Michael Jackson has spent much of his career elaborating his rich conception of lifeworlds, mining his ethnographic and personal experience for insights into how our subjective and social lives are mutually constituted. In How Lifeworlds Work, Jackson draws on years of ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa to highlight the dynamic quality of human relationships and reinvigorate the study of kinship and ritual. How, he asks, do we manage the perpetual process of accommodation between social norms and personal emotions, impulses, and desires? How are these two dimensions of lived reality joined, and how are the dual imperatives of individual expression and collective viability managed? Drawing on the pragmatist tradition, psychology, and phenomenology, Jackson offers an unforgettable, beautifully written account of how we make, unmake, and remake, our lifeworlds.
Recent reports on Pentecostalism in the global South give the impression of an inexorable trajectory of massive growth, but Faith in Flux examines the religion's ambivalent reception in northern Mozambique, locating vital insight in the overlooked places where this religion has failed to take root.
What does it mean to live in time, between the unforeseeable and the irreversible? In The Varieties of Temporal Experience, Michael Jackson demonstrates the significance of a phenomenology of time for ethnography, philosophy, and history through a multifaceted consideration of the gap between our cultural representations of temporality and the bewildering multiplicity of our experience of being-in-time. Jackson explores temporality in a subjective mode as a form of literary anthropology. The first part of the book tells the story of John Joseph Pawelka, whose 1910 escape from prison and subsequent disappearance became one of New Zealand’s great unsolved mysteries, discussing what it reveals about the interplay of popular stories, hidden histories, and media narratives in constructing allegories of national and moral identity. In the second, Jackson reflects on journeys up and down the islands of New Zealand, touching on the ways that personal stories are interwoven with social and historical events. Throughout this groundbreaking book, Jackson juxtaposes philosophy, history, and ethnography in an attempt to do justice to the extraordinary variety of temporal experience, at the same time exploring the ethical and existential quandaries that arise from the complexity of lived time.
For more than twenty years, John Van Maanen’s Tales of the Field has been a definitive reference and guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of ethnography and beyond. Originally published in 1988, it was the one of the first works to detail and critically analyze the various styles and narrative conventions associated with written representations of culture. This is a book about the deskwork of fieldwork and the various ways culture is put forth in print. The core of the work is an extended discussion and illustration of three forms or genres of cultural representation—realist tales, confessional tales, and impressionist tales. The novel issues raised in Tales concern authorial voice, style, truth, objectivity, and point-of-view. Over the years, the work has both reflected and shaped changes in the field of ethnography. In this second edition, Van Maanen’s substantial new Epilogue charts and illuminates changes in the field since the book’s first publication. Refreshingly humorous and accessible, Tales of the Field remains an invaluable introduction to novices learning the trade of fieldwork and a cornerstone of reference for veteran ethnographers.
What is the exotic, after all? In this study, Micaela di Leonardo reveals the face of power within the mask of cultural difference. Focusing on the intimate and shifting relations between popular portrayals of exotic Others and the practice of anthropology, that profession assumed to be America's Guardian of the Offbeat, she casts new light on gender, race, and the public sphere in America's past and present. Chicago's 1893 Columbian World Exposition and today's college-town ethnic boutiques frame di Leonardo's century-long analysis.
Michael Jackson’s Lifeworlds is a masterful collection of essays, the culmination of a career aimed at understanding the relationship between anthropology and philosophy. Seeking the truths that are found in the interstices between examiner and examined, world and word, and body and mind, and taking inspiration from James, Dewey, Arendt, Husserl, Sartre, Camus, and, especially, Merleau-Ponty, Jackson creates in these chapters a distinctive anthropological pursuit of existential inquiry. More important, he buttresses this philosophical approach with committed empirical research. Traveling from the Kuranko in Sierra Leone to the Maori in New Zealand to the Warlpiri in Australia, Jackson argues that anthropological subjects continually negotiate—imaginatively, practically, and politically—their relations with the forces surrounding them and the resources they find in themselves or in solidarity with significant others. At the same time that they mirror facets of the larger world, they also help shape it. Stitching the themes, peoples, and locales of these essays into a sustained argument for a philosophical anthropology that focuses on the places between, Jackson offers a pragmatic understanding of how people act to make their lives more viable, to grasp the elusive, to counteract external powers, and to turn abstract possibilities into embodied truths.
Anthropology has long had a vexed relationship with literature, and nowhere has this been more acutely felt than in France, where most ethnographers, upon returning from the field, write not one book, but two: a scientific monograph and a literary account. In Far Afield—brought to English-language readers here for the first time—Vincent Debaene puzzles out this phenomenon, tracing the contours of anthropology and literature’s mutual fascination and the ground upon which they meet in the works of thinkers from Marcel Mauss and Georges Bataille to Claude Lévi-Strauss and Roland Barthes. The relationship between anthropology and literature in France is one of careful curiosity. Literary writers are wary about anthropologists’ scientific austerity but intrigued by the objects they collect and the issues they raise, while anthropologists claim to be scientists but at the same time are deeply concerned with writing and representational practices. Debaene elucidates the richness that this curiosity fosters and the diverse range of writings it has produced, from Proustian memoirs to proto-surrealist diaries. In the end he offers a fascinating intellectual history, one that is itself located precisely where science and literature meet.
In this controversial work, Marcel Gauchet reinterprets the development of the modern West, with all its political and psychological complexities, in terms of humankind's changing relation to religion.
Society and the Environment examines today's environmental controversies within a socio-organizational context. After outlining the contours of 'pragmatic environmentalism', Carolan considers the pressures that exist where ecology and society collide, such as population growth and its associated increased demands for food and energy. He also investigates how various ecological issues, such as climate change, are affecting our very own personal health. Finally, he drills into the social/structural dynamics (including political economy and the international legal system) that create ongoing momentum for environmental ills. This interdisciplinary text features a three-part structure in each chapter that covers 'fast facts' about the issue at hand, examines its wide-ranging implications, and offers balanced consideration of possible real-world solutions. New to this edition are 'Movement Matters' boxes, which showcase grassroots movements that have affected legislation. Discussion questions and key terms enhance the text's usefulness, making Society and the Environment the perfect learning tool for courses on environmental sociology.
In this culmination of his search for anthropological concepts and practices appropriate to the twenty-first century, Paul Rabinow contends that to make sense of the contemporary anthropologists must invent new forms of inquiry. He begins with an extended rumination on what he gained from two of his formative mentors: Michel Foucault and Clifford Geertz. Reflecting on their lives as teachers and thinkers, as well as human beings, he poses questions about their critical limitations, unfulfilled hopes, and the lessons he learned from and with them. This spirit of collaboration animates The Accompaniment, as Rabinow assesses the last ten years of his career, largely spent engaging in a series of intensive experiments in collaborative research and often focused on cutting-edge work in synthetic biology. He candidly details the successes and failures of shifting his teaching practice away from individual projects, placing greater emphasis on participation over observation in research, and designing and using websites as a venue for collaboration. Analyzing these endeavors alongside his efforts to apply an anthropological lens to the natural sciences, Rabinow lays the foundation for an ethically grounded anthropology ready and able to face the challenges of our contemporary world.
Moving Places draws together contributions from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, exploring practices and experiences of movement, non-movement, and place-making. The book centers on "moving places": places with locations that are not fixed but relative. Locations appearing to be reasonably stable, such as home and homeland, are in fact always subject to practices, imaginaries, and politics of movement. Bringing together original ethnographic contributions with a clear theoretical focus, this volume spans the fields of anthropology, human geography, migration, and border studies, and serves as teaching material in related programs.
Collaboration between ethnographers and subjects has long been a product of the close, intimate relationships that define ethnographic research. But increasingly, collaboration is no longer viewed as merely a consequence of fieldwork; instead collaboration now preconditions and shapes research design as well as its dissemination. As a result, ethnographic subjects are shifting from being informants to being consultants. The emergence of collaborative ethnography highlights this relationship between consultant and ethnographer, moving it to center stage as a calculated part not only of fieldwork but also of the writing process itself. The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography presents a historical, theoretical, and practice-oriented road map for this shift from incidental collaboration to a more conscious and explicit collaborative strategy. Luke Eric Lassiter charts the history of collaborative ethnography from its earliest implementation to its contemporary emergence in fields such as feminism, humanistic anthropology, and critical ethnography. On this historical and theoretical base, Lassiter outlines concrete steps for achieving a more deliberate and overt collaborative practice throughout the processes of fieldwork and writing. As a participatory action situated in the ethical commitments between ethnographers and consultants and focused on the co-construction of texts, collaborative ethnography, argues Lassiter, is among the most powerful ways to press ethnographic fieldwork and writing into the service of an applied and public scholarship. A comprehensive and highly accessible handbook for ethnographers of all stripes, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography will become a fixture in the development of a critical practice of anthropology, invaluable to both undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty alike.
Food, Festival and Religion explores how communities in northern Italy find a restorative sense of place through foodways, costuming and other forms of materiality. Festivals examined by the author vary geographically from the northern rural corners of Italy to the fashionable heart of urban Milan. The origins of these lived religious events range from Christian to vernacular Italian witchcraft and contemporary Paganism, which is rapidly growing in Italy. Francesca Ciancimino Howell demonstrates that during ritualized occasions the sacred is located within the mundane. She argues that communal feasting, pilgrimage, rituals and costumed events can represent forms of lived religious materiality. Building on the work of scholars including Foucault, Grimes and Ingold, Howell offers a theoretical "Scale of Engagement†? which further tests the interfaces between and among the materialities of place, food, ritual and festivals and provides a widely-applicable model for analyzing grassroots events and community initiatives. Through extensive ethnographic research and fieldwork data, this book demonstrates that popular Italian festivals can be ritualized, liminal spaces, contributing greatly to the fields of religious, performance and ritual studies.
Nearly every job application asks it: have you ever been convicted of a crime? For the hundreds of thousands of young men leaving American prisons each year, their answer to that question may determine whether they can find work and begin rebuilding their lives. The product of an innovative field experiment, Marked gives us our first real glimpse into the tremendous difficulties facing ex-offenders in the job market. Devah Pager matched up pairs of young men, randomly assigned them criminal records, then sent them on hundreds of real job searches throughout the city of Milwaukee. Her applicants were attractive, articulate, and capable—yet ex-offenders received less than half the callbacks of the equally qualified applicants without criminal backgrounds. Young black men, meanwhile, paid a particularly high price: those with clean records fared no better in their job searches than white men just out of prison. Such shocking barriers to legitimate work, Pager contends, are an important reason that many ex-prisoners soon find themselves back in the realm of poverty, underground employment, and crime that led them to prison in the first place. “Using scholarly research, field research in Milwaukee, and graphics, [Pager] shows that ex-offenders, white or black, stand a very poor chance of getting a legitimate job. . . . Both informative and convincing.”—Library Journal “Marked is that rare book: a penetrating text that rings with moral concern couched in vivid prose—and one of the most useful sociological studies in years.”—Michael Eric Dyson
What happens to legacies that do not find any continuation? In Estonia, a new generation that does not remember the socialist era and is open to global influences has grown up. As a result, the impact of the Soviet memory in people’s conventional values is losing its effective power, opening new opportunities for repair and revaluation of the past. Francisco Martinez brings together a number of sites of interest to explore the vanquishing of the Soviet legacy in Estonia: the railway bazaar in Tallinn where concepts such as ‘market’ and ‘employment’ take on distinctly different meanings from their Western use; Linnahall, a grandiose venue, whose Soviet heritage now poses diffi cult questions of how to present the building’s history; Tallinn’s cityscape, where the social, spatial and temporal co-evolution of the city can be viewed and debated; Narva, a city that marks the border between the Russian Federation, NATO and the European Union, and represents a place of continual negotiation of belonging; and the new Estonian National Museum in Raadi, an area on the outskirts of Tartu, that has been turned into a memory field. The anthropological study of all these places shows that national identity and historical representations can be constructed in relation to waste and disrepair too, also demonstrating how we can understand generational change in a material sense. Praise for Remains of the Soviet Past in Estonia 'By adopting the tropes of ‘repair’ and ‘waste’, this book innovatively manages to link various material registers from architecture, intergenerational relations, affect and museums with ways of making the past present. Through a rigorous yet transdisciplinary method, Martínez brings together different scales and contexts that would often be segregated out. In this respect, the ethnography unfolds a deep and nuanced analysis, providing a useful comparative and insightful account of the processes of repair and waste making in all their material, social and ontological dimensions.' Victor Buchli, Professor of Material Culture at UCL 'This book comprises an endearingly transdisciplinary ethnography of postsocialist material culture and social change in Estonia. Martínez creatively draws on a number of critical and cultural theorists, together with additional research on memory and political studies scholarship and the classics of anthropology. Grappling concurrently with time and space, the book offers a delightfully thick description of the material effects generated by the accelerated post-Soviet transformation in Estonia, inquiring into the generational specificities in experiencing and relating to the postsocialist condition through the conceptual anchors of wasted legacies and repair. This book defies disciplinary boundaries and shows how an attention to material relations and affective infrastructures might reinvigorate political theory.' Maria Mälksoo, Senior Lecturer, Brussels School of International Studies at the University of Kent
America is the most punitive nation in the world, incarcerating more than 2.3 million people—or one in 136 of its residents. Against the backdrop of this unprecedented mass imprisonment, punishment permeates everyday life, carrying with it complex cultural meanings. In The Culture of Punishment, Michelle Brown goes beyond prison gates and into the routine and popular engagements of everyday life, showing that those of us most distanced from the practice of punishment tend to be particularly harsh in our judgments. The Culture of Punishment takes readers on a tour of the sites where culture and punishment meet—television shows, movies, prison tourism, and post 9/11 new war prisons—demonstrating that because incarceration affects people along distinct race and class lines, it is only a privileged group of citizens who are removed from the experience of incarceration. These penal spectators, who often sanction the infliction of pain from a distance, risk overlooking the reasons for democratic oversight of the project of punishment and, more broadly, justifications for the prohibition of pain.
From December 1811 to February 1812, massive earthquakes shook the middle Mississippi Valley, collapsing homes, snapping large trees midtrunk, and briefly but dramatically reversing the flow of the continent’s mightiest river. For decades, people puzzled over the causes of the quakes, but by the time the nation began to recover from the Civil War, the New Madrid earthquakes had been essentially forgotten. In The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes, Conevery Bolton Valencius remembers this major environmental disaster, demonstrating how events that have been long forgotten, even denied and ridiculed as tall tales, were in fact enormously important at the time of their occurrence, and continue to affect us today. Valencius weaves together scientific and historical evidence to demonstrate the vast role the New Madrid earthquakes played in the United States in the early nineteenth century, shaping the settlement patterns of early western Cherokees and other Indians, heightening the credibility of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa for their Indian League in the War of 1812, giving force to frontier religious revival, and spreading scientific inquiry. Moving into the present, Valencius explores the intertwined reasons—environmental, scientific, social, and economic—why something as consequential as major earthquakes can be lost from public knowledge, offering a cautionary tale in a world struggling to respond to global climate change amid widespread willful denial. Engagingly written and ambitiously researched—both in the scientific literature and the writings of the time—The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes will be an important resource in environmental history, geology, and seismology, as well as history of science and medicine and early American and Native American history.
Debating Humanity explores sociological and philosophical efforts to delineate key features of humanity that identify us as members of the human species. After challenging the normative contradictions of contemporary posthumanism, this book goes back to the foundational debate on humanism between Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger in the 1940s and then re-assesses the implicit and explicit anthropological arguments put forward by seven leading postwar theorists: self-transcendence (Hannah Arendt), adaptation (Talcott Parsons), responsibility (Hans Jonas), language (Jrgen Habermas), strong evaluations (Charles Taylor), reflexivity (Margaret Archer) and reproduction of life (Luc Boltanski). Genuinely interdisciplinary and boldly argued, Daniel Chernilo has crafted a novel philosophical sociology that defends a universalistic principle of humanity as vital to any adequate understanding of social life.
The European Union is often attacked for its ‘democratic deficit’, namely its deficiencies in representation, transparency and accountability, as well as its lack of popular support. Can these shortcomings be counteracted by the development of a viable European public sphere? This book assesses the possible formation of a communicative space that might enable and engender the creation of a transnational or a supranational public. The contributors consider the EU’s democratic credentials and how well it communicates, and they also evaluate the major institutions and their links to general publics. The European Union and the Public Sphere emphasizes a ‘deliberative democratic’ perspective on the public sphere, addressing some key questions: • What are the prospects for a European public sphere? • Should we think in terms of the EU having a single public sphere, or are overlapping public spheres a more viable option? • What do this book’s findings on the question of the public sphere tell us about the EU as a political entity? Students and scholars of European democracy, political communication, and the politics of institutions will all be greatly interested by this book.
Few of us have been spared the agonies of intimate relationships. They come in many shapes: loving a man or a woman who will not commit to us, being heartbroken when we're abandoned by a lover, engaging in Sisyphean internet searches, coming back lonely from bars, parties, or blind dates, feeling bored in a relationship that is so much less than we had envisaged - these are only some of the ways in which the search for love is a difficult and often painful experience. Despite the widespread and almost collective character of these experiences, our culture insists they are the result of faulty or insufficiently mature psyches. For many, the Freudian idea that the family designs the pattern of an individual's erotic career has been the main explanation for why and how we fail to find or sustain love. Psychoanalysis and popular psychology have succeeded spectacularly in convincing us that individuals bear responsibility for the misery of their romantic and erotic lives. The purpose of this book is to change our way of thinking about what is wrong in modern relationships. The problem is not dysfunctional childhoods or insufficiently self-aware psyches, but rather the institutional forces shaping how we love. The argument of this book is that the modern romantic experience is shaped by a fundamental transformation in the ecology and architecture of romantic choice. The samples from which men and women choose a partner, the modes of evaluating prospective partners, the very importance of choice and autonomy and what people imagine to be the spectrum of their choices: all these aspects of choice have transformed the very core of the will, how we want a partner, the sense of worth bestowed by relationships, and the organization of desire. This book does to love what Marx did to commodities: it shows that it is shaped by social relations and institutions and that it circulates in a marketplace of unequal actors.

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