My article begins with a brief history of the Organs Watch project, its anthropological, ethnographic, and public engagements as an example of what Pierre Bourdieu called “scholarship with commitment.” I explain the heterodox methods required including undercover research and criminological studies into the grey zones of organized organ transplant trafficking. How do our normative obligations to our research informants differ when our informants happen to be criminals? When crimes are being committed, to whom does one owe their divided loyalties? Finally, I address the role of medical anthropologists and other committed social scientists in making public a hitherto invisible issue.
This paper contributes to debates on growing inequalities in the maritime domain by using the concept of precarity to interrogate the market in Māori fisheries. To understand the particularities of this ocean precarity, I draw attention to the interrelated dynamics of dispossession, as it occurred historically in Māori fisheries through various economic orders, and indigeneity, as it articulates with both alienation and the reclamation of fishing rights. I argue that the incorporation of Māori fisheries into an Individual Transferable Quota system has generated a “political ecology of the precarious,” positioning socio-natures as working against ecological demise at the same time as contributing to it. This transforms the ancestral guardianship relationship between people and their sea, exacerbates colonially-created dispossessions and hardens divisions between economic and cultural spheres, or commercial and customary fisheries. However, precarious conditions may also be conceived of as mobilising phenomena, giving rise to attempts to breach these divides.
Anthropologists researching children’s lives have incredible stories to tell. How might we best tell them in readable ways that will appeal to “ordinary readers” beyond our colleagues and students? In this article, I explore the possibilities of “alternative” ways to write ethnography in general, and the ethnography of children in particular. Given children’s nature, I argue that creative approaches to writing children’s lives are especially appropriate and powerful. In the first section, I consider a variety of adventurous ethnographic writing on assorted topics; in the second section, I discuss some creative approaches to ethnographic writing focused, specifically, on children.