Friendship is an essential part of human experience, involving ideas of love and morality as well as material and pragmatic concerns. Making and having friends is a central aspect of everyday life in all human societies. Yet friendship is often considered of secondary significance in comparison to domains such as kinship, economics and politics. How important are friends in different cultural contexts? What would a study of society viewed through the lens of friendship look like? Does friendship affect the shape of society as much as society moulds friendship? Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe, this volume offers answers to these questions and examines the ideology and practice of friendship as it is embedded in wider social contexts and transformations.
Memory studies has become a rapidly growing area of scholarly as well as public interest. This volume brings together world experts to explore the current critical trends in this new academic field. It embraces work on diverse but interconnected phenomena, such as twenty-first century museums, shocking memorials in present-day Rwanda and the firsthand testimony of the victims of genocidal conflicts. The collection engages with pressing ‘real world’ issues, such as the furor around the recent 9/11 memorial, and what we really mean when we talk about ‘trauma’.
In spite of having been short-lived, “Weimar” has never lost its fascination. Until recently the Weimar Republic’s place in German history was primarily defined by its catastrophic beginning and end – Germany’s defeat in 1918 and the Nazi seizure of power in 1933; its history seen mainly in terms of politics and as an arena of flawed decisions and failed compromises. However, a flourishing of interdisciplinary scholarship on Weimar political culture is uncovering arenas of conflict and change that had not been studied closely before, such as gender, body politics, masculinity, citizenship, empire and borderlands, visual culture, popular culture and consumption. This collection offers new perspectives from leading scholars in the disciplines of history, art history, film studies, and German studies on the vibrant political culture of Germany in the 1920s. From the traumatic ruptures of defeat, revolution, and collapse of the Kaiser’s state, the visionaries of Weimar went on to invent a republic, calling forth new citizens and cultural innovations that shaped the republic far beyond the realms of parliaments and political parties.
Prevailing scholarship on migration tends to present migrants as the objects of history, subjected to abstract global forces or to concrete forms of regulation imposed by state and supra state organizations. In this volume, by contrast, the focus is on migrants as the subjects of history who not only react but also act to engage with and transform their worlds. Using ethnographic examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East, contributors question how and why particular forms of political struggle and collective action may, or indeed may not, be carried forward in the context of geographic and social border crossings. In doing so, they bring the dynamic relationship between class, gender, and culture to the forefront in each distinctive migration setting.
Although the end of the Cold War was greeted with great enthusiasm by people in the East and the West, the ensuing social and especially economic changes did not always result in the hoped-for improvements in people’s lives. This led to widespread disillusionment that can be observed today all across Eastern Europe. Not simply a longing for security, stability, and prosperity, this nostalgia is also a sense of loss regarding a specific form of sociability. Even some of those who opposed communism express a desire to invest their new lives with renewed meaning and dignity. Among the younger generation, it surfaces as a tentative yet growing curiosity about the recent past. In this volume scholars from multiple disciplines explore the various fascinating aspects of this nostalgic turn by analyzing the impact of generational clusters, the rural-urban divide, gender differences, and political orientation. They argue persuasively that this nostalgia should not be seen as a wish to restore the past, as it has otherwise been understood, but instead it should be recognized as part of a more complex healing process and an attempt to come to terms both with the communist era as well as the new inequalities of the post-communist era.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has been addressed and perceived predominantly through the broad perspectives of social and economic theories as well as public health and development discourses. This volume however, focuses on the micro-politics of illness, treatment and death in order to offer innovative insights into the complex processes that shape individual and community responses to AIDS. The contributions describe the dilemmas that families, communities and health professionals face and shed new light on the transformation of social and moral orders in African societies, which have been increasingly marginalised in the context of global modernity.
It is commonly acknowledged that anthropologists use personal experiences to inform their writing. However, it is often assumed that only fieldwork experiences are relevant and that the personal appears only in the form of self-reflexivity. This book takes a step beyond anthropology at home and auto-ethnography and shows how anthropologists can include their memories and experiences as ethnographic data in their writing. It discusses issues such as authenticity, translation and ethics in relation to the self, and offers a new perspective on doing ethnographic fieldwork.
The Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth in the Middle East have been stereotyped regionally and internationally: some have been objectified as passive victims; others have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development. This book compares and contrasts both the stereotypes and Western-based models of humanitarian assistance among Sahrawi youth with the lack of programming and near total self-sufficiency of Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Both extremes offer an important opportunity to further explore the impact which forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee youth and their families. This study examines refugee communities closely linked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a host of other UN agencies in the case of the Sahrawi and near total lack of humanitarian aid in the case of Afghan refugees in Iran.
Two decades after the publication of Clifford and Marcus’ volume Writing Culture , this collection provides a fresh and diverse reassessment of the debates that this pioneering volume unleashed. At the same time, Beyond Writing Culture moves the debate on by embracing the more fundamental challenge as to how to conceptualise the intricate relationship between epistemology and representational practices rather than maintaining the original narrow focus on textual analysis. It thus offers a thought-provoking tapestry of new ideas relevant for scholars not only concerned with ‘the ethnographic Other’, but with representation in general.
What is it to be human? What are our specifically human attributes, our capacities and liabilities? Such questions gave birth to anthropology as an Enlightenment science. This book argues that it is again appropriate to bring “the human” to the fore, to reclaim the singularity of the word as central to the anthropological endeavor, not on the basis of the substance of a human nature – “To be human is to act like this and react like this, to feel this and want this” – but in terms of species-wide capacities : capabilities for action and imagination, liabilities for suffering and cruelty. The contributors approach “the human” with an awareness of these complexities and particularities, rendering this volume unique in its ability to build on anthropology’s ethnographic expertise.