This paper analyses the affective ramifications at the onset of the emerging Corona pandemic in Kupang, Indonesia. Steering towards now established social and political orders of public conduct outside one’s home and neighbourhood, public billboards and warning signs became early visible manifestations of worlding Covid-19 into the city’s infrastructure. Rapidly emerging governmental and entrepreneurial banners communicated new orders of personal and communal hygiene practices. They created messages of Covid-19 infectiology based on globalised public health rhetoric calling familiar socialities and ordinary feelings into question. This paper scrutinises the pandemic worlding of spaces and socialities and reflects on the relationship between newspaper reports, billboards and the feelings they evoked. The article proposes the concept of ‘orders of feelings’ as a valuable complement of ‘worlding’ theories via the analysis of banners, signs and newspaper articles as ‘emotives’. Ultimately, it contemplates anthropological knowledge production in a pandemic context that obstructed traditional ethnographic engagement.
Social Sciences in Asia is a book series initiated by the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. The Series welcomes submissions from sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, economists, geographers, historians and cultural studies specialists working on any aspect of Asia. Its interdisciplinary and comparative orientations aim to encompass a broad range of theoretical and substantive interests, where we publish both monographs as well as edited volumes.
Research on envy across cultures is scarce. Existing studies are predominantly limited to Eurocentric experimental snapshots. As a careful suggestion to diversify methods, samples and theory in envy-related studies, this essay presents a review and an interdisciplinary methodological suggestion to analyse semi-structured interviews of persons with diverse socialisation backgrounds. The essay illustrates that the triggers and objects of envy, its experience, associated expressions and actions, are shaped by socialised emotion norms and feeling rules, emotion socialisation practices, cultural values and social change. The essay concludes that careful qualitative comparisons between different culture socialisation groups in real-life situations and lifeworlds are remarkably absent from interdisciplinary research. This is an epistemological void, considering the significant contributions of ethnography in emotion research.