Askew, Dr. Marc Richard, U. of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia - To aid research on 'Idioms of Justice in Thailand's Turbulent South: Muslim Justice Volunteers between the State and Insurgents'
DR, MARC ASKEW, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Idioms of Justice in Thailand's Turbulent South: Muslim Justice Volunteers between the State and Insurgents.' This ethnographic research project was set in the southern Malay-Muslim majority border provinces of Thailand, which have been experiencing sustained instability due to an ongoing insurgency since 2004. One policy objective of the Thai state has been to enhance what it describes as local 'justice' processes in order to resurrect the legitimacy of the state, and 'justice networks' of local volunteers have been utilized to act an interface between the state and local communities. The research explored the relationship between Muslim justice volunteers and Thai bureaucrats, focusing on concerns about facilitating justice processes in a context where volunteers are deemed by insurgents as agents of the Thai state. The research involved participant observation at formal seminars, together with informal interviews and ongoing contact with Malay Muslim volunteers in leadership positions, aiming to gather anecdotes and narratives among both bureaucrats and volunteers concerning concrete challenges and judgements of success and failure. The hypotheses of the research were borne out by the results from the field, with showed a major mismatch between bureaucrats' perceptions of success and the volunteers' continuing dilemmas and problems, which extended from insufficient resources for their work and the dangers involved in overtly championing state projects.
Welker, Marina, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Industry as Aid: Mining, Development, and Moral Conflict in Sumbawa, Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Webb Keane
MARINA WELKER, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in November 2001 to aid research on mining, development, and moral conflict in Sumbawa, Indonesia, under the supervision of Dr. Webb Keane. Welker considered the incorporation of a new business paradigm, 'corporate social responsibility' (CSR), in the transnational mining industry. During eighteen months of data collection in Indonesia, she combined long-term village research on community development projects carried out by Newmont Nusa Tenggara near the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Sumbawa with two months of comparative research in Jakarta and at other mine sites. Primary methods included participant observation, interviews, and archival research (corporate documents and newspapers). Welker focused on transformations in the risk management strategies mining companies applied to groups they recognized as 'stakeholders': farmers, businesspeople, mothers, the state, developmentalist nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and advocacy NGOs. She found that under the CSR paradigm, corporations were attempting to substitute a market rationality construing local communities as autonomous and independent for the gift logic that served as the conventional basis of corporate-community relations. By examining how new flows of material and discourse between companies and stakeholders were constituted and contested, Welker approached CSR as an extension of corporate power and knowledge. She found both stakeholder groups and companies transformed through their participation in negotiations over the proper relationship between mining companies and mine-affected communities.
Welker, Marina A. 2009. 'Corporate Security Begins in the Community:' Mining, The Corporate Social
Responsibility Industry, and Environmental Advocacy in Indonesia. Cutlural Anthropology 24(1):142-179.
Welker, Marina. 2012. The Green Revolution's Ghost: Unruly Subjects of Participatory Development in Rural Indonesia. American Ethnologist 39(2):389-406.
Goldstein, Dr. Melvyn C., Case Western Reserve U., Cleveland, OH - To aid research on 'Nomadic Society in Tibet: A Study of Twenty Years of Change and Adaptation in Pala'
DR. MELVYN C. GOLDSTEIN, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Nomadic Society in Tibet: A Study of Twenty Years of Change and Adaptation in Pala.' The project set out to address the impact of major economic and social changes on nomadic society and pastoral subsistence on the Tibetan Plateau. The study was conducted in July and August 2005, in Pala, a Tibetan nomadic pastoral group located about 200 miles west of Lhasa on the Tibetan Plateau at altitudes between 15,500 and 17,500 feet. Using a diachronic, case study, research design, the project built on previous research in Pala to investigate how families in a nomadic pastoral community have adapted to the changes that have occurred over the past 20 years with regard to traditional nomadic culture, social organization, economics and pastoral management. Since the project collected data equivalent to that collected during previous studies, we were able to compare the same villages, households and individuals diachronically. The study found that the nomads have adopted new technical innovations such as motorcycles, trucks and tractors in their management system and have experienced a substantial improvement in their standard of living due to their integration into national and international markets. It also found that despite strong government pressure to privatize pastures on a household basis, the nomads successfully resisted this initiative and continued to herd more traditionally in small groups of 5-15 households sharing a common pasture. In sum, despite many important changes and adaptations, the traditional social organization and culture of the nomads was on the whole still intact.
Bovensiepen, Judith, London School of Economics, London, UK - To aid research on 'Tracing Fragmented Paths: Memories of Violence in the Reconstruction of East Timor,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Engelke
JUDITH BOVENSIEPEN, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Tracing Fragmented Paths: Memories o Violence in the Reconstruction of East Timor,' supervised by Dr. Matthew Engelke. The research project consists of an ethnographic study of a remote mountain village in the central highlands of East Timor and is based on fieldwork that was carried out between November 2005 and August 2007. It is the first long-term anthropological study in this region and one of the first to be carried out in East Timor since independence. The primary focus is on the way local people have made sense of and have situated themselves towards various colonial intrusions (Portuguese colonialism and the Indonesian occupation) and the dramatic political changes at the national level, such as the recent internal conflict. The main goal of the research is an exploration of the interface between personal memories and collective representations and historical narratives. Historical memories and spiritual forces are considered to be embodied in physical objects and the study examines how the threat of losing these objects represents both a local mechanism of power and people's fear of further loss and exploitation.
Yen, Dr.Yueh-Ping, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research and writing on 'In Search of True Characters: An Anthropological Study of Chinese Calligraphy and Writing' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
Sen, Debarati, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on ''From Illegal to Organic': Fair Trade-Organic Tea Production and Women's Political Futures in Darjeeling, India,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy L. Hodgson
DEBARATI SEN, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'From Illegal to Organic: Fair Trade-Organic Tea Production and Women's Political Futures in Darjeeling, India,' supervised by Dr. Dorothy L. Hodgson. This comparative ethnography analyzes the circumstances under which two groups of women in the tea industry in Darjeeling, India, can exercise their autonomy and improve their livelihoods by engaging with the transnational Fair Trade movement. The dissertation addresses a central question: why, in spite of producing the same commodity -- Fair Trade organic tea -- do women tea farmers (independent farmers growing organic tea in their own land) tend to be more politically active than women plantation workers (wage laborers)? Based on intensive ethnographic fieldwork in two distinct communities (women tea farmers and women plantation workers), the research concludes that institutional structures of collective bargaining, existing gender ideologies of work and varying histories of political involvement in previous movements among women determine where they will be more successful in deriving benefits from the Fair Trade movement. This in-depth ethnographic research shows that women tea farmers are more effective in connecting their struggles against economic and cultural domination to the goals of the Fair Trade movement. In contrast, women plantation workers, many of whom were politically active in previous nationalist and labor movements, are relatively incapable of mobilizing the Fair Trade movement to their own benefit.
Lohokare, Madhura, Syracuse U., Syracuse, NY - To aid research on 'Articulating Public Space to the Public Sphere: A Study of Neighborhood Associations in Pune, India,' supervised by Dr. Cecilia Van Hollen
MADHURA LOHOKARE, then a student at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, received a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'Articulating Public Space to the Public Sphere: A Study of Neighborhood Associations in Pune, India,' supervised by Dr. Cecilia Van Hollen. This research describes the myriad ways in which the working class/urban poor imagine themselves to be a part of the city of Pune in western India and relevance of these ways for questions of citizenship, by focusing on two disparate sites: a working class neighborhood in the old part of the city, and on the collective process of an incipient resistance of slum dwellers of the same city to state-sponsored slum rehabilitation programs. An ethnographic investigation of these sites demonstrates how modes of belonging to and claiming the city are structured by embodied and affective identities rooted in the physical and social spaces of the neighborhood; while a radically different mode of belonging is engendered for slum dwellers as they locate themselves in the city in legal, political, and economic terms, through their explicit struggle to defend their dynamic living spaces. This ethnography illustrates how modes of belonging to the city are linked to questions of citizenship and participation in the public sphere for the urban poor in contemporary urban India.