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Series:

Maria Halouva

Abstract

Despite the recent financial crisis and zeal for austerity measures, the social enterprise model is continuously hailed as the local grassroots, organisational solution for both the empowerment and development of the poor. On the one hand it is a market-friendly model that answers to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s call for the Big Society and on the other hand, a democratic answer to autonomy. This chapter tracks the growth 
of the social enterprise to the universal figure of the rational entrepreneur that 
largely stemmed from the global neoliberalisation of development. Through the lens of the global-is-local, the political social implications of Aboriginal management in domestic policy undoubtedly coexist with the rise of the social enterprise in Indigenous Australia.


Series:

Beatriz Miranda-Galarza

Abstract

The chapter examines local understandings of intellectual disability among Ecuadorian families. It argues that a global imposition of concepts and definitions of disability have blurred the local knowledge acquired in time and space by families. It also enquires about the strategies that disabled families and their impaired members have developed to negotiate, to accept, to reject or to confront global discourses that are present in such a construction. Misinterpretations of family practices in the so-called countries of the South have been globally disseminated creating the image of disabled families’ life as linear and invariable. In this chapter, intellectual disability has been analysed as a local construct that although it responds to professional, bureaucratic, moral and cultural categories; a category of intimacy and mutuality could have been adopted by families to resist a globalising process of professional domination. Consequently, more ethnographic research is needed in order to unveil the impact of global definitions on disabled families and to rescue local knowledge and intimate experiences of intellectual disability. 


Series:

Katherine Burrows

Abstract

This chapter is an initial exploration into the multiple ‘reals’ that the logic of zero, as manifest in Western economics, is at work in. In the spirit of postcolonial radicality and through enlisting post-Marxist psychoanalytical modes of scrutiny it seeks to disassemble the capitalist edifice, breaking apart its supposed univocity. It argues that high capital is totalising only in the field of its own speaking position. It explores neo-liberal fiscal governance as a subjectivising programme and compares it to value systems whose ontologies are outside of ‘the West’, thereby postulating that it is at the level of the subjectivisation of the individual that resistance to ‘Western’ hegemony must be thought. It argues that no longer can such resistance be posited at the level of a unitary capital vs. multiple but equally lumpen and subjugated subalterns.


Series:

Gintautas Mažeikis

Abstract

This chapter is devoted to the following questions: what is a composite monoculture? How does it form structures and order things? What sort of new composite human do these structures and orders produce? The composite monoculture controls schemes of thinking and processes of desire through a super-marketization of society and the creation of a symbolically centralized democracy – how is this achieved? These questions are based on the presumption that production, distribution, and consumption are schematized practices of thinking, which form a system of persuasion; therefore, the article considers not only material, but also ideational products. With this in mind, the concept of production is separated into the following categories: universal, mass, monopolizing, totalitarian, global, and composite monocultural components. The concept of monoculturality signals a kind of production independent of the traditional capitalist production monopolists, small businesses, and state economies. Monoculturality concerns not only goods, but also demands, desires, and ideas; it makes unities of human beings. The article seeks to explain why people choose and trust symbols, names, pictures, and theories common to many countries, institutions, and groups, and why they like to be monads that eschew swarms of qualities. Monoculturality is considered a subaltern form that can be interpreted similarly to concepts such as Herbert Marcuse’s one-dimensional man, Guy Debord’s society of the spectacle, Jean Baudrillard’s simulacrums, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s desiring machines, and the global imaginary as theorized by Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay. Super-marketization is interpreted as the main principle for moulding life into a monoculture. It produces deserts of culture by spreading the same names, symbols, goods, and orders into large territories, which produces an illusion of diversity that hides the monoculturality lying at core of contemporary thinking and behaviour. However, anthropologists and new critical nomads see the diversity for what it is – an illusion – and see the potentially disastrous results of the growth of a composite monoculture and its super-marketization. These anthropologists and nomads seek to build new structures for understanding the world. This article underscores the importance of obscurity, self-othering, transgression, and creative disruptions as key means for providing unique cultural and life niches. The main thesis here is that the dialectic of host-and-guest in the deinstitutionalized process of open organizations and through the dynamics of creative groups can help to resist the tendencies borne of monoculturality. 


Series:

Šarūnas Paunksnis

Abstract

This chapter explores the idea of the proliferation of heterotopian emplacements under conditions of globalization, seeing it as a spatial transformation. Utilizing theories from Foucault, and Deleuze and Guattari, among others, the chapter raises questions about possible alternative ways of existence that oppose themselves to the monocultural tendencies of globalization. It looks at the process of consumption, and the spaces in which consumption unfolds, emphasizing the desire of global brands and simultaneous desire for the Other. In addition to exploring the ideas of spatial transformation and possibilities of nomadic thought as opposed to one-dimensional thought, the chapter offers reflections on experiencing of wandering in transforming spaces, in particular in New Delhi, India.


Series:

Mara Matta

Abstract

This paper aims at discussing the complex processes of identity (re)construction and trans-acculturation experienced by a young homosexual Bangladeshi who migrated to Italy to provide economic relief to his impoverished family and to create a ‘new life’ (notun jibon) for himself. Whilst Bangladesh accepted and left unquestioned the Section 377 of the Penal Code firstly introduced by the British in 1860 that criminalises homosexuality under the category of ‘Unnatural Offences’, the Italian legal system is yet to implement legal provisions to tackle the issue of homophobia. Faced with harassment by his own countrymen, fear of assault by other migrants, racism by some narrow-minded Italians, contemptuous attitude by the local police, ostracism inside the local mosque’s, Zakir has now to choose if he wants to stay in Italy, despite all the odds, and live an oxymoronic ‘free life’ as an asylum seeker, or go back to Bangladesh, where he faces the threat of life in prison. Following Zakir’s narratives of migration, this article tries to highlight the difficulties of coming to terms with multiple identities in transnational settings, where cultural positionalities impede real social mobility and push the ‘absurd heroes’ of our times to find a new space where to inhabit their resignified homo/migrant identity.


Series:

Vytis Čiubrinskas

Abstract

The paradigm of deterritorialization as weakening the ties between culture and place, which currently prevails in anthropological studies of international migration, encourages approaches to addressing current global flows of human (dis)locations as well as the processes of reterritorialization as re-rooting and re-claiming a sense of belonging to new territories. One analytical category in particular – identity politics from the migration perspective – is taken in this article as the focal point to understanding fragmented belonging and re-rooting, re-inscription and re-chartering strategies and practices of Euro-Americans in the United States. Based on anthropological fieldwork done among Americans of Lithuanian background in southeast Texas (in 2002 and 2004) and among the post-soviet immigrants from Eastern Europe now in Chicago (in 2006 and 2013), the article argues that the ethnic dimension is not only important to nation-states and multicultural state ethnic policies, but it is crucial in immigrant politics of identity. Migration is associated with processes of ethnification, where territorial in-rooted-ness is maintained transnationally, and reterritorialization of descent, social memory, and heritage is enacted locally. Fieldwork research is used to exemplify the configurations of contemporary ‘post-ethnic America’s’ ethnification, which quite often is based on multi-ethnic social remittances. It is believed that this is one of the promising ways in approaching contemporary migrants’ as well as migrant descendants’ identity fragmentation to go beyond rooted cosmopolitanism and fragmentation of globality per se.


Series:

Dennis Mehmet

Abstract

Within the last decade, Istanbul has reappeared on the international stage with fascinating speed. Today, the city is in the midst of a tertialization process, the reconfiguration from an industrial city of hope to a hub of the global informational and communication economy. Thus, contemporary Istanbul has become subject to a gigantic construction boom that includes infrastructural megaprojects, high-end business and residence complexes as well as hundreds of smaller processes of gentrification. These developments are in accordance with the neoliberal policies of the ruling Development and Justice Party AKP. However, contrary to the narrative of neoliberalism, the state continues to play a central role in the economy as well as in social life. The urban transformation of Istanbul has to be seen in context of the political agenda of the AKP, namely its “Project 2023”, the one hundred year anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, when the world would witness a “New Turkey”. The globalization of Istanbul’s urban space is used by the government to get rid of its political enemies and simultaneously make rich its minions. Thus it promotes the ascent of a new hegemonic class and fosters the homogenization of the national population according to its social imaginary: a specific liaison of neoliberalism, authoritarianism and political Islam. It is a constant revision of the Kemalist Republic of 1923 and can be described as a second process of nation building. The recent history of Istanbul thus severely challenges theories that see globalization and global cities in the light deterritorialization and the decline of the nation state. 


Series:

Abhijeet Paul

Abstract

This chapter investigates the triangulation of the grey, infrastructures, and local community spaces. In particular, it takes us into the mohalla bazaar or community marketplace in the postimperial spaces of the jute industry in Kolkata, India. The chapter uses the lens of asli/naqli or ‘real/fake’ to explore the ethnographic field. This is particularly helpful in assessing how infrastructures such as electricity and markets are manipulated and managed every day based on the real or asli needs of the community or ‘community institutions.’ This strengthens the position that local communities are dynamic and interested in governmental reason – though the latter presents many challenges. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the ethnographic method is indispensable in order to scratch the surface of governmental reason in the context of the community. The chapter nods at recent work in this direction, especially conducted by cultural anthropologists such as Arjun Appadurai, Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay, and others, while keeping a close eye on the community in question.


Series:

Mustafa Mustafa

Abstract

To date, the majority of writing on the January 2011 uprisings in Egypt has argued that it was social media and civil society that enabled and fuelled this ‘revolution.’ These accounts pay scant attention to the historical significance of Tahrir Square and its standing as a site for insurrections (specifically 1946 and 1972). Key facts that do not fit with the social media ‘narrative’ are omitted. For example, the Egyptian government blocked Facebook and Twitter for eight days, yet still crowds gathered and moved. The mechanisms by which this happened remain unexamined. The notion of civil society is invoked as a driving force behind the crowd’s actions in Tahrir Square. However, this contradicts the prevalent definition of civil society as a controlled, ‘self-limiting revolution’ aimed at minor reform as opposed to violent revolution. The crowd in Tahrir Square created an autonomous domain of political action through the combination of globalized communicative means (e.g. Facebook), with local rumours, face-to-face interactions, panic, and uncertainty. Rumours were major players in mobilising and enthusing the crowd; interviews and diaries of people who participated in the January 2011 uprising – cited in this paper – testify to this. One participant speaks of the crowd’s ‘collective thinking,’ a phrase reminiscent of Gustave Le Bon’s ‘collective mind,’ that reflects on the crowd’s unconscious, homogenous, invincible power. The uprisings triggered memories of images and pictures of Mubarak’s regime corruption and brutality, circulated via blogs and Bluetooth. The Egyptian government censored traditional media (e.g. newspapers), against which Egyptians created mediascapes, instigators of societal and political change. The catalysing powers of January 2011 are rhizomatic and multiple; the current dominant narrative about Tahrir Square, both in the media and academia, is reductive as it does not acknowledge irrational and local phenomena such as rumours.