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.
Starzmann, Maria Theresia, State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Embodied Knowledge and Community Practice: Stone Tool Production at FistiKi Höyük,' supervised by Dr. Reinhard W. Bernbeck
MARIA STARZMANN, then a student at State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, was awarded a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Embodied Knowledge and Community Practice: Stone Tool Production at Fistikli Höyük,' supervised by Dr. Reinhard W. Bernbeck. Based on an intensive study of close to 14,000 lithic artifacts, it was the goal of this research project to analyze the technological organization of stone tool production at the 6thmillennium BCE site of Fistikli Höyük in southeastern Turkey. Funding supported the research phase when detailed data on individual pieces of lithic manufacturing debris and tools were recorded in order to document the technological practices involved in Halaf lithic production. Going beyond the established categories of formal artifact typologies, both metric and non-metric attributes (type of retouch, usewear, termination, etc.) have been recorded. The evaluation of these data involves analyses of debitage as well as tool standardization and possible forms of spatial segregation within the site and across occupational phases. Similar technological practices -- indicated by artifact standardization and spatial associations -- are understood as the result of shared embodied practices of craft production constitutive of 'communities of practice.' Results thus far indicate an expedient lithic technology with a high level of technological variety. After completion of this project, research results shall be shared with the wider academic community as well as the local public in southeastern Turkey in the form of a small museum exhibit.
Hickel, Jason Edward, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Producing Citizens: Migrant Labor, Trade Unions, and the Making of Political Subjectivity in South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Ira Bashkow
JASON HICKEL, then a student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Producing Citizens: Migrant Labor, Trade Unions, and the Making of Political Subjectivity in South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Ira Bashkow. This dissertation explores the reasons for long-standing and extremely violent political conflict in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, between rural Zulus affiliated with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and urban Zulus affiliated with the African National Congress (ANC). This project views the conflict as a clash between two divergent moral orders whose parameters were produced by the colonial migrant labor system that separated and differentially structured rural homesteads and urban townships. The moral cosmology that rural Zulus espouse links principles of gender difference, hierarchy, and encompassment in the homestead to social fertility and good fortune. Through this paradigm they interpret the liberal-democratic policies of the ANC -- which equalize persons and dismantle differences -- as a threat to this order. To rural Zulus, 'democracy' promotes a sterile sameness that obliterates the conditions for social reproduction and induces all manner of misfortune, justifying a violently defensive response. This project endeavors to explain violent resistance to democratic policy by taking such resistance seriously within its own moral universe. This approach helps interrogate the Eurocentric categories of personhood and interest assumed in most accounts of post-colonial conflict in Africa, and seeks to increase understanding of how domestic moral values are central to events of political history.
Hickel, Jason. 2012. Social Engineering and Revolutionary Consciousness: Domestic Transformations in Colonial South Africa. History and Anthropology 23(3):301-322.
Mendoza-Zuany, Rosa G., U. of York, York, UK - To aid research on 'Dealing with Cultural Diversity in the Process Towards Autonomy in Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Rob Aitken
ROSA G. MENDOZA-ZUANY, then a student at York University, York, United Kingdom, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Dealing with Cultural Diversity in the Process Towards Autonomy in Oaxaca, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Rob Aitken. Fieldwork was focused on examining the role of dialogue in the ongoing process of building autonomy in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, Mexico, a region characterized by its cultural diversity. Data were gathered on social, economic, and political organization of two Zapotec communities that have experienced de facto autonomy and considerable re-appropriation of power. People's accounts of their experience of autonomy have shown that it has been practiced and built on the ground and not 'demanded' as a product of legal changes and political reorganization. The data showed how dialogue plays a crucial role in the accommodation and negotiation of interests, objectives, and actions within the communities and in their relations with the exterior. Special emphasis was placed on levels of dialogue practiced for decision-making and living-together processes within the communities and for interaction with neighbors, governmental bodies, and the outside world. In the middle of power relations, these communities negotiate their autonomy and power within their jurisdictions but emphasizing positive interactions with their interlocutors. Preliminary findings include the observations that cultural difference and indigenous identities are not stressed in the process toward autonomy but local identities rooted in origin and belonging to the communities. Focused on the process of building autonomy and re-appropriating power through dialogue, this research provides an insight into indigenous peoples' alternatives to confrontation and demands focused on de jure autonomy dependent on legal reforms and reorganization of political-administrative divisions in order to deal with diversity.
Carney, Joshua Luke, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'Storms Through the Valley: Fact, Fiction and the US Image in Turkish Popular Media,' supervised by Dr. Ilana Miriam Gershon
JOSHUA L. CARNEY, then a student at University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Storms through the Valley: Fact, Fiction, and the US Image in Turkish Popular Media,' supervised by Dr. Ilana M. Gershon. Research examined the publics and discourses emerging around two immensely influential Turkish TV dramas ('dizi' in Turkish). The contemporary mafia drama, Valley of the Wolves, and the Ottoman costume drama, Magnificent Century, relate disparate periods and cater to very different audiences, but both have set the political and social agendas in Turkey due to the uneasy blend of fact and fiction in their plots. The project focuses on the increasing relevance of screen culture in the Turkish milieux through an ethnographic engagement with the publics generated by these shows, touching on conspiracy theory and nostalgia as strategies for coping in an era of multiple modernities, the creation and maintenance of gendered and national identities, and the political implications of the international distribution of these shows.
Schuster, Caroline Elizabeth, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Making Good Money: Microcredit, Commercial Financing, and Social Regulation in Paraguay's Tri-Border Area,' supervised by Dr. John Comaroff
CAROLINE ELIZABETH SCHUSTER, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Making Good Money: Microcredit, Commercial Financing, and Social Regulation in Paraguay's Tri-Border Area,' supervised by Dr. John Comaroff. This ethnographic dissertation research examines the challenges and possibilities of 'Living on Credit' in Ciudad del Este, a booming commercial center on Paraguay's triple-frontier with Argentina and Brazil. Paraguay's economic landscape is configured by extreme poverty and economic inequality as well as extensive economic liberalization. Microcredit-based development projects-small group-based loans collateralized through joint liability-sit at the intersection of free-market orthodoxies and social concerns for poverty and financial exclusion: twin tendencies that mark the contours of Ciudad del Este's commercial economy. The research finds that, even in a minimally regulated free trade zone, economic relationships are highly regulated in social practice through the exigencies of development aid, the logics and accountabilities of financial instruments, ideologies of gender and women's economic participation, and the economic priorities of people enmeshed in a dense web of obligations and redistributive networks. Through eighteen months of fieldwork at a Paraguayan microcredit non-government organization (2009-2010), the grantee tracked the cultural forms and theories of value that anchor the accounting practices and financial instruments of microfinance. The research highlights the fundamental dilemma of banking on social relationships while constantly managing and containing the unstable 'social unit' that threatens to exceed the narrow terms of the loan.