Grayman, Jesse Hession, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Localizing the Global Discourse on Humanitarianism: Indonesian NGO Workers and Tsunami Relief in Aceh,' supervised by Dr. Byron Good
JESSE GRAYMAN, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in May 2006 to aid research on 'Localizing the Global Discourse on Humanitarianism: Indonesian NGO Workers and Tsunami Relief in Aceh,' supervised by Dr. Byron Good. The earthquake and tsunami disasters of 26 December 2004 ushered in a critical historical moment for the Indonesian province of Aceh, a moment tied inextricably to the arrival of many local and international humanitarian relief organizations working in the region. The purpose of this research is to observe and analyze the social effects of the humanitarian presence in Aceh following this unprecedented natural disaster. The research is situated within anthropological debates about humanitarian interventions that have arisen alongside the growth and increasing importance of humanitarian organizations in the management of world affairs. In particular, this study identifies the Indonesian staffs of international organizations providing tsunami relief and post-conflict assistance in Aceh as a 'site' for ethnographic inquiry into these debates. An ethnography of local NGO staffs sits within and potentially connects a triad of established ethnographic sites that characterize the humanitarian narrative: ethnographies of the bureaucratic state, the voiceless refugee, and the international humanitarian. The NGO worker is not merely a link between the three corners of this triad, but also an embodiment and bearer of local logics of intervention, always tailoring the demands of the humanitarian narrative to contingencies on the ground, often with unexpected outcomes.
Welker, Dr. Marina A., Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on 'Kretek Capitalism: An Ethnography of PT Sampoerna and Clove Cigarettes in Indonesia'
Preliminary abstract: Indonesia is renowned for its low regulation and high consumption of cigarettes, and for the fact that most smokers consume clove cigarettes (kretek). I propose to carry out a year of ethnographic research on PT Sampoerna, Indonesia's largest kretek producer. A Chinese migrant founded Sampoerna in 1913, and the company was predominantly familyowned and -operated until Philip Morris International (PMI) acquired it in 2005. The acquisition was part of a PMI strategy to expand its presence in 'emerging markets' in the wake of dramatic declines in cigarette consumption among higher income countries. Through close ethnographic study of the making, marketing, distribution, and consumption of
Sampoerna's kretek, my research will address the subjective experiences and moral and cultural narratives and practices individual (farmers, factory workers, managers, consumers) and collective actors (company, union, government, NGOs) draw on to interpret, justify, and contest how Sampoerna inflicts harms and confers benefits. This multi-dimensional study of Sampoerna will build on and contribute to four domains: (1) theory on corporations, understood as a set of processes and relations rather than as reified entities; (2) commodity chain scholarship, by illuminating how companies get made alongside commodities; (3) tobacco scholarship, by examining neglected arenas of production and distribution in the global South; and (4) scholarship on Indonesia, where kretek are ubiquitous features of social life whose economic, political, health, and moral consequences are subject to polarized depictions.
Saraf, Aditi, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Invoking Azaadi: Islam, Freedom and the Moral Economy in the Kashmiri Marketplace,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
ADITI SARAF, then a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Invoking Azaadi: Islam, Freedom and the Moral Economy in the Kashmiri Marketplace,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. The research addresses questions of freedom, exchange, and the 'moral economy' in the markets of Srinagar, India-administered Kashmir. Currently, the movement for freedom from India (azaadi) is organized primarily through strikes and public protests in the midst of state violence and surveillance in accordance with a schedule of activities laid out in regularly issued protest calendars. The grantee conducted 22 months of fieldwork between 2011 and 2013 on how Kashmiri merchants adapt their work to the ongoing conflict. Specifically, the project focuses on: 1) how the disruptive violence of militarization, curfews, and protests transform the everyday business practices of traders, merchants, and shopkeepers; 2) the history of traders' activism as discerned in archival documents; and 3) how notions of freedom are linked to perceptions of economic self-sufficiency and dependence. For the dissertation, the grantee hopes to explore ideas of sovereignty, both collective and individual, along the following lines: an ethnohistory of trade relations and commercial regulation, the political activism of traders' collectives, and the material and moral networks of credit and credibility that persist through political turbulence.
Lock, Dr. Margaret M., McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'The Making of Menopause in Japan'
DR. MARGARET LOCK, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, received funding in June 2002 to aid research on menopause in Japan. She conducted fieldwork in February and March 2003 in the Kanto and Kansai areas, where she interviewed 50 women for one hour each, using an open-ended questionnaire followed by free conversation. The interviews focused first on the women's experiences as they approached or went through menopause, including symptom experiences and uses of the health-care system, medications, and clinics offering herbal medicines. The second part of the interview dealt with general knowledge about menopause and sources of information on the subject. In addition, Lock conducted extensive interviews with 15 gynecologists and family doctors. The findings indicated that despite intensive efforts to medicalize menopause in Japan, the majority of Japanese women did not consult a gynecologist at that stage of the life cycle. The Japanese concept koonenki continued to convey the idea of a long, gradual transition and meant more than simply the end of menstruation. Reporting of vasomotor symptoms-hot flashes and night sweats-had increased since the time of Lock's previous research 30 years earlier, but it was still much lower than in North America. Specific Japanese symptoms such as shoulder stiffness continued to be reported more than other symptoms. This subject has proved to be extraordinarily fertile for exploring the boundaries between nature and culture and for confronting unexamined assumptions in the medical model of menopause.
Hefner, Claire-Marie, Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael Gates Peletz
CLAIRE-MARIE HEFNER, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Shaping Muslim Subjectivities: Gender, Piety, and Modernity in Indonesian Islamic Boarding Schools,' supervised by Dr. Michael G. Peletz. How do young Indonesian Muslim school girls learn and engage with what it means to be a proper, pious, and educated woman? How do differences in understandings of proper Muslim femininity reflect broader variations in Indonesian associations, educational traditions, and social values? These are the broad questions that frame this comparative study of two Islamic boarding schools for girls in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The focus of the investigation is two prominent Islamic boarding schools (pesantren): Pesantren Krapyak Ali Maksum and Madrasah Mu'allimaat Muhammadiyah. Each school is run, respectively, by one of the two largest Muslim social welfare organizations in the world: the 'traditionalist' Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the 'modernist' Muhammadiyah. These two schools were selected because of their national reputations and because of the critical role they play in molding future NU and Muhammadiyah female kaders (cadres). At a time when many scholars suggest that the distinctions between NU and Muhammadiyah are no longer relevant, this study questions that assertion through the optics of developments in Indonesian Islamic education, evaluating what it means for these young women to be members of these organizations. As private institutions with strong academic reputations, Mu'allimaat and Krapyak also cater to the needs and desires of the new Indonesian Muslim middle-class. Through ethnographic observations, a multivariate student survey, over 100 interviews, and media analysis, this study examines girls' engagement with 'gendered' aspects of curricula, extracurricular practices, and informal socialization within and outside of school.
Cho, Woo Jeong, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid research on 'The Homeland on the Move: The Making of Modern Selves in Sakhalin Korean Discourses,' supervised by Dr. Sarah D. Philips
WOO JEONG CHO, then a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'The Homeland on the Move: The Making of Modern Selves in Sakhalin Korean Discourse,' supervised by Dr. Sarah Philips. This research sought to explore the way Sakhalin Koreans have negotiated the sense of homeland to construct their own space of belonging in their complex relationship with the states of Japan, Korea, and Russia. The study was based on one year of multi-sited fieldwork connecting the three countries as one research field, where the researcher collected Sakhalin Korean citizenship histories, repatriation accounts, and recordings of trilingual speech to follow the transnational imaginations of their homeland. Through participant observation, interviews, and library research, the project traced the discourses of Sakhalin Koreanness by examining: 1) how the citizenship struggles demonstrate their negotiation of diasporic positions between multiple homelands; 2) how the accounts of permanent return display their creative responses to the socioeconomic conditions that have located them as diaspora; and 3) how the trilingual speech practices of Korean, Japanese, and Russian index their political and cultural membership. Data revealed that individual narratives of citizenship and repatriation contest with public discourses of Sakhalin Korean homeland for a better place to belong, illuminating the process in which diaspora and homeland(s) interplay. The research also suggested that the use of the three languages varies across different contexts in their strategies of defining and redefining homeland.
Yang, Xiaoliu, Sun Yat-Sen U., Guangzhou, China - To aid research on 'Making Participatory Poverty Reduction Chinese,' supervised by Dr. Daming Zhou
XIALIU YANG, then a student at Sun Yet-sen University, Guangzhou, China, received funding in January 2006 to aid research on 'Making Participatory Development Chinese,' supervised by Prof. Daming Zhou. The fieldwork was conducted in Meigu county, an impoverished, Nuosu ethnic region in Sichuan Province, Southwest China. The grantee did fieldwork from February to December 2006 to study how the Western 'participation' in China's rural poverty reduction is made Chinese. Research focused on three Western projects in a Nuosu village -- from the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, and Germany's Misereor Foundation -- to observe how 'participation' is made Chinese at different stages of the project cycle. Support enabled a multi-level investigation to collect information identifying key stakeholders involved in the delivery of Western participatory aid, including state and local government, international aid organizations, Chinese scholars, and indigenous people.
Sherpa, Pasang Yangjee, Washington State U., Pullman, WA - To aid research on 'Sherpa Perceptions of Climate Change: Local Understandings of a Global Problem,' supervised by Dr.. John Bodley
PASANG YANGJEE SHERPA, then a student at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, received a grant in April 2011, to aid research on 'Sherpa Perceptions of Climate Change: Local Understanding of a Global Problem,' supervised by Dr. John Bodley. This research was designed to examine how Sherpa perceptions of climate change differ between on-route and off-route villages, as to what causes these differences and how the differences might affect the effectiveness of risk management policies and practices. This research found that Pharak Sherpas are knowledgeable and adapting to the changing climate, while also vulnerable to the short-term and long-term effects of climate change. The data collected from the field show that in addition to the on-route/ off-route residence, a Pharak Sherpa's age, gender and employment situation also play a role in how he/she perceives climate change. This research therefore defines socio-economically created cultural units as consisting of Pharak Sherpas from same residence, age group, gender, and employment, who are likely to interact with each other more than with someone from outside their own unit. The vulnerability to the inevitable effects of climate change in Pharak depends on the cultural unit an individual and his/her family belongs to. Further analysis of policies suggest that collaborating with the local people and accommodating to the existing cultural units by the institutions, local and foreign, as they design, develop, and implement climate change risk management programs can increase their effectiveness.
Sherpa, Pasang Yangjee. 2014. Climate Change, Perceptions, and Social Heterogeneity in Pharak, Mount Everest Region of Nepal. Human Organization, 73(2):153-161.