Scholarly Works - Social Anthropology

This collection is intended to include published articles, book chapters, books, conference or workshop papers, lectures, and working papers.

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    Dorset Days
    Macfarlane, Alan Donald; Macfarlane, Alan [0000-0002-7675-0372]
    An account of life in Dorset as a child between 1948 and 1954
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    Oxford Postgraduate 1963-1966
    Macfarlane, ADJ; Macfarlane, Alan [0000-0002-7675-0372]
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    The Education of Iris Macfarlane 1922-1939
    Macfarlane, Iris; Macfarlane, ADJ; Macfarlane, Alan [0000-0002-7675-0372]
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    Lakeland Life 1954-1960
    Macfarlane, Alan Donald; Macfarlane, Alan [0000-0002-7675-0372]
    An account of life in the Lake District, in Wordsworth's valley, in the second half of the 1960's.
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    Open Access
    ANTHROPOLOGY BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE PACIFIC: VALUES AND THE PROSPECTS FOR A RELATIONSHIP BEYOND RELATIVISM
    (Brigham Young University, Hawaii Campus, ) Robbins, J
    I am greatly honored by the opportunity to deliver the Sir Raymond Firth Memorial Lecture this afternoon. Greatly honored and, if I am to be honest, a little daunted. Daunted first of all by the towering legacy of Sir Raymond Firth himself, a man who maintained a commitment to the study of the Pacific Islands over the entire course of his very long life and one of only a handful of people who can truly be said to have helped lay the foundations for the still relatively young discipline of anthropology. But daunted also by the work of those in attendance here, so many of whom I am sure have forgotten more about life in the Pacific Islands than I will ever be able to claim to know. And of course when it comes to that other key term of the conference title, Europe, I have even more firmly to proclaim comparative ignorance – having hardly ever lived in Europe, and only recently moved to a nearby island that, as we all know, has its own suspicions about those whom Epeli Hau’ofa (2008, 32), to whom we will return shortly, calls “continental men”. So it is not hard to see why, when faced with addressing you in memory of Sir Raymond Firth at a conference entitled “Europe and the Pacific”, my deep excitement could not help but be accompanied by a profound sense of my own limitations.
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    Open Access
    L'anthropologie entre l'Europe et le Pacifique: Pour une relation au-delà du relativisme: valeurs et perspectives
    (Editions de I'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, 2017-04) Robbins, J; Lemonde, F
    Je suis très honoré de prononcer la Sir Raymond Firth Memorial Lecture cet après-midi. Très honoré et, pour être honnête, un peu intimidé. Intimidé tout d’abord par l’immense héritage de Sir Raymond Firth lui-même, cet homme qui s’est consacré sans relâche à l’étude des îles du Pacifique tout au long de sa très longue vie, et l’un des rares dont on peut vraiment dire qu’il a contribué à poser les fondements de cette discipline encore relativement jeune qu’était l’anthropologie. Mais intimidé également par les recherches de ceux ici présents, dont la plupart, j’en suis sûr, en ont appris sur la vie dans les îles du Pacifique plus que je ne pourrai jamais prétendre connaître. Et, bien sûr, s’agissant de l’autre terme clé du titre de la conférence, l’«Europe», je dois encore avouer ma relative ignorance – n’ayant pour ainsi dire jamais vécu en Europe et m’étant installé il y a peu dans une île voisine qui, comme nous le savons tous, a une certaine méfiance envers ceux que Epeli Hau’ofa (2008: 32), sur lequel nous reviendrons plus loin, appelle les «hommes du continent». Il n’est donc pas difficile de comprendre pourquoi, confronté à la tâche de m’adresser à vous, en mémoire de Sir Raymond Firth, lors d’un congrès sur le thème «L’Europe et le Pacifique», mon enthousiasme sincère s’accompagne inévitablement du sentiment profond de mes propres limites.
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    This is (not) like that
    (University of Chicago Press, 2017) Candea, M; Candea, Matei [0000-0001-7260-4194]
    A review comment as part of a symposium on Peter Van der Veer's book The Value of Comparison.
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    Review article: Holbraad, M and M A Pedersen. The ontological turn: an anthropological exposition.
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-08) Laidlaw, JA
    News of this book has been circulating well in advance of its publication, and it has been widely and eagerly anticipated. The many anthropologists who have been enthused and excited, as well as those who have been provoked or mystified, by various earlier manifestations of ‘the ontological turn’ have looked forward to a comprehensive and authoritative statement of its principles and programme. This book certainly provides that, and gives a virtuoso performance in doing so. It positively bristles with enthusiasm, energy and new ideas. It is engaging and inventive, spirited, combative, self‐consciously contentious and clearly driven by a restless, proselytising spirit, but it also sets out not just to dazzle with its conspicuous cleverness but also to persuade by serious argument. It succeeds in a good deal of what it sets out to do, and even those who are least convinced will be given a good deal to think about along the way. It ought to be widely read – really, anyone who thinks seriously about the nature of anthropology will want to read it – and it will certainly change the terms of debate. This it will do for several reasons, not least that its contents will come to so many as a surprise.
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    Afterword: Village space and the experience of difference and hierarchy between normative orders
    (SAGE Publications, 2017-10-16) Stasch, RS; Stasch, Rupert [0000-0002-4617-2153]
    This afterword traces certain shared themes across the studies in this special issue and my research on village formation among Korowai of Indonesian Papua. I focus on what Chio describes as the ‘relationality’ of the rural, especially villages’ intense but diverse forms of global connectedness. I suggest our common subject is how rural people think about their place in history by thinking about space. More specifically, I argue that spatial forms are sites through which people engage with difference and hierarchy of normative orders, including not only relations of otherness and inequality between villages and urban centres but also forms of otherness and evaluative hierarchy ‘internal’ to rural spaces and personal subjectivity.
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    Everyday Intimacies of the Middle East
    (Duke University Press, 2016-07-01) Zengin, A; Sehlikoglu, S; Sehlikoglu, Sertaç [0000-0002-5149-8393]
    In the last decade the question of intimacy in the Middle East has received renewed scholarly attention in its relation to love, sentimentality, sexuality, gender, and erotics (Mahdavi 2009; Najmabadi 2005; Ozyegin 2015; Peirce 2010; Pursley 2012). This research has greatly contributed to understanding the role of distinctive historical and social processes and transformations in constructing the realms of intimacy.We suggest that the question of intimacy and its relation to the everyday domains of life requires further attention.Howpeople, bodies, and objects meet and touch—and the zones of contact that they create (Pratt and Rosner 2006, 17) in the everyday life of publics, institutions, and families—are critical issues to further examine.
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    Revisited: Muslim Women’s agency and feminist anthropology of the Middle East
    (Springer, 2018-04) Sehlikoglu, S; Sehlikoglu, Sertaç [0000-0002-5149-8393]
    This article locates imaginative aspects of human subjectivity as a feminist issue by reviewing the concept of agency in the genealogy of Muslim and Middle Eastern women in anthropological and ethnographic literature. It suggests that, if feminist scholarship of the Middle East would continue approaching to Muslim women’s agency -as it has been doing for decades-, it should do so as an epistemological question and thus expand the limits of ethnographic and analytical focus beyond the broader systems, such as family, nation, religion, and state. As an example to this proposition, the article then discusses the recent work on aspects of selfhood that escape from the structures, rules, systems, and discursive limits of life but captures imaginations, aspirations, desires, yearnings, and longings.
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    Failing Well: Becoming Vaishnava in an Ideal Vedic City
    (University of Chicago Press, 2017-09) Fahy, J; Fahy, John [0000-0002-7669-4913]
    Since the early 1970s the small town of Mayapur in West Bengal has been home to a multinational Gaudiya Vaishnava community of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) devotees, popularly known as the Hare Krishnas. Although the land of Mayapur is understood to be sacred and therefore conducive to spiritual life, devotees often struggle with the practices and prohibitions that are deemed indispensable for their salvation. They are also, however, both prone to, and adept at, articulating their inability to live up to the ideals of Krishna consciousness. So much so that narrating failure itself becomes a privileged mode of moral self-cultivation. Devotees inhabit the moral system not simply by conforming to a set of Vaishnava ideals, but by articulating their failure to do so consistently within Vaishnava moral narratives that account for the aperture between precept and practice. In other words, they inhabit the moral system by failing well. This article contributes to recent debates in the ethical turn that centre on the twin problems of identifying and locating ethics. I suggest that beyond a focus on virtue, the anthropology of ethics must also account for how people relate to vices, and how moral systems accommodate the problem of moral failure.
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    Making Difference: Queer Activism and Anthropological Theory
    (University of Chicago Press, 2018-06-01) Heywood, PP; Heywood, Paolo [0000-0003-2983-9240]
    This article examines two paradoxes. The first is ethnographic: queer activists in Bologna, Italy, are concerned with defining themselves in opposition to fixed categories of identity and the forms of politics based on them. In so doing, however, they must engage with the risk that this endeavor of difference-making itself becomes as fixed and uniform as the identities to which it is opposed. The second paradox is theoretical: a range of anthropologists have recently argued that the relationship between theoretical and ethnographic material should be one of identity or correspondence. Yet such arguments, although highly stimulating conceptually, often reproduce in form what they refute in content—abstraction and metaphysical speculation—thus reinscribing the difference between our concepts and our data. This article connects these ethnographic and theoretical questions while also deliberately holding them apart. The beginnings of an answer to both, it suggests, lie in an explicit attention to the boundaries and differences, rather than simply the isomorphisms, between theory and ethnography.
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    Anthropocene East Anglia
    (SAGE Publications, 2017-03-01) Irvine, RDG; Irvine, Richard [0000-0003-0468-4510]
    As we find ourselves in a geological epoch of our own making, it becomes necessary to reconsider the temporal scale of ethnographic enquiry; the effect of human behaviour is shown as a mark in deep time. Focusing on the East Anglian fenland, UK, this article considers the importance of thinking about long-term environmental change for the understanding of human life. First, the article explores the way in which human geological agency has transformed the landscape. It then goes on to argue that while the scale of such changes can only be understood against the backdrop of geological time, social life in the region nevertheless demonstrates ‘temporal lock-in’, which is defined in the article as an increasing fixation with the landscape of a single point in history. The consequence of such temporal lock-in is that long-term environmental variability becomes, literally, unthinkable; yet surface-level certainties of the present are called into question when the timescale of deep history is brought into view.
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    Review: The Anthropology of Economy: Community, Market, and Culture
    (Berghahn Books, 2017-03-01) Stein, F
    With Anthropology and Economy, Stephen Gudeman has provided us with a valuable resource for teaching and rethinking the study of economic life. His book fulfils two important purposes. On the one hand, as an introductory text it successfully makes the case for economic anthropology as a discipline. Gudeman shows in highly accessible prose how surprising and illuminating the study of economic life really is, when carried out in a qualitative, open-ended and unashamedly comparative manner. For example, he explains the importance of ritual for hunters among the North American Cree, for Dobu yam farmers in 1920s New Guinea and for Iban rice cultivators in 1940s Borneo, only to subsequently show why ritual remains key for the ‘market magic’ that animates much buying and selling in the world’s most diversified economies today (pp.69–92). He also drives home the point that economic activity stretches far beyond conventionally studied market settings, and that its study must include the analysis of domestic life as well as kinship and community structures, which enable and influence commercial activity. It is particularly helpful that the author regularly intersperses his account with hypothetical interjections from a fictitious ‘over-the-shoulder economist’ (p.65), whose approaches and conclusions are contrasted to those of the book.
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    Anthropology as counter-culture: an interview with Thomas Hylland Eriksen
    (Wiley, 2017-03-01) Stein, F
    The question of whether or not social anthropology should predominantly be understood as an academic discipline reserved to a small group of specialized professionals or as a public endeavour that explicitly aims at developing its relevance for a wider audience has long been a point of contention. The case for the discipline's practical relevance was famously made by Malinowski (e.g. 1929; 1930; 1945), but met with scepticism by authors such as Richards (1944) and Evans-Pritchard (1946), who drew a clear distinction between scientific and applied research. In the recent past, increased anthropological engagement with politically charged topics such as climate change and global migration, as well as government demands on anthropologists to show the ‘impact’ of their work, have revived this question once again. In the following interview, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), shares some of his thoughts on where and how to situate anthropological scholarship between academia, policy-makers, and the wider public. Eriksen has published widely on topics including ethnicity, globalization, nationalism, and the history of anthropology, carrying out fieldwork in Trinidad, Norway, and, most recently, Queensland, Australia. Beyond his wide-reaching influence within the discipline, he has acquired the status of a public intellectual in his home country Norway.
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    Dramas of otherness: “First contact” tourism in New Guinea (The 2016 Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture)
    (SOAS, University of London, 2016-12-31) Stasch, R; Stasch, Rupert [0000-0002-4617-2153]
    This lecture looks at the criss-cross patterns of exoticizing desires felt in meetings between international tourists and Korowai of Indonesian Papua. Tourists idolize Korowai as “Stone Age” people living outside global commodity markets, while Korowai idolize tourists as living by unlimited access to commodity wealth. I suggest that these meetings are powerful and attractive for participants because of several levels of cultural process operating in them at the same time. First, the tourism meetings accrue qualities of transcendental presence from exoticizing stereotypes themselves (including from the stereotypes’ content, their modes of collective circulation, and the feeling of their concrete immanence in sensations of encounter). Second, the tourism meetings agitate participants’ relations to their own normativity. Third, participants enter into situations of working socially and practically on the others’ disparities from themselves.