Against the historical backdrop of successive socialist and post-socialist claims to have completely remade society, the contributors to this volume explore the complex and often paradoxical continuities between diverse post-socialist presents and their corresponding socialist and pre-socialist pasts. The chapters focus on ways in which: pre-socialist economic, political, and cultural forms in fact endured an era of socialism and have found new life in the post-socialist present, notwithstanding revolutionary socialist claims; continuities with a pre-socialist past have been produced within the historical imaginary of post-socialism; and socialist economic, political, and cultural forms have in fact endured in a purportedly postsocialist era, despite the claims of neo-liberal reformers.
A sustained and systematic study of the construction, erosion and reconstruction of national histories across a wide variety of states is highly topical and extremely relevant in the context of the accelerating processes of Europeanization and globalization. However, as demonstrated in this volume, histories have not, of course, only been written by professional historians. Drawing on studies from a number of different European nation states, the contributors to this volume present a systematic exploration, of the representation of the national paradigm. In doing so, they contextualize the European experience in a more global framework by providing comparative perspectives on the national histories in the Far East and North America. As such, they expose the complex variables and diverse actors that lie behind the narration of a nation.
Civil society and civic engagement have increasingly become topics of discussion at the national and international level. The editors of this volume ask, does the concept of “civil society” include gender equality and gender justice? Or, to frame the question differently, is civil society a feminist concept? Conversely, does feminism need the concept of civil society? This important volume offers both a revised gendered history of civil society and a program for making it more egalitarian in the future. An interdisciplinary group of internationally known authors investigates the relationship between public and private in the discourses and practices of civil societies; the significance of the family for the project of civil society; the relation between civil society, the state, and different forms of citizenship; and the complex connection between civil society, gendered forms of protest and nongovernmental movements. While often critical of historical instantiations of civil society, all the authors nonetheless take seriously the potential inherent in civil society, particularly as it comes to influence global politics. They demand, however, an expansion of both the concept and project of civil society in order to make its political opportunities available to all.
Fieldwork is a central method of research throughout anthropology, a much-valued, much-vaunted mode of generating information. But its nature and process have been seriously understudied in biological anthropology and primatology. This book is the first ever comparative investigation, across primatology, biological anthropology, and social anthropology, to look critically at this key research practice. It is also an innovative way to further the comparative project within a broadly conceived anthropology, because it does not focus on common theory but on a common method. The questions asked by contributors are: what in the pursuit of fieldwork is common to all three disciplines, what is unique to each, how much is contingent, how much necessary? Can we generate well-grounded cross-disciplinary generalizations about this mutual research method, and are there are any telling differences? Co-edited by a social anthropologist and a primatologist, the book includes a list of distinguished and well-established contributors from primatology and biological anthropology.
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.