Gogel, Leah Pearce, Teachers College, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Diagnosis Postponed: Ethnographic Perspectives on the Mental Health of Female Youth in Court-placed Residential Treatment,' supervised by Dr. Charles Harrington
LEAH PEARCE GOGEL, then a student at Teachers College, New York, New York, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Diagnosis Postponed: Ethnographic Perspectives on the Mental Health of Female Youth in Court-Placed Residential Treatment,' supervised by Dr. Charles Harrington. This ethnographic study provides an analysis of the how psychiatric diagnoses, including Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Bipolar Disorder, are located in a residential treatment center for female youth in the juvenile justice system. Fieldwork was conducted for twelve months with residents and staff at a facility in New York State. In particular, the project sought to explore how juvenile justice gatekeepers, youth, and other members of the residential community invoke, embrace, and/or challenge diagnostic categories. Data generated from participant observation and interviews suggests that there are meaningful contradictions in how psychiatric diagnoses operate in this environment. On the one hand, mental health concerns remain relatively muted in the daily lives of residents, who face myriad challenges related to histories of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual coercion, and school failure. On the other hand, the assignment of a psychiatric disorder to specific individuals, whether by self-labeling or by consensus among peers or staff, functions both to forgive and discredit; youth who acknowledge diagnoses can purchase leniency from peers and adults but only at the cost of being perceived as somehow broken. Ethnographic data is integrated with literature on the historical transformation of adolescent psychiatric disorders in order to examine how diagnoses like Conduct Disorder and Bipolar Disorder become a currency of value for various actors with different end goals.
Widger, Thomas, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry
THOMAS WIDGER, then a student at London School of Economics, London, England, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry. Suicide in Sri Lanka has been a major health and social problem for the past four decades. The research project examined the social and psychological causes, cultural meanings, and formal and informal preventions strategies of suicidal behaviour amongst the Sinhalese of a small town on the northwest coast of the island. A combination of ethnographic, archival, clinical, and epidemiological methods were used that incorporated both qualitative and quantitative approaches. As a result, deep understanding of the range of contexts and experiences that contribute to and frame suicidal behaviour was established. In particular, romantic relationships and romantic loss, marriage, kinship and domestic stress, Sinhalese emotional disorder, and separation and misfortune were examined. The research will make contributions to the anthropology of suicide and South Asia and also anthropological theory.
Laven, Nina, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Remaking Ancestry, Redrawing Aboriginality: The Life of Family Trees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Maria Lemon
NINA LAVEN, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Remaking Ancestry, Redrawing Aboriginality: The Life of Family Trees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec,' supervised by Dr. Alaina Maria Lemon. The research investigated the impact of folk ideas about 'race' and ancestry on DNA analysis, demonstrating how suppositions about race and North American settler and Native history are being used to generate a priori definitions of the genetic makeup of ancestral populations for genetic research. The grantee found that paternally inherited surnames are being used by geneticists to indicate the family histories of current day French Canadians. However, names are tacitly understood according to different frameworks within different groups. Within scientific contexts names are used as indicators of biological ancestry (French names mean French origins). Within broader French-Canadian circles, names are used as keys to recover personal histories and track French geographical and national origins. Within many Native circles, names are seen as subverting the search for roots and true ancestry: they are viewed as the stamps of a colonial clerical regime that converted natives in order to make them good French Catholic subjects. Research found that a struggle over history and political rights between French-Canadian nationalist and First Nations groups is being carried out through the debate about how to interpret names.
Beltran, Hector, U.of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Disenchanted Hacking: Technology, Startups, and Alternative Capitalisms from Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Charles L. Briggs
Preliminary abstract: My proposed dissertation research aims to ethnographically investigate emerging and contested forms of hacking and entrepreneurship in Mexico. The anthropology of hacking has mostly focused on U.S.-based advocates of free and open-source software who adopt a stance of 'political agnosticism'; they read ties to formal politics as counter-productive to their technical craft, which is aimed at achieving 'software freedom'. Emergent work in Latin America, however, finds that hackers more directly engage with state practices of governance and political reforms to actively debate how relations with the state can be redefined. While anthropologists of hackers mention that the individuals who participate in anti-authoritarian and anti-hierarchical hacker collectivities many times also work for corporate tech companies, no work has focused on the nuanced ways hacker-entrepreneurs navigate these apparently contradictory domains. This becomes particularly important as scholars begin to take seriously alternative capitalisms from the Global South and refocus 'the economy' on the small-scale models people use to project their livelihoods into the future under conditions of radical uncertainty. How do people living under precarious conditions create alternative protocols for technology-driven capitalism as they negotiate 'a life worth living' by proposing small reinventions to established expert models? I use mixed methods (participant observation, interviews, and 'social network metadata analysis') to focus on three specific practices of hacker-entrepreneurs: (1) recruitment of members to work on tech startup projects; (2) public interfacing of startups via 'pitching'; and (3) how they decide to create and maintain particular relationships across diverse social networks.
Machado, Rosana P., Federal U. of Rio Grande do Sui, Porto Alegre, Brazil - To aid research on 'Made in China: Commercial Practices among Chinese Immigrants in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Ruben G. Oliven
ROSANA PINHEIRO MACHADO, while a student at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Made in China: Commercial Practices among Chinese Immigrants in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Ruben G. Oliven. The ethnographic research sought to comprehend the flow of Chinese goods in the route China-Paraguay-Brazil. This market interweaves levels of legality/illegality, formality/informality in a situation in which a great part of the traded goods is falsified/replica and enters Latin America as smuggling. Initially, the fieldwork has carried out in Ciudad del Este - a Paraguayan city that borders Brazil and that has one of the largest commercial centers in the world - with Chinese immigrants (Taiwanese and Cantonese). An ethnographical work has been also carried out in the Province of Guangdong, visiting factories and wholesale stores which trade the products imported by the immigrants in Paraguay. The research aims to show a face of the global market from the point of view of the actors who lead this process and, in this sense, the research has tried to map the work, family and reciprocity networks (guanxi) which unite Brazil, Paraguay and China through production, purchase and sale of 'made in China' products. It is showed to what degree this route corresponds, at the same time, to a dialectic flow of goods and people, and to what degree it represents the new waves of the Chinese diaspora promoted by the opening market of post-Mao China.
Fleming, Mark Daniel, U. of California, San Franciso and Berkeley, San Franciso/Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman
MARK D. FLEMING, then a student at University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, California, received a grant in April 2012 to aid research on 'Stress at Work: A Study of the Politics of Stress and Well-Being in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Sharon Kaufman. This project, based on thirteen months of ethnographic research, examines the production and contestation of scientific claims about 'work stress' in a post-industrial economy. The ethnographic research focuses both on scientists carrying out a long-term research study about work stress and on the political practices of unionized worker-subjects. The study tracks how concrete articulations of emotional well-being are produced within biomedical research on work stress, and analyzes how these articulations are mobilizing, through the political efforts of workers, new interventions and regulations of work settings. The aim is to disentangle how the expansion of neoliberal work regimes intersects with forms of biopolitical governance. This provides a way of investigating both the changing strategies of collective labor in a post-industrial economy, and the concrete procedures through which well-being is established and contested as ground for political debates. More broadly, this study charts the ways in which a politics of stress and well-being has emerged in America, destabilizing and refiguring claims about injury and responsibilities in a biopolitical age.
Tuttle, Brendan Rand, Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Intergenerational Transformation in South Sudan,' supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar
BRENDAN RAND TUTTLE, then a student at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'Lives Apart: Diasporan Return, Youth, and Interfenerational Transformation in South Sudan, supervised by Dr. Jessica R. Winegar. Setting out from the experiences of young returnees from North America, Europe, and Australia, to places they called 'home' in Southern Sudan, this research explored endeavors to create networks of accountability among people living in multi-local (transnational and urban-rural) settings. This project began by exploring the particular dilemmas of returnees who, after long absences, struggled to create and activate localized ties to the places they considered home. It became a study of the particular ethical questions faced by a range of people considered partial outsiders -- particularly, migrants, soldiers, the educated, young people -- who were grappling with questions about their relations to their places of origin, what they owed to them, and what moral stakes were at play. During a period of relative calm in the region, the grantee conducted twelve months of ethnographic research in South Sudan, in Bor and the surrounding countryside, in order to understand the interrelations between contemporary ethical debates about authority and coercive power, migration, and the past.
Kennedy, Jack Lyle Cedric, U. of Western Ontario, London, Canada - To aid research on 'In the Shadows of Frieda: Place-Making, Mining, Marginality, and Identity in Rural Papua New Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Dan William Jorgensen
Preliminary abstract: Papua New Guinea's economy depends on resource extraction projects such as the Frieda River Project (FRP) in Sandaun Province. These projects dot the landscape with mining enclaves, providing opportunities for income and services and the possibility of overcoming the marginality of rural communities. This research project explores how processes of place-making at a site of global-local interaction shape social relations at different scales. The research will address how the mining enclave affects local conceptualizations of place and social relations; how local people imagine themselves in the world; and how local people manage their marginality. Research will take place in villages which are in close proximity to the FRP. Methods include participant observation, semi-structured interviews, collecting genealogies and life histories, and the production of maps and other representations in order to understand experiential dimensions of place and how people imagine the wider world and their location within it. This project will contribute to the literature on place and identity and the study of the cultural effects of globalization, as well as making a practical contribution to the anthropology of development and transnational capitalism by providing insight regarding the social significance of global connections in rural areas.
Allen, Lori A., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'The Uncertain State of Palestine: 'Pain and Suffering' in Nationalism and State-Building,' supervised by Dr. Nadia L. Abu El-Haj
LORI A. ALLEN, while a graduate student at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, received an award in December 2001 to aid field research in the West Bank on human rights and the role of suffering in Palestinian politics, under the supervision of Dr. Nadia L. Abu El-Haj. Allen focused on the institutional settings and organized practices of Palestinian human-rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in order to determine to what extent the transnational discourse of human rights, the global institutions that help define its parameters and goals, and the local brokers who parlay that discourse in Palestine have helped construct Palestinian nationalism, routinize violence, and link 'suffering' to politics. She explored the political and cultural processes through which Palestinians in the West Bank have experienced and adapted to increasing levels of violence committed by the Israeli occupation forces and the effects these processes have had on how the intifada (uprising) has been played out. Research methods included participant observation in human rights NGOs, interviews with families of 'martyrs' and former political prisoners, collection of media coverage of intifada and human rights issues, and observation of public demonstrations. Palestinian efforts to represent the conflict through the tropes of human rights and victimization are one manifestation of a larger project of redefinition-both within the Palestinian community and globally-of what counts as justifiable violence and a rescaling of the value of pain suffered for a political cause.
Allen, Lori A. 2009.Martyr Bodies in the Media: Human Rights, Aesthetics, and the Politics of
Immediation in the Palestinian Intifada. American Ethnologist 36(1):161-180.
Onsuwan, Chureekamol, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Metal Age Complexity in Thailand: Socio-Political Development and Landscape Use in the Upper Chaophraya Basin,' supervised by Dr. Joyce C. White
CHUREEKAMOL ONSUWAN, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in December 2001 to aid research on Metal Age sociopolitical development and landscape use in the upper Chao Phraya basin, Thailand, under the supervision of Dr. Joyce C. White. Onsuwan's overall goal was to test a heterarchy framework, as opposed to a hierarchical model, to account for variability in complex societies in Thailand during its Metal Age (ca. 2000 B.C.E.-500 C.E.). An intensive survey was conducted of about fifty-five square kilometers on the eastern side of the upper Chao Phraya River, a region important for understanding the long-term habitation of central Thailand. The region extends from the river's alluvial plain across its middle terrace to its high terrace. Data were collected on the distribution of settlements, the attributes of each site, and environmental variation. Preliminary evaluation showed variation in site sizes across the three environmental zones during the Metal Age, with a large density of Bronze Age communities situated on the high terrace and smaller Iron Age communities in the lowlands. Ceramic analysis showed that the Metal Age communities shared some ceramic patterns along with using their own local designs. Additional analysis was planned in order to determine the relationship between environmental and ceramic variation.