Frolic, Andrea N., Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Professional Ethics: An Ethnographic Study of Clinical Bioethics in the U.S.A. and Canada,' supervised by Dr. Eugenia Georges
ANDREA N. FROLIC, while a student at Rice University in Houston, Texas, received funding in December 2002 to aid ethnographic research on clinical bioethics in the United States and Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Eugenia Georges. Frolic investigated the ways in which transnational processes of professionalization play out in particular cultural contexts and the ways in which global discourses of bioethics are enacted in specific hospital settings. To collect phenomenological data on the work of clinical bioethicists, she conducted one in-depth case study of their practices in a large urban center in the United States and three additional case studies at urban and rural sites in Canada and a rural site in the United States. She held interviews with clinical bioethicists at each site and carried out participant observation of primary informants. In a second component of the research, Frolic tracked the parallel processes of professionalization undertaken by the associations of clinical bioethicists in the United States and Canada by attending key conferences and task-force meetings in each country. This participant observation was complemented by a project investigating the conflicts of interest encountered by clinical bioethicists in the course of discharging their duties, a project based on interviews with practicing bioethicists.
Widmer, Alexandra E., York U., Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Constituting 'Mental Health' in Vanuatu: Subjectivity, Knowledge and Development in a Pacific Post-Colonial Context,' supervised by Dr. Margaret C. Rodman
ALEXANDRA WIDMER, while a student at York University in Toronto, Canada, received funding in March 2003 to aid research on the constitution of health and subjectivity in Vanuatu, under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Rodman. Widmer looked at changing articulations of the nature of Vanuatu people (ni-Vanuatu) in biomedical, Christian, colonial, development, and kastom discourses regarding health, beginning in the 1850s. By making the health knowledge that circulated in Vanuatu and in global arenas a key object of her inquiry, along with accompanying assumptions about personhood, Widmer was able to contextualize as culturally and historically specific the otherwise universalizing aspects of notions of the rational individual and modernity typically associated with biomedicine. In Port Vila, Vanuatu, Widmer spoke with NGO health educators, biomedical doctors, and Christian healers and with people using their services. She attended public events held by health education development organizations and church services held explicitly to heal sick people. Looking at the history of biomedical health care in Vanuatu, she interviewed retired health professionals who had practiced during the colonial period and examined Presbyterian missionary and British colonial material in libraries and archives. She found that beginning in the 1850s, missionaries hoped that the 'rational' knowledge and practices of Western medicine would help bring about conversions from 'heathenism' to Christianity. By the twentieth century, colonial authorities saw medicine as a means to 'bring the uncontrolled bush tribes under control'; providing access to Western medicine was crucial for 'progress' toward 'modern civilization.' Widmer planned next to analyzie how ni-Vanuatu had adapted and resisted these discourses.
Kombo, Brenda Khayanga, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'The Policing of Intimate Partnerships in Yaounde, Cameroon,' supervised by Dr. Kamari M. Clarke
BRENDA K. KOMBO, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, received a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'The Policing of Intimate Partnerships in Yaounde, Cameroon,' supervised by Dr. Kamari M. Clarke. This research project examines the engagement of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), legal, and religious actors in Yaoundé in the production, negotiation, and enforcement of ideas of what is (in)appropriate in intimate partnerships. Drawing from ethnographic and archival research conducted at various sites -- including women's NGO offices, courts, government ministries, and Catholic churches -- the research considers how the boundary between legitimate and illegitimate behavior is demarcated and both formally and informally policed. At the same time, the research explores how female victims of violence constitute their subjectivity and the implications of governmental, NGO, and church interventions and non-interventions. In an effort to locate the conditions for a possibility of justice, this project interrogates the latter actors' appropriations of the notion of 'culture' and the local and transnational conceptions and expressions of justice to which they claim to pay tribute.
Alonso Lorenzo, Rocio, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid 'A Cross-Institutional Ethnographic Study of Antiracist Practices in São Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Davydd J. Greenwood
ROCIO ALONSO LORENZO, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in August 2003 to aid research on 'A Cross-Institutional Ethnographic Study of Antiracist Practices in São Paulo, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Davydd J. Greenwood. Despite the increasing institutionalization of racially oriented policies in Brazilian enterprises alongside the expansion of the Business and Social Responsibility (BSR) movement, focalized policies grounded on racial classification are unpopular among most business professionals. Other motivations, unlike personal recognition of the existence of racism, account for the proliferation of affirmative actions in the private sector since the last decade, The use of a multi-method and multi-site approach to ethnographic research, grounded in a variety of field methodologies, such as organizational engagement, network mapping, and in-depth process evaluation, has underpinned the idea that symbolic analysis of management practices is vital to a better understanding of how global policy is effectively implemented. Based upon one year and a half of field research, from August 2003 to February 2005, within a pioneering network of entrepreneurs and business professionals from companies of different size, nationality, and economic sector located in Sao Paulo city, important findings emerged regarding the future of multiracial policy in Brazil and Latin America. In most cases analyzed, the hybridity and interchangeability of practices between institutions do not develop into social collective consciousness, at least concerning diversity and affirmative action initiatives. The marketing potential and the cross-institutional capacity of replication of global policy strikingly contrasts with the difficulties that workplace experiences of radical social transformation have to extend beyond company boundaries. However, the social responsibility metaphor creates a sense of comfort for Brazilian business professionals, enabling them to discuss affirmative action and to question the ever-present Brazilian belief in the racial democracy, thereby allowing occasionally for a higher degree of tropicalization of diversity management's global procedures.
Perkins, Alisa Marlene, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Making Muslim Space in Arab Detroit: Religious Identity, Gender and the Emergence of Difference,' supervised by Dr. Kamran A. Ali
ALISA M. PERKINS, then a student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in May 2007 to aid research on 'Making Muslim Space in Arab Detroit: Religious Identity, Gender and the Emergence of Difference,' supervised by Dr. Kamran A. Ali. This project is an ethnographic study of how the Muslim populations of Hamtramck, Michigan are impacting public space and political life of the city. Hamtramck is a densely populated city of 23,000 residents packed into 2.1 square miles, with a 40% Muslim population made up of Yemenis, Bangladeshis, Bosnians and African Americans living alongside Polish Catholic and African American Baptist residents. The research centers on how Muslim community members are bringing their religious values into the public sphere by forming mosques and other organizations and by engaging as religious actors in debates over policy-making on the municipal level in two Muslim-led, interfaith activist movements. The first movement (2004) concerns supporting the city's regulation of the call to prayer (adhan); and the second (2008) concerns opposing the city's proposal to offer greater protections for homosexual and transgender residents. The grantee's work focuses on understanding how these movements are shaping Hamtramck public life and perceptions about Muslim minority religious identity. The project also investigates the prominent role that interfaith organizing has played within these campaigns. Finally, the study explores how Muslim women in Hamtramck are participating in various forms of religiously defined social and political activism in Hamtramck.
Duthie, Laurie M., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'White-Collar China: Professionalism and the Making of the New Middle-Class in Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. Yunxiang Yan
LAURIE M. DUTHIE, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'White Collar China: Professionalism and the Making of the New Middle-Class in Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. Yunxiang Yan. This project sought to understand the meaning of professionalism for white collar executives employed by foreign-invested corporations in Shanghai, China. Research activities included participant-observation with two foreign-invested corporations, extensive interviews with business professionals, and participant-observation at various business association events. The results of this research highlight the multi-scalar process of identity formation under global capitalism. White collar executives understand their social position through comparison to both their compatriots working for state-owned corporations and also their corporate colleagues from other countries. On a national level, the values of professionalism and essentially 'the meaning of work' is understood in contrast to the state-owned business sector. On a global level, Chinese business professionals are marginalized and face glass ceilings within the global corporations. The reasons for this glass ceiling include geopolitical factors, regional economic trends, as well as the positioning of China as a new and emerging market. From a more qualitative perspective, there is not only a glass ceiling, but moreover a glass wall between Chinese business professionals and their foreign colleagues created through a mutual lack of cultural understanding. To date, this research has resulted in two conference papers, two seminar talks, and a published journal article.
Tusinski, Gabriel Omar, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Violence beyond the Body: House Destruction, Construction, and the Contestation of Timorese National Belonging,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
GABRIEL O. TUSINSKI, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Violence Beyond the Body: House Destruction, Construction and the Contestation of Timorese National Belonging,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. This project explores the social contours of house construction and destruction in Dili, the post-conflict capital city of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. It examines the material practices (migration, narration and exchange) through which Timorese people draw connections between their urban places of inhabitation and their rural places of origin to reveal how social identities and relations to land have persisted and been transformed in the urban capital in the post-independence era. The project suggests the forms of violence that have plagued Timor must be understood in relation to distinctly Timorese ways of understanding their connections to each other and to their territory, namely through the mediation of ancestral origin houses (uma lulik). Timorese people conceptualize their rights and obligations to one another through their membership in these houses and their associated networks of kin. Migration to the capital city and ongoing internationally fostered development and nation-building have additionally politicized housing, often resulting in tensions and misapprehensions over the significance and value of infrastructure, and specifically of domestic architecture. This study examines the minute details of these conflicts in values, exposing how the conditions for national integration and disintegration are built into reconstruction itself.
Johnson, Alix Barrie, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'From Financial Hub to Information Haven: Icelandic Information Economies, Technofutures and National Dreams,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Rofel
Preliminary abstract: The financial crisis of 2008 devastated Iceland's economy and destabilized its sense of identity: having quickly become one of the wealthiest nations in the world, it suddenly looked powerless and peripheral again. Projects of economic recovery, then, also require national re-imagining. This project asks how Icelanders are re-making senses of self, place, and future in the wake of the crisis, by following one major project of national and economic revival: an effort to make Iceland an 'information haven'. By building data centers, founding start-ups, and passing 'information-friendly' legislation, Icelanders hope to carve out a new niche and attract global data to Iceland's shores. The project has sparked discussion and debate on what kind of place Iceland is and will be: a connected, cosmopolitan and tech-savvy data center? Or once again an outpost, the digital equivalent of an offshore bank? By following the process of re-inventing Iceland as an 'information haven,' I trace these national imaginaries as they are materially made.
Nida, Worku, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Entrepreneurship Development in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Gurage Entrepreneurs,' supervised by Dr. Sondra Hale
WORKU NIDA, while a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on 'Entrepreneurship Development in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Gurage Entrepreneurs,' supervised by Dr. Sondra Hale. This study is based on a 21-month period of extensive ethnographic and archival research on the development of Gurage entrepreneurship in Ethiopia, carried out from August 2002 to the present, of which the first year of field research was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation (August 2002-August 2003). The study explores how and why the one-time sedentary agriculturalist Gurages became the preeminent entrepreneurs of Ethiopia, and how entrepreneurship became Gurage within the context of an emergent nation-state historically. The Gurage redefined their identities, Gurageness and Ethiopian nationhood in terms of their entrepreneurial success, hard work, ethics, and high mobility, practices that have significant impacts on the national ethnic landscapes, division of labor and the kinds of peoples these interactive processes created in modern Ethiopia. It narrates an historical story that links Gurageness to the development of a nation-state and different (sub) sectors of capitalism/global politics, and portrays a picture of Gurage entrepreneurs creating socially expedient versions of Gurageness in a dance between national power-holders' discourses and that of their 'fund of resources' in Gurage society. It intends to show that dialectic in kinship, gender, constitution of different versions of Gurage ethnicity, and Ethiopian nationhood at large. The research (re)conceptualizes (Gurage) entrepreneurialism as a kind of 'social movement,' as a process in and through which people (re)fashion identities, and self-other configurations. Although grounded in local experiences of Gurage entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, this study constitutes an ethnography of modernity that speaks to the larger issues of social change, including differential entrepreneurial success, culture, structure, agency, nation-building, and identity.
Cunningham, Craig Andrew, U. of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ontogenetic Analysis of the Internal Architecture of the Human Pelvic Complex,' supervised by Dr. Susan Margaret Black
CRAIG A. CUNNINGHAM, then a student at University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Ontogenetic Analysis of the Internal Architecture of the Human Pelvic Complex,' supervised by Dr. Susan M. Black. The pelvic complex is an area of skeletal dynamics that is poorly understood, with few studies having considered its growth as a discrete entity. As such, the way in which the pelvic form changes throughout specific temporal periods has been largely undocumented. The principle objective of this research was to identify gross internal trabecular signatures and external morphological features of natural progressive physical maturation, such as sitting, locomotor behavior, puberty, and sex differences. To fulfill these objectives computed tomography scans from deceased juvenile individuals were obtained and, through the use of three dimensional reconstructions, gross architectural patterns and surface morphology could be quantified in relation to bone size. These observations will allow for an assessment of the biomechanical influences that inherent functional demands have on the growing pelvic complex. This project will contribute to the increased understanding of the pelvic skeletal form and the major architectural changes that it must undergo throughout life. Conducting the study, firstly in man, will assist in investigating evolutionary principles associated with adoption of a bipedal stance. The research will have particular relevance in maturity status evaluation of archaeological and fragmented pelvic specimens.