A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world. She focuses on one particular "zone of awkward engagement"--the rainforests of Indonesia--where in the 1980s and the 1990s capitalist interests increasingly reshaped the landscape not so much through corporate design as through awkward chains of legal and illegal entrepreneurs that wrested the land from previous claimants, creating resources for distant markets. In response, environmental movements arose to defend the rainforests and the communities of people who live in them. Not confined to a village, a province, or a nation, the social drama of the Indonesian rainforest includes local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others--all combining in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out. Providing a portfolio of methods to study global interconnections, Tsing shows how curious and creative cultural differences are in the grip of worldly encounter, and how much is overlooked in contemporary theories of the global.
Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.
In this highly original and much-anticipated ethnography, Anna Tsing challenges not only anthropologists and feminists but all those who study culture to reconsider some of their dearest assumptions. By choosing to locate her study among Meratus Dayaks, a marginal and marginalized group in the deep rainforest of South Kalimantan, Indonesia, Tsing deliberately sets into motion the familiar and stubborn urban fantasies of self and other. Unusual encounters with her remarkably creative and unconventional Meratus friends and teachers, however, provide the opportunity to rethink notions of tradition, community, culture, power, and gender--and the doing of anthropology. Tsing's masterful weaving of ethnography and theory, as well as her humor and lucidity, allow for an extraordinary reading experience for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the complexities of culture. Engaging Meratus in wider conversations involving Indonesian bureaucrats, family planners, experts in international development, Javanese soldiers, American and French feminists, Asian-Americans, right-to-life advocates, and Western intellectuals, Tsing looks not for consensus and coherence in Meratus culture but rather allows individual Meratus men and women to return our gaze. Bearing the fruit from the lively contemporary conversations between anthropology and cultural studies, In the Realm of the Diamond Queen will prove to be a model for thinking and writing about gender, power, and the politics of identity.
Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy. Ho, who worked at an investment bank herself, argues that bankers’ approaches to financial markets and corporate America are inseparable from the structures and strategies of their workplaces. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. Recruited from elite universities as “the best and the brightest,” investment bankers are socialized into a world of high risk and high reward. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.
Environmental Projects in South and Southeast Asia
Author: Paul Greenough,Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Business & Economics
A nuanced look at how nature has been culturally constructed in South and Southeast Asia, Nature in the Global South is a major contribution to understandings of the politics and ideologies of environmentalism and development in a postcolonial epoch. Among the many significant paradigms for understanding both the preservation and use of nature in these regions are biological classification, state forest management, tropical ecology, imperial water control, public health, and community-based conservation. Focusing on these and other ways that nature has been shaped and defined, this pathbreaking collection of essays describes projects of exploitation, administration, science, and community protest. With contributors based in anthropology, ecology, sociology, history, and environmental and policy studies, Nature in the Global South features some of the most innovative and influential work being done in the social studies of nature. While some of the essays look at how social and natural landscapes are created, maintained, and transformed by scientists, officials, monks, and farmers, others analyze specific campaigns to eradicate smallpox and save forests, waterways, and animal habitats. In case studies centered in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, and South and Southeast Asia as a whole, contributors examine how the tropics, the jungle, tribes, and peasants are understood and transformed; how shifts in colonial ideas about the landscape led to extremely deleterious changes in rural well-being; and how uneasy environmental compromises are forged in the present among rural, urban, and global allies. Contributors: Warwick Anderson Amita Baviskar Peter Brosius Susan Darlington Michael R. Dove Ann Grodzins Gold Paul Greenough Roger Jeffery Nancy Peluso K. Sivaramakrishnan Nandini Sundar Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing Charles Zerner
Peter J. Brosius,Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,Charles Zerner
Histories and Politics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management
Author: Peter J. Brosius,Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,Charles Zerner
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
The distinguished environmentalists in this collection offer an in-depth analysis and call to advocacy for community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). Their overview of this transnational movement reveals important links between environmental management and social justice agendas for sustainable use of resources by local communities. In this volume, leaders who have been instrumental in creating and shaping CBNRM describe their model programs; the countermapping movement and collective claims to land and resources; legal strategies for gaining rights to resources and territories; biodiversity conservation and land stabilization priorities; and environmental justice and minority rights. This book will be of value to instructors, practitioners and activists in anthropology, cultural geography, environmental justice, environmental policy, political ecology, indigenous rights, conservation biology, and CBNRM.
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,Nils Bubandt,Elaine Gan,Heather Anne Swanson
Author: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,Nils Bubandt,Elaine Gan,Heather Anne Swanson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. This timely anthology calls on twenty eminent humanists and scientists to revitalize curiosity, observation, and transdisciplinary conversation about life on earth. As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies livability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent “arts of living.” Included are essays by scholars in anthropology, ecology, science studies, art, literature, and bioinformatics who posit critical and creative tools for collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene. The essays are organized around two key figures that also serve as the publication’s two openings: Ghosts, or landscapes haunted by the violences of modernity; and Monsters, or interspecies and intraspecies sociality. Ghosts and Monsters are tentacular, windy, and arboreal arts that invite readers to encounter ants, lichen, rocks, electrons, flying foxes, salmon, chestnut trees, mud volcanoes, border zones, graves, radioactive waste—in short, the wonders and terrors of an unintended epoch. Contributors: Karen Barad, U of California, Santa Cruz; Kate Brown, U of Maryland, Baltimore; Carla Freccero, U of California, Santa Cruz; Peter Funch, Aarhus U; Scott F. Gilbert, Swarthmore College; Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford U; Donna J. Haraway, U of California, Santa Cruz; Andreas Hejnol, U of Bergen, Norway; Ursula K. Le Guin; Marianne Elisabeth Lien, U of Oslo; Andrew Mathews, U of California, Santa Cruz; Margaret McFall-Ngai, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Ingrid M. Parker, U of California, Santa Cruz; Mary Louise Pratt, NYU; Anne Pringle, U of Wisconsin, Madison; Deborah Bird Rose, U of New South Wales, Sydney; Dorion Sagan; Lesley Stern, U of California, San Diego; Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus U.
Working at the intersections of cultural anthropology, human geography, and material culture, Tina Harris explores the social and economic transformations taking place along one trade route that winds its way across China, Nepal, Tibet, and India. How might we make connections between seemingly mundane daily life and more abstract levels of global change? Geographical Diversions focuses on two generations of traders who exchange goods such as sheep wool, pang gdan aprons, and more recently, household appliances. Exploring how traders "make places," Harris examines the creation of geographies of trade that work against state ideas of what trade routes should look like. She argues that the tensions between the apparent fixity of national boundaries and the mobility of local individuals around such restrictions are precisely how routes and histories of trade are produced. The economic rise of China and India has received attention from the international media, but the effects of major new infrastructure at the intersecting borderlands of these nationstates--in places like Tibet, northern India, and Nepal--have rarely been covered. Geographical Diversions challenges globalization theories based on bounded conceptions of nation-states and offers a smaller-scale perspective that differs from many theories of macroscale economic change.
In 1992, an explosion of "stock fever" hit Shanghai. Ellen Hertz's anthropological study sets the stock market and its players in the context of Shanghai society, and probes the dominant role played by the state, which has yielded a stock market very different from those of the West. She explains the way in which investors and officials construct a "moral storyline" to make sense of this great structural innovation, identifying a struggle among the big investors, the little investors and the state to control the market.
Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems
Author: Aihwa Ong,Stephen J. Collier
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
Provides an exciting approach to some of the most contentious issues in discussions around globalization—bioscientific research, neoliberalism, governance—from the perspective of the "anthropological" problems they pose; in other words, in terms of their implications for how individual and collective life is subject to technological, political, and ethical reflection and intervention. Offers a ground-breaking approach to central debates about globalization with chapters written by leading scholars from across the social sciences. Examines a range of phenomena that articulate broad structural transformations: technoscience, circuits of exchange, systems of governance, and regimes of ethics or values. Investigates these phenomena from the perspective of the “anthropological” problems they pose. Covers a broad range of geographical areas: Africa, the Middle East, East and South Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Grapples with a number of empirical problems of popular and academic interest — from the organ trade, to accountancy, to pharmaceutical research, to neoliberal reform.
"This is an ethnography of globalization with particular attention paid to how global environmentalism has been reshaping rural China over the past two decades, and how activities in that country have in turn reshaped global environmentalism itself. The book challenges the notion that globalized social formations emerged solely in the Global North prior to impacting the Global South. Instead, such formations have been constituted, transformed, and propelled through diverse, site specific social interactions that complicate and defy divisions between 'global' and 'local.' The book brings the reader into the lives of Chinese scientists, officials, villagers, and expatriate conservationists who were caught up in environmental trends over the past 25 years. Hathaway reveals how global environmentalism has been enacted and altered in China, often with unanticipated effects, such as the rise of indigenous rights, or the reconfiguration of human/animal relationships, fostering what rural villagers will refer to as "the revenge of wild elephants." Intended audience: Undergrad and grad courses in Chinese Anthropology, Chinese history, Environmental Studies, environmental history, global environment, global studies"--
The port city of Liverpool, England, is home to one of the oldest Black communities in Britain. Its members proudly date their history back at least as far as the nineteenth century, with the global wanderings and eventual settlement of colonial African seamen. Jacqueline Nassy Brown analyzes how this worldly origin story supports an avowedly local Black politic and identity--a theme that becomes a window onto British politics of race, place, and nation, and Liverpool's own contentious origin story as a gloriously cosmopolitan port of world-historical import that was nonetheless central to British slave trading and imperialism. This ethnography also examines the rise and consequent dilemmas of Black identity. It captures the contradictions of diaspora in postcolonial Liverpool, where African and Afro-Caribbean heritages and transnational linkages with Black America both contribute to and compete with the local as a basis for authentic racial identity. Crisscrossing historical periods, rhetorical modes, and academic genres, the book focuses singularly on "place," enabling its most radical move: its analysis of Black racial politics as enactments of English cultural premises. The insistent focus on English culture implies a further twist. Just as Blacks are racialized through appeals to their assumed Afro-Caribbean and African cultures, so too has Liverpool--an Irish, working-class city whose expansive port faces the world beyond Britain--long been beyond the pale of dominant notions of authentic Englishness. Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail studies "race" through clashing constructions of "Liverpool."
After being widely rejected in the late 20th century the work of Karl Marx is now being reassessed by many theorists and activists. Karl Marx, Anthropologist explores how this most influential of modern thinkers is still highly relevant for Anthropology today. Marx was profoundly influenced by critical Enlightenment thought. He believed that humans were social individuals that simultaneously satisfied and forged their needs in the contexts of historically particular social relations and created cultures. Marx continually refined the empirical, philosophical, and practical dimensions of his anthropology throughout his lifetime. Assessing key concepts, from the differences between class-based and classless societies to the roles of exploitation, alienation and domination in the making of social individuals, Karl Marx, Anthropologist is an essential guide to Marx's anthropological thought for the 21st century.
As nation-states in the Northern Hemisphere experience economic crisis, political corruption and racial tension, it seems as though they might be 'evolving' into the kind of societies normally associated with the 'Global South'. Anthropologists Jean and John Comaroff draw on their long experience of living in Africa to address a range of familiar themes - democracy, national borders, labour and capital and multiculturalism. They consider how we might understand these issues by using theory developed in the Global South. Challenging our ideas about 'developed' and 'developing' nations, Theory from the South provides new insights into key problems of our time.
This is the first book to explore the relationship between Martin Heidegger's work and modern anthropology. Heidegger attracts much scholarly interest among social scientists, but few have explored his ideas in relation to current anthropological debates. The discipline's modernist foundations, the nature of cultural constructionism and of art ñ even what an anthropology of art must include ñ are all informed and illuminated by Heidegger's work. The author argues that many contemporary anthropologists, in their concern to return subjectivity and 'voice' to their interlocutors, neglect to recognize that language and other representational practices conceal the world and human subjectivity as much as reveal it. The author also suggests that Heidegger's critique of western technology provides the basis for a return to anthropology's sociological foundations. Emerging from over ten years of original research, and drawing on a rich knowledge of Australian and Melanesian ethnography, this book reassesses the underlying framework of modern and, particularly, visual anthropology. Innovative and provocative, it will be of interest to all anthropologists, philosophers and students of art and culture.
Describes the power that can be imposed, and the misery that is caused, especially for the poor, by the simple act of waiting. This title also describes a variety of different situations, including waiting for national identity cards, for welfare agencies, and the endless waiting for relocation from the slums.
Development Anthropology is a detailed examination of how anthropology is used in international development projects. Written from a practitioner's standpoint, and containing numerous examples and case studies, the book aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of what development anthropologists do, how they do it, and what problems they encounter in their work. The first part of the book looks at the evolution of both applied anthropology and international development, and how these have been involved with each other since the 1950s. The second, and main, part of the book focuses on how development projects work, and how anthropology is used in their design, implementation, and evaluation. The final section of the book looks at how both development and anthropology must change in order to be more effective. An appendix outlines what students should do to plan a career in development anthropology.
Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong’s ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China’s creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women’s rights in Malaysia; Singapore’s repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific. Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people—and distributes rights and benefits to them—according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value—such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities—are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.