Kim, Jaeeun, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker
JAEEUN KIM, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in May 2008 to aid research on 'Transborder National Membership Politics in Korea,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker. Fieldwork was carried out in Japan (part of the multi-sited dissertation field research in Korea, Japan, and China), examining the Cold War competition between North and South Korea over the allegiance of the colonial-era Korean migrants to Japan. Based on extensive interviews and broad archival research, fieldwork demonstrated: 1) those who migrated between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago during the postwar and Cold War periods not only were subjected to, but also have actively shaped, the evolving interstate system across East Asia; 2) in extending their embrace to the population outside their respective territories, North Korea tried to construct a parallel institutional world for Koreans in Japan, replicating the corporatist social structure of the homeland, while South Korea tried to outstrip its counterpart by operating more effectively at the Interface between this transborder population and the outside world (e.g., securing the cooperation and support of the Japanese government, controlling Korean Japanese' connection to their home communities); and 3) the registration and documentation practices were not a mere instrument of the two competing 'homeland' states, but served as a cultural artifact through which some transborder population envisioned their belonging on multiple scales.
Friedman, Dr. Sara Lizbeth, Indiana U., Bloomington, IN - To aid workshop on 'Rethinking Intimate Labor through Inter-Asian Migrations,' 2011, Bellagio, Italy, in collaboration with Dr. Pardis Mahdavi
Preliminary abstract: Over the past quarter century, women and men have migrated across and within regions of Asia to engage in different forms of intimate labor. They have done so formally and informally, as spouses, domestic workers, and sex workers. This workshop questions our received categories for classifying and understanding these forms of migration by examining them as types of intimate labor that fundamentally reshape constructions of family, citizenship, gender, and labor across Asia. The framework of intimate labor requires us to rethink formulations of inter-Asian migration premised on artificial distinctions between forced and voluntary movement, formal and informal migration and labor, and legitimate and illegitimate statuses in host and receiving countries. The workshop will bring together research from across East, Southeast, and South Asia and the Gulf countries to foster an inter-Asian dialogue about how intimate labor is being reconfigured through gendered migration practices and policies. By engaging researchers and activists who have conducted ethnographic fieldwork with marital immigrants and migrant sex and/or domestic workers, the workshop will enhance our understanding of convergences across modes of intimate labor and expose gaps between policy and lived experience. The workshop will generate scholarly publications and policy briefs on Asian migration and labor.
Askew, Dr. Marc Richard, Victoria U., Melbourne, Australia - To aid research on 'Neighborhood in a Time of Danger: Buddhist and Muslim Villagers amidst Thailand's Southern Insurgency'
DR. MARC R. ASKEW, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Neighborhood in a Time of Danger: Buddhist and Muslim Villagers Amidst Thailand's Southern Insurgency.' Set in the environment of the ongoing violence afflicting the Muslim-majority border areas of southern Thailand, this ethnographic research explored webs of relationships, personal stories, and shared rumor in a group of neighboring Buddhist and Muslim villages in adjoining districts of the provinces of Songkhla and Pattani. Involving ten months' fieldwork, and building upon networks of informants from a previous pilot study, the project investigated local values about neighborhood, social and ethno-religious difference, and sought to determine how village leaders negotiate pressures imposed both by mysterious local insurgents as well as Thai state authorities. The researcher found that in the absence of effective state protection, villagers have draw on a range of networks and traditional social modes to maximize safety and manage relationships, patterns that reveal much about the relative strength of society and weakness of the state in Thailand. The research in the villages of this area highlights that in this strange 'war zone,' though people are dogged with suspicions of mysterious enemies and sometimes prone to vent their frustrations about the dangers surrounding them in terms of ethnic stereotypes, they still remain committed to affirming values and relationships of co-existence in a multi-ethnic space.
Askew, Marc. 2007. Landscapes of Fear, Horizons of Trust: Villagers Dealing with Danger in Thailand?s Insurgent South. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40(1):59-86.
Weir, James M., City U. of New York, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Popular Social Practices in the Context of Conflict: Chess, Music, and Gardening in Herat, Afghanistan,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano
JAMES M. WEIR, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in May 2004 to aid research on 'Popular Social Practices in the Context of Conflict: Chess, Music, and Gardening in Herat, Afghanistan,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano. This study presents the life stories of five 'ordinary'Afghans and examines the processes of self-presentation and self-identification in these narratives for what they reveal about the speaker's experience of recent Afghan history. This project queries these life stories at two distinctly different levels. The first is an existential/phenomenological reflection on the process of life narration itself. This is an examination of narrators as they engage their memories to spontaneously create a life story and asks what meanings and patterns emerge from this process of remembering, editing, summarizing and representing a life. The second level of examination explores the individual narrator's relationship to and interpretation of the historical and cultural context of his life. In comments interspersed in the text of the actual interviews and at greater length after each interview, this study considers the dispositions and sensibilities of individual Afghans as they recall and summarize their lives, with particular attention to the expectations and disappointments expressed as they recount their experiences of living through three troubled decades of Afghan history.
Goldfarb, Kathryn Elissa, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'National-Cultural Ideologies and Medical-Legal Practices: Infertility, Adoption, and Japanese Public Policy,' supervised by Dr. Judith Brooke Farquhar
KATHRYN E. GOLDFARB, then a student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received a grant in April 2009, to aid research on 'National-Cultural Ideologies and Medical-Legal Practices: Infertility, Adoption, and Japanese Public Policy,' supervised by Dr. Judith Brooke Farquhar. Only 9% of the 40,000 children in Japanese state care live with foster parents, and there are less than 500 annual adoptions in which an adult adopts an unrelated and unknown child. Many people claim that fostering and adoption will never be common practices because Japanese people prioritize blood relationships in families. This research is an effort to separate ideologies surrounding blood relationships from factors within the child welfare system that shape family practices, and to understand, on a systemic level, the relationships among people, institutions, and legal structures that shape contemporary family practices in situations where 'family' cannot be taken for granted. This project is a multi-sited ethnographic study based on participant-observation and interviews with people involved in three distinct constructions of family: couples that pursue infertility treatment; families with adopted or foster children; and people involved in institutional care and these care recipients. The grantee argues that cultural ideologies valorizing blood relationships are institutionalized within the child welfare system itself, particularly in the ways that notions of 'parental rights' effectively prevent children's placement in foster or adoptive care. Rather than solidifying kinship, it is posited that blood relationships can be a very real source of danger and dissolution.
Bordia, Devika, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Local Governance Through Panchayats: Indigeneity, Law, and Sovereignty in Western India,' supervised by Dr. Thomas B. Hansen
DEVIKA BORDIA, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Local Governance through Panchayats: Indigeneity, Law, and Sovereignty in Western India,' supervised by Dr. Thomas B. Hansen. This project examines the relationship between legal and governmental institutions of the state, tribal panchayats, local community institutions. The grantee conducted fieldwork in the 'tribal' region of Southern Udaipur, Western India, tracing cases related to murder, violence, land claims and domestic disputes. The ways in which these cases were addressed involved complex negotiations between leaders of tribal panchayats, the police, lawyers and magistrates. This revealed how supposedly distinct legal systems are in effect a range of overlapping institutions, actors, artifacts and languages that evoke various formations of individual and community. Articulations of crime and violence within legal codes, though abstracted from local contexts for the sake of objectivity, are reflective of people and place and assume certain ideas of what it means to be 'tribal.' The project also examines the way in which language and ideas of the law weave into the fabric of everyday life and are used by leaders of panchayats in their work of dispute resolution. The grantee conducted extensive interviews and traveled with local leaders to understand the different ways they gain visibility and derive legitimacy. An examination of state organizations, NGOs and different social movements demonstrate how ideas of indigeneity are generated through their work, and the ways these ideas find their way into every day legal processes.
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.