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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.

In: Public Anthropologist

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.

In: Public Anthropologist

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.

In: Public Anthropologist
In: Youth and Globalization

This special issue focuses on education as a crucial factor mediating the relationship between youth and globalization. Specifically, four papers collectively explore how education can be re-envisioned from the following vantage point: the use of technology to foreground the fundamentally interconnected nature of today’s world; the help of mindfulness to deepen the awareness of such interconnectedness and cultivate a commitment to collective well-being; the role of activism to produce more critical knowledge and transformational solidarity for social justice on a global scale; at the same time, the necessity of reflexivity to examine one’s own ontological and epistemological assumptions before attempting any educational intervention. I argue that this vantage point helps re-envision the existing institutions and practices of education to encourage young people in a globalizing world to learn to live a happy life together by embracing their pluriversal coexistence.

In: Youth and Globalization

Amid growing debates about globalization of higher education (HE), an analysis of the onto-epistemic grammar underlying the articulation of this global phenomenon remains absent. This essay posits that our understanding of the nature of globalization of HE cannot be separated from questions of a) emotions, b) temporality, and c) ontology. Drawing on the extant literature on globalization of HE to date and personal experiences, it demonstrates the efficacy of these above three concepts, and argues that our understanding of globalization of HE insidiously perpetuates a geopolitics of being, and constrains us from knowing/embodying inter-being. It suggests pursuing inter-being as alternatives to fixed notions of human progress and coloniality of knowledge embedded in the prevailing onto-epistemic grammar. By refusing to tame uncertainty or provide ‘probable outcomes’, this essay intends to provoke and imagine alternative ways of knowing/being.

In: Youth and Globalization

This article reproduces a conversation between Carles Feixa and Maritza Urteaga, researchers in youth studies, whose paths converge in the critical study of contemporary youth culture. Carles Feixa, PhD, is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) and holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Manizales (Colombia). He was previously a lecturer at the University of Lleida, and has been visiting scholar in Rome, Mexico City, Paris, Berkeley, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Newcastle and Lima. He has also been a public policy consultant for the United Nations and VP for Europe of the “Sociology of Youth” research committee of the International Sociological Association. In 2017 he was awarded the icrea Academia Award by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. Maritza Urteaga, PhD, is Research Professor at the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, and a level ii member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico. This conversation reviews Feixa’s career, from its beginnings in the 80s to the present, to determine whether there is something that can be called Ibero-American “youthology”.

In: Youth and Globalization