as a social category is still as valid as it has been before, the questions now to be asked are to what extent non-class identities shape working people's lives and mentalities and how these are linked with the class system. In this volume some of the leading European historians of labour and the working classes address these questions. Two non-European scholars comment on their findings from an Indian, resp. American, point of view. The volume is rounded off by a most useful bibliography of recent studies in European labour history, class, gender, religion, and ethnicity.
Cold War Cultures
Perspectives on Eastern and Western European Societies
Vowinckel, A., Payk, M. M., & Lindenberger, T. (eds)
The Cold War was not only about the imperial ambitions of the super powers, their military strategies, and antagonistic ideologies. It was also about conflicting worldviews and their correlates in the daily life of the societies involved. The term “Cold War Culture” is often used in a broad sense to describe media influences, social practices, and symbolic representations as they shape, and are shaped by, international relations. Yet, it remains in question whether — or to what extent — the Cold War Culture model can be applied to European societies, both in the East and the West. While every European country had to adapt to the constraints imposed by the Cold War, individual development was affected by specific conditions as detailed in these chapters. This volume offers an important contribution to the international debate on this issue of the Cold War impact on everyday life by providing a better understanding of its history and legacy in Eastern and Western Europe.
Subject: Postwar History
Crime, Jews and News
Crimes committed by Jews, especially ritual murders, have long been favorite targets in the antisemitic press. This book investigates popular and scientific conceptualizations of criminals current in Austria and Germany at the turn of the last century and compares these to those in the contemporary antisemitic discourse. It challenges received historiographic assumptions about the centrality of criminal bodies and psyches in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century criminology and argues that contemporary antisemitic narratives constructed Jewish criminality not as a biologico-racial defect, but rather as a coolly manipulative force that aimed at the deliberate destruction of the basis of society itself. Through the lens of criminality this book provides new insight into the spread and nature of antisemitism in Austria-Hungary around 1900. The book also provides a re-evaluation of the phenomenon of modern Ritual Murder Trials by placing them into the context of wider narratives of Jewish crime.